Review by CChan

"Interactive stages which looks like an action / adventure game and tons of things to keep you coming back for more!"

Power Stone 2 is a major improvement than Power Stone, as it has loads of modes to keep you entertained, four different new characters, new type of created stages and more than a hundred items for you to buy and collect for Mel’s shop. Thanks to Capcom, we have a new great game to play with a different sort of internal battle system, loads of things to get you entertained and up to four players can play the game meaning four times the fun.

Graphics – 9
The models of the characters are almost identical as before as Capcom still maintains its eight original characters plus four new ones that we haven’t known yet before. They themselves are re-created perfectly into a true 3D model with four different alternate colours add to them, depending on what number of player you are. The background itself was a great addition to the game as it is almost real; example, the sky was pure blue with a few white clouds flying by occasionally and a brown temple with lots of traps going on in the game.

The light source itself was tremendously cool, especially when you activates a character’s Power Fusion and attack them with flames or fireballs or such. The overall graphics are totally nice, with different shades of colors for all sorts of things there and a few new touches that enhanced the graphics even more. And of course, the animations was totally smooth without a single slow-down in the frame-rates, which makes this game great without a glitch in it. Nevertheless, you can see that Capcom has make a good deal in this area.

Music – 10
There aren’t any noticeable change in the background music, just cool and steady as before but there are times when you reached a monstrous area with eerie music effects and the ghastly last boss… gosh. The music varies from stages to stages, as well from time to time when you may have proceeded far enough in stage, with their own talented musical themes in it that made this game a whole lot better.

While the sound effects are almost same, you can say that as there are more items in the game, more sound effects are made. Explosions, kicks, punches, attacks, Power Fusions, Power Drives and all of sorts of wonderful items that get you going. The voices themselves are nice and suit every single character in the game though all of them would be in Japanese, even in the English version. There are some voices which had been cut, like Mel in her shop where she is supposed to be talking in the Japanese version but completely mute in the English version itself.

Gameplay – 10
This is what I call fun! The game itself stands out superior towards its predecessor as there are many more things which you could do and play, which means that you spent your money on the right thing and believe me, there are too many things to do that you will simply need a day off from school or work! Lots of modes + four characters at once + many items = Power Stone 2, all of those massive features into one disc.

To make it better, you can play up to four players together which means four times the fun against your agitated friends. Plug in four controllers together and race against each other to gain your title as a winner so that you could brag about it. Not to mention that the stages are more interactive than before as you can plainly go anywhere you like in the stage without being restricted to one place. You can say that this is like an action / adventure game.

The stages does not just stay at one point. It moves. Example like the shrine stage, after you had fought a while with your friends, there will be mini-meteors flying down, causing fire which rampages the whole stage and you’ll need to jump from platform to platform to reach to the top (it’s not really that difficult, if you’re stuck at the bottom which the screen will casually moves, you’re automatically transported to the top with all of your Power Stones forfeited). You don’t just stop there. You’ll have to run into a small entrance where it leads you to another stage, which means that would be the last stop you’ll have to go. Not too bad.

The new four characters themselves are pretty cool, though one or two looks really quite silly, especially Gourmand. There is Gourmand, a really fat chef which attacks with his knifes and bowls of cooking stuffs, Julia, a western girl who always carries an umbrella with her, tiny-tyke robotic Pete, with all of his attacking toys that will hurt your enemies dramatically and Accel, a sort of cowboy which attacks using his guns and is simply mad of them. All of these unique characters are nice to use and easy to play with, but their attacks can be awkward to you so it’s better if you try out the original characters first.

To make it fun, there are seven Power Stones in default, scattered across the stage. Seven, all together. Sounds lunatic, isn’t it? By collecting only three Power Stones, your character will transform into a silly kind of look just like before and for now, there are only one Power Drive and different type of Power Fusions of certain character. At this form, you are given a short time to attack with powerful attacks and you can use a minimum of two Power Fusions at one time in this game. Cool.

Not to mention that there are new modes added. The one which is completely highlighted in the beginning is 1-on-1 Battle which means you can choose either to fight against your friend or computer, a simple choice which maintains the old Power Stone feature of one against one battle if you still like the idea of it. There are no special things gain when playing this mode, it’s just for the sake of fun and you can make it act like Training mode (because there simply aren’t one) to get used to the new environment.

