Review by CMoon

"Load of destruction!"

Wow, Capcom was still making these in 1997!!?? Well, it isn't perfect, but its helluva innovate and tons of fun. The animation and story line are absolutely crazy and full of the sort of nonesense you've come to expect from the Capcom gang. If you still haven't gotten your fill of side-scrollers, Battle Circuit is calling your name...

Story 7/10: Sure, side-scrollers aren't known for good stories, but this one seems a little sub-standard, though just weird enough to get you to swallow it. You are a bounty hunter and have stumbled across a disk that will grant unbelievable powers to whoever is able to successfully use it to activate the 'Shiva System'. If this was the plot to something like MGS it would be terrible, but it is all very cartoony...one of the gang members looks like Elvis, while at another point you'll be fighting a big Samurai Mech (that is, a mech controlled by Samurai!) The plot is cute, but pretty forgettable. On the other hand, lines like ''You're lucky I'm not getting paid for this...I'm gonna destroy you for free!'' are sig file worthy.

Controls 10/10: As you might expect, these are dead on. You have to look long and hard to find a Capcom game with controls that aren't stellar. While this may not seem critical in a side-scroller, unlike so many final fight clones, the characters in Battle Circuit have Street Fighter like moves (similar to D&D2) and without good controls, you'd be missing a good chunk of the game. Fortunately, I found I could easily pull off ALL the moves with a Microsoft sidewinder pad.

Sound 10/10: I don't always give this high a review for the audio in a game, but Battle Circuit really has an appropriate soundtrack. Its bouncy and addictive, again stressing the not-too-serious tone of the game. I don't know if any of this would stand on its own, but in the right context, the soundtrack really enhances the feel of the game.

Video 8/10: Well, CPS2 only goes so far, and 8/10 is probably about the best it can do. I'd love to have seen a CPS3 or Naomi based side-scroller, but BC looks as good as you could expect it to on this aging hardware. Very colorful with some extremely creative designs and a lot of background detail. Looks as good as the best of the rest ;)

Gameplay 9/10: And here is where the real goods are. You'll go back and play a 2D game because you know the gameplay knocks the socks off of those icky new 3D games, or as Rikki would say: ''The beautiful world of 2D! The tension is getting good! Three cheers for Bangai-o!'' Only we aren't talking Bangai-O...Battle Circuit may actually have better graphics, but who cares, right?

What Battle Circuit does have is the result of 7 years of development in side-scroller mania, meaning that just about everything you've ever been able to do in a side scroller you can do in this one. Dash in all directions, pick up downed opponents and throw them at other people, hit 20 people at once with super-duper moves, juggle the living snot out of anyone who gets in your way!!! Its all in Battle Circuit...but here is where it doesn't get a 10. No weapons!!! You heard me right, there is not a single lead pipe, billy club, base-ball bat or bald tire to beat your opponents to a pulp with. Why not...well in Battle Circuit, there is almost too much going on to bother with weapons. You're body is too lethal to mess with throwing crap at those street punks. Every character starts with three or four moves (upper-cuts, beam weapons, pile-drivers, air-stomps, even whips!) and can continue to upgrade them through the game. What's more, each character has a unique power-up to aid in the mass destruction you'll be unloading on would-be villians. With a deft nod to D&D2, power-ups effect all players, so if Cyber Blue (who's power-up makes him stronger) uses his power-up, everyone is gonna be doing LOTS of damage. Likewise, Alien Green's Vitality Up heals everyone in the group. And to throw even more on this gargantuan pile of chaos, characters can combine their desperation moves (you know, the old a+b moves), to form super desperation moves...just in case you weren't already hurting everyone else enough.

Whew!!! Sound like fun? You bet! I've deducted one measely point for not having weapons, as I'm nostalgic for cracking skulls with a lead pipe, but the awesome combo/juggle system in BC will not give you time to miss the occasional tire-iron to the head.

Buy or Rent: What??? You can't rent or buy this game unless you try to buy the board off of Ebay. If you could buy this for any console, I'd strongly suggest doing it. Battle Circuit is one of the best side scrollers every made.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/23/01, Updated 08/23/01


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