Review by Gruel

"Just think of it as Super Smash Bros. in 3-D with a dose of wacky characterss and arenas and you'll get the picture."

The Game

This is the sequel to the original game play, which many proclaimed the first, true, 3-D fighting game where you could use your environments you're fighting in to your advantage. I played the first version of the game on demo, and absolutely loved it, but I thought I'd give the second one a rent to make sure it's worth a purchase(that, and Software Etc. simply won't let you return games if you're unsatisfied with them) so will this game be as good as the original? Let's get onto the review and find out.

Graphics

The character models are designed exactly the way they are from the first game, which are nice big, clean crisp polygon characters, all which look simply amazing and have lots of variation. For some of the character gimmicks, we got a guy who's an airplane pilot, a mummy, a Native American, and a gun-shooting cowboy. All those and way more in the wacky world of Power Stone. But what looks even better in the game is the arenas where you battle in. They look superb! The submarines for example, where you have 2 subs, and 4 Power Stone warriors fighting all at once with many explosions happening on screen with no slowdown what so ever. The amount of animation in the environments is another thing to gaze at, weather it's a boulder chasing after you, ala Indiana Jones, or an Iceberg crushing a submarine, ala Titanic(yes, right before you nail the Iceberg, the announcer says ‘Iceberg, Straight Ahead!'). Overall the graphics is one of the best done areas of the game.

Sound

You got plenty of background music samples here, all which seem to fit the fantasy type story of the game well. All of the sound effects sound the way they should, like the kicks, punches, explosions, etc. Then you got the key part to the sound category which is the announcer, who talks in a really soft voice, and gives advice in every arena you're battling in(like when fighting in the Iceberg area he says, ''Better make use of those subs'') and he does his little play calling when ever you lose stones or collect them by saying, ''Oh, no'' and ''Powerful'' and although his comments do repeat a lot, because of his wacky voice and all the intense action going on screen at once, they won't get repetitive.

Game play

The controls for this game are pretty easy to learn, you can move either with the control pad, or freee 3-D movement with the control stick(which I prefer way more), The buttons are rather easy to use, since this game only uses 3 buttons on the Dreamcast controller(or you can config them to your pleasing), which is, the X button does your basic attack and it also fires weapons that are part of an interactive environment(like the gun turrets in the Iceberg area for example), the B button does another type of attack, plus picks up and throws weapons., and finally the A button jumps. Also since Capcom is so friendly to the arcade gamer, they made this game Arcade Stick compatible. The battle engine is a lot like the old one where when you collect 3 stones during a battle you morph into your powerful alter ego for a certain amount of time indicated on the gauge at the bottom of the screen. Also there's also a more convenient life meter gauge, rather than those pesky stone gauges in the original, plus a weapon gauge to let you know how much life is left in a weapon power up you collected. All nice additions.

Probably the main difference from the original game, is that this game can be 4 players playing simultaneously instead of 2 like in the original. Another difference in the game play mechanics is that in a 4 player game, when a player dies, the first 2 that have fallen, will lay their for 10 seconds to see if they can get ‘resurrected' where another warrior simply goes by them and presses the B button, and they come back into the battle with partial life. For the roster of characters in this game, you got some old favorites back like Falcon and Gunrock, plus a host of new additions. Also the arenas do some pretty cool arena changing tricks, where you battle in what seems to be a 3-D platformer type game where you're constantly changing the environment you're battling in. The main story for this game is that the Power Stone Warriors are trapped in a castle, and you must help them to get out of it. Kind of weak, but it works.

We got plenty of game modes here, like all fighters, we got the arcade mode, where you against computer opponents and bosses, where your friends can join in too. We also got the 1-on-1 vs. mode here from the original. Plus there is the Original mode of play where 4 players can play at once, and you can set teams, the characters, and arena you play in. And finally there is Adventure mode where you battle computer opponents and bosses and collect as many items and material cards as you can, then when you're all done, you go into the item shop where by using and exchanging these items and cards you can unlock new features in the game and add new costumes to the characters. You can also play mini games in here such as Roulette to unlock other items which you need coupons to play.

Replay Value

First of all, the fact that up to four people can play this game at once is a huge bonus and will give lots of replay value as well. Plus the extra modes like Original and the Adventure mode, is extra ways to give this game more life for the solo player, and the item shop is another great feature with its load of secrets. So there's plenty of stuff overall to keep you hooked on in this game.

In Brief

+: Great battle system, Up to 4 player simultaneously, Unique Adventure mode/Item Shop feature

-: Announcer repeats to much, the character modes do look somewhat simple, all that environment changing can get hard on the eyes

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 8.8
Sound: 8.0
Game play: 8.5
Replay Value: 8.2

Overall: 8.3

Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 8

Final Analysis

I gotta say this is one great game, just think of it as Super Smash Bros. goes 3-D and there you go. Capcom has delivered another hit, but for some reason I like playing Smash Bros. more, but this is definitely another great Capcom fighter, but from which to choose from the 3 they released in the summer of 2000? I strongly say to get Marvel vs. Capcom 2 more than this, than you should consider this title 2nd, and then consider Street Fighter 3: Double Impact if you're a die hard Street Figher fan. But for the 3-D fighting fans, go pick up this title right now, you won't be disappointed.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/02/00, Updated 09/02/00


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