The Arcade Mode was possibly the one which you will spend all your time on as it has great stuffs to keep you coming and the more characters you have completed the game with, the more options you will unlock in the Extra Options mode and possibly lead to opening new secret stages and characters. If you’ve got a friend staying overnight with you, or your brother, or sister, or any other sibling and members of the family, get them to play with you. That’s right. If you just played by yourself, you’ll fight against only an enemy. If you teamed up with your friend (which requires you an extra controller), you’ll have to match against two different characters that will chill you out so it’s a two-on-two fight. You can hurt your friend at this point, and your character will always blast against the nearest enemy he sees, be it your friend or enemy. And of course, if your friend is killed, you are given 9 seconds to revive him back with a short life but it’s worth it (you can even do it to your computer opponents!).

What keeps the Power Stone to the series tradition is the Original mode, which is basically a Versus battle which can allow you to put in your friends in it or make yourself fight against the computer. While playing this mode, you must finish off all of your enemies, whether you’re fighting against two players or three players. You can’t team up with any friends in this mode so that means no co-operation. If you fight against computers, you will see that computer opponents will always shoot at the nearest character so be wary about that. As this mode is completely different than the Arcade mode, you can even choose which stages you can go or just make it random.

The Adventure Mode is just a one-on-one battle against your enemy but you’ll gain money this time (g) by hitting your opponent so it dropped off some bucks and whatever items that you handled in the stage will allow you to keep it in the Item Book. There are several cards which are scattered in all stages and if you succeeded in getting them, you are great as they’re almost impossible to get at certain times. Actually, the one that really adds most of the replay value would be Adventure Mode and the Item Shop (both of them helped one another) as you must get over one hundred items if you want to (which I presume you certainly want).

If you have collected quite a number of money, head to the Item Shop menu where Mel, the shopkeeper would be there. You can mix items (which means combine, by the way) and watch clues from her, whether she thinks it would work or not. You can buy or sell items here, or even talk to her where you can give her presents to make her give you something in return, talk to her or ask for help. If you ever lose in the mixing combination, you can earn a coupon. Collecting three coupons together will allow you to play the Roulette game, where you will play a game which is sort of Wheel of Fortune that requires you to turn the wheel and see whether you earn a prize or not. Pride, Falcon’s father will occasionally be there, asking for items and giving you items back in return.

If you have succeeded getting a decoration item, whether by mixing or getting it in the Adventure mode, you can use it at your character! He or she will look incredibly funny with it and it’s up to you whether you want him or her to where it. You can also mark up to 5 items as a Handy Item and download the Mini-Book into your memory card. If your friend has Power Stone 2 and downloaded the Mini-Book, hook up both memory cards together and you can now fight! It’s cool and nifty, especially if you are going on a long journey (like in a bus or something) so you can easily use this feature and play it.

Controls – 10
The controls, fortunately, still maintained all of its own action and buttons so there are no real need to change them. Jump, Throw, Punch, Kick, Power Fusion 1, Power Fusion 2 and that’s about it. You can also choose whether to use the analog stick or D-pad and if you are not comfortable with the current buttons, you can change it at the Options menu.

Story – 9
This is the story taken straight out from the introduction itself. “Without warning, a dark cloud fills the sky, and then a huge shadow blankets the entire world, with a roar that shakes the entire planet. Suddenly, a mysterious floating castle appears out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, the Power Stone heroes are caught, and are transported to the floating castle. What will happen to our heroes..? Welcome to the Power Stone world!” Simple introduction, but nice storyline.

Replay Value – 10
Power Stone 2 really provides endless entertainment, where you will not be bored from every single thing that are available here. What with the interactive stages, cool new four characters, and you can hook up to four player at once? Plus, there are still many things to do in the Adventure mode and the Item Shop which you can create lots of items and do many things more.

Overall – 10
Power Stone 2 is a truly perfect game, really, five times better than Power Stone itself. Nevertheless, the modes will get you addicted for a long time, which you can never get bored with it, even with more new games coming up. The mere thought of having a mini-game that can be downloaded is intriguing, even better if you have a friend to fight against with. It’s fully recommended that you buy this game, or you’ll regret bitterly for the rest of your life.

Stone
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+ Cool modeling characters and colourful graphics that are nice to the eyes.
+ Simply super gameplay to get you addicted for a long time.
+ Interactive stages with many things to get through which is cool.

Bone
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- Five stages to go through only, although there are quite a lot of them.
- Perhaps too challenging bosses?
- Simply too addictive.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/00, Updated 11/21/00


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