Review by CChan

"An in-depth superior 3D fighting game with high and difficult artificial intelligence!"

If you have played Marvel vs Capcom 2, Power Stone may not really be the best fighting game ever created as Power Stone only have a measly number of either characters while Marvel vs Capcom 2 has a whooping 56 characters. But this game has a unique type of battle system, that will simply engross you in the game for hours! Added to that, the extremely simple controls as well as the incredible graphics made this game shines its light in the day.

Graphics – 9
The characters models are recreated perfectly and looked tremendously great with its cartoon looks stayed in. As usual, Power Stone and several other games like Soul Calibur are already in the Sega’s Naomi arcade board so the full conversion is definitely not surprising with the graphics more enhanced, brighter and with stunning high-resolution picture. Even the stages have been designed enough with its cool and adventurous looks to make you feel better about them. The animations are done so fluent and efficient that the frames are all steady without a single flaw in them!

Nevertheless, Capcom has not yet passed out and leave us with dull and unentertaining graphics, despite many more games the big company has to create for different platforms. The great flashing light sources and are also one of the cool graphics features that are added, and can be seen when your character shoots out his or her magical powers. Mixtures of different millions of colours made this game looks brighter and cheerful and never a character or a stage will look down and dull (with the exception of Jack’s stage, of course). The background itself in ten various stages have their own unique appearances from different cultures of different countries.

Music – 9
With ten different stages for you to play, there are different background music for you to hear with their own different rhythm and style in it. Each of them have all sorts of musical beat, especially quick and rapid rhythm when your character transformed after collecting the three magical Power Stones. Moreover, there are also different voices used for optional characters that appeared from time to time to fit in the ending. Even the sound effects on how you draw out a sword and slash your enemy or grab Sun Wu Kong’s powerful stick will have their own sound effects. Even the way you punch your enemy will have the effect and even better sound effects will appear when you transform into a powerful form.

Gameplay – 9
Power Stone is definitely an interesting and unique game to be played on cards, and it was a relief after Capcom literally spends its time creating dozens of Capcom versus series and the totally repetitive and uninteresting Street Fighter series for almost all platforms. So all we want is a guaranteed original and fun game and finally, Capcom answered our prayers by releasing Power Stone, which is also included as the first batch of release games for Dreamcast.

The battle system does not only include button-mashing and releasing power or execute whatever sort of moves the character have. In fact, you’ll need to collect three Power Stones which one of them are already collected by you, one of them at the hands of the enemy and the last will appear after you start fighting with the enemy. Getting hold the three of them will transform you into a much powerful form (sort of Ultraman and Power Rangers to me). And on that time, you’ll be given a short span of time and power for you to hit and kill your enemy with your own strategy.

Indeed, each of your characters have different advantages as well as disadvantages. Ayame, for example, is very quick and fast but have a not-so powerful attacks while Gunrock, which is very powerful but incredibly slow because of his fat. You can easily try out every character as there are only eight of them but remember, there are no Training Mode. Yup, no kidding. I don’t know Capcom has successfully released this game without one single Training Mode to practice.

Arcade Mode, of course, will be what you had expected. Fight all characters till the three last bosses and you’ll be stunned with its hardness. Remember, three bosses are simply crazy to play that it will take one hour to complete only one character’s adventure. So, add up the seven more up and you’ll get eight hours of gameplay. It may be difficult but simply addicting as you can also play a versus mode against one of your friends.

The Versus Mode has not much difference but just as every fighting games that you have played, have a friend to fight against (or three friends to fight against, as a case of some games allowing them). As you progress along and used a few characters in the Arcade Mode already, you’ll unlock a few modes which will unlock the Extra Items mode. In there, you can easily select whether you want to collect 3 or 5 Power Stones to transform, have extra items for you to choose while you fight and other useful modes. You can even choose whether to make your transforming attack to 200% which, in this case, you can kill an enemy immediately while the enemy can do the same to you, so be careful what you choose.

You can take lots of items while fighting in the stage, and lots of obstacles which can easily knock out a few health bars from your life. You can take out a sword after destroying a treasure box and slash the enemy to make him throw out all the Power Stones he have. Or you can climb up the net on Ayame’s stage and throw down lanterns that are hanging on top, acting like flying bombs. Or even a flame thrower which can reduce your enemy to ashes (well, not really). You can even kick a box or throw it towards the enemy to knock him out! All together, you can find a nice collection of items to use, if you don’t fancy all the kicking and punches all about.

The whole stage is your whole fighting battle. You can continue your fight against your enemy even up on the rooftop, or climbing up on a net or even at the side of a ship! That’s the coolest thing about playing in Power Stone’s stages, you have complete freedom and style on the way of defeating your enemies. You can choose to use the various items that appear from time to time or just jump, attack, kick, attack, jump and use whatever moves that pleases you. You can also throw your enemies if you like but this move are unlikely to be used as it will only consider that you are going to be beaten. One more thing, you can’t even defend yourself. Run and avoid it. Remember, run and avoid.

After you have played for a long time, you can download three VMU mini-games (which cost a whole memory card!). To download them, you’ll need to progress through the game and the mini-games will allow you to open more extra pages to the Power Stone book. You can play Falcon’s airplane game which is basically shooting and more shooting, Gunrock’s slots and lastly, Ayame’s ninja star throws. All of them exciting and addicting, which allows more replay value.

Controls – 10
Actually, there are not really many buttons for you to press so it’s pretty easy, really. Let’s count: One jump button, one kick button, one grab button and one punch button. One L Button for executing the Jump and Punch move, one R button for executing the Jump and Kick move and a totally full 360 degrees analog stick. So actually, there are not really many combos and moves to remember so it’s just a matter of winning in this game.

Replay Value – 9
With lots of mini-games to play, this game should get you up and running for days, or weeks. Three exciting mini-games for you to download and play should last you for a long time and getting them are even difficult as you need to do something special (no spoilers!) in order to get them. Honestly, the Arcade Mode is a real tough one and what’s really going to be tough is Capcom does not include a Training Mode which makes life difficult. The versus mode will already be one game that should let you fight against your friends for hours without giving up. Just remember, Power Stone is one of the games that has tons of replay value.

Overall – 9
Power Stone is one cool, addicting game but honestly, I feel that it’s still not complete because it has only very few and limited modes for you to play. With the unique fighting style and the cool idea of collecting three Power Stones, you can’t simply dished this game away. One word to say, simply addicting.

Heroes
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+ A simply addicting game!
+ Flawless, stunning, brighter and cooler graphics!
+ Mini-games to get you entertained!

Pillows
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- Very limited modes, especially that there are no Training Mode. Bugger.
- Tough enemies as they have very high artificial intelligence.
- An addicting game that will make you lose sleep!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/27/00, Updated 10/27/00


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