Review by Vyse_skies

"Fast, Furious and Full of Fantastic Four-way Fighting. Power Stone 2 is King."

Introduction
I was first given PS2 by a friend's friend. He thought it was some kind of demo disc, and with me being a kid at the time he was probably being a little patronizing "Here, you test out this demo and tell me what it's like" He says in a condescending tone that I only realise in hindsight. I was just a kid, but he was a fool. Heh, I took this home and as excited kids do I placed it in my DC to it a whirl. To my joy, it was not a demo, but in fact the full game. Now it turned out that I had a rare promo disc and now I was laughing. Needless to say I never did tell him that it wasn't a demo. And that little baby still sits happily within my DC collection to this very day.

Story
It's a four way fight fest and we all know fighters aren't about stories no matter how wafer thin they are. It was something about people collecting power stones to stop the end of the world. I don't really know, and to be honest I didn't really care.

Gameplay
ABSOLUTLEY FANTASTICO. Eh, sorry about that I had to let that out. Playing Power Stone 2 is the same as watching your national team win the world cup. Yes, PS2 is that good. There are four modes of play. 1 on 1 - your typical 1 on 1, but with a lot more freedom. Arcade- play against up to 4 computer players and battle it out crazy style. Original Mode- Practically another name for VS mode. Pick your level and characters and battle it out. You will spend most of your time in this mode. If you have loads of friends, then you're going to play this game for months on end. The last mode is Adventure. Adv plays similar to Arcade but with one significant addition, you can collect new weapons, mixing materials (for shop use only, I'll get to that) and lots of money. The higher you raise the difficulty the better the money and prize (but believe me the highest difficulty is god like hard)

The shop mode is very interesting too. Here you can buy weapons, books, play roulette for secret weapons only obtainable here. But the best thing about the shop is MIXING. So what is Mixing? Mixing is a special area of PS2 that allows you to mix two weapons, cards, food etc, together in hope of making better weapons, food etc. This can be very addictive and when you start to create new, crazy and cool weapons such as Gigantic Hammers, Scooters, Wedding Cakes, Mini Dragons, Fireworks and Fire Crackers you just won't stop. PS2 has a massive selection for you to create and once created they can pop up at any time during any of the other superb modes of play. If they pop up in Adv mode, then you have extra mixing ingredients to make even better weapons. This mode steals tons of hours and you never really feel bored because you're always looking forward to the next new creation.

Now on to the arenas. Unlike other fighters, PS2 gives you freedom and control in one of many fantastically designed arenas. EG:- In the Tomb area you start of a first floor. It has booby traps, mummy sarcophagus, large boulders, pit holes. You battle here with the massive arsenal at your control, from Flamethrowers, Bazookas, Typhoons, Guns, Electric Rods, Baby Panthers etc... Soon the floor breaks and you land in another arena where you are constantly on the run. Why? Because you're being chased by a GIGANTIC boulder hellbent on crushing you. Slow down and you lose a ton of health. Along the way you'll find trap holes and obstacles that try to stop your progression, not forgetting the other fighters who want to kill you as wall. Finally, at the end of this nightmare chase is yet the third and final arena for this level. A deeper tomb, compete with a massive stone dragon head that breathes fire, a booby trap slot machine and yet again tones of action. Now that is just one level all on its own and I probably haven't done it any real justice, but believe me the fast-paced gameplay is to die for. Every level is also interactive. You can jump off walls, swing around trees and poles, cling to ceilings, climb statues, pull leavers, operate catapults, operate turrets and pick up practically anything loose in the arena.

Now we come to the power stones. Power Stones are large gems of unquestionable power. Their powers are pure and raw and if you collect 3 of these beauties you can change into your super form. Now your super form is pretty awesome though it only lasts for a certain amount of time (unless you change the settings) When in this mode your characters moves are more powered, they take less damage and with a simple tap of the R or L buttons you fighter will pull off this spectacular move and practically punish anyone within the moves damage radius. The moves are fantastic to watch, sometimes a little crazy as I kinda got lost within the action sometimes as had to look frantically to find my character on screen. The action moves so fast and with so much detail, next to no slow down and is constant right up until the end of the fight. It's an adrenaline pumping ride and relentless. Truly awesome in every way.

Visuals
Surprisingly the visuals are some of the best on the Dreamcast. Character models are full of detail, exceptionally distinct (Gormand), some bizarre (Jack), others interesting (Pete). Battles look fantastic even when things get super hectic and crazy everything still looks fantastic, especially the super moves. Environments are just the right size, are very well designed and give you a feeling that keeps you on your toes at all time. Every area of the game is distinct and have something new, inventive and original. Level designs also have interesting themes which the creators bring to life with ease. EG:- A Japanese like level, complete with dojo. An air ship. A sub-marine that leads to the arctic. A tomb. A desert. Each level never looses frame rate and because things move so fast you never get bored of any level too soon. Everything here is well-done and for this type of game I think that the creators deserve a pat on the back.

Audio
Loud, full of life and energy. The audio is just as crazy as the action and even allowed the action to feel more frantic that it actually might be. I think that the music was intentionally made this way in order to show the gamer that you cannot rest during battles and that you'll have to continuously keep fighting. Sound effects are pretty nice too. Characters have Japanese voice overs, weapons sounds while they aren't authentic they still sound great and add to an already cramped game. (cramped in a good way). If you need a boost listen to PS2s pumping soundtrack.

Controls
Very simple. You have a punch button, a kick button, a throw button, and two special move buttons. That's all. Nothing here ever gets complicated. The controls of your character are very responsive and extremely fluid and allow you to do anything yo wish. To pick up a weapon just press the punch button near one, to use it press the button once again. The controls are perfect and they work exceptionally well just like the rest of the game. Super easy as pie.

Replay Value
Tons and Tons. You have Mixing, Adventure, collecting every weapon, food, card, item etc. You have secrets every time you beat arcade mode such as new levels and characters. But the true replay come from the original mode. On your own is great fun but with friends man the magic never ends. Get this game and it won't disappoint.

Conclusion
PS2 is a superb creation. I rarely enjoy a game and I have to say that this was one of the only title I actually did enjoy. While it could have had at least a few more levels, PS2 give you a large amount of content despite being a fighter. It's full of action, energy and never holds up. PS2 is the Hyper-active child with ADD of the gaming world. It's a truly wonderful masterpiece that everyone should play.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/30/09

Game Release: Power Stone 2 (EU, 08/24/00)


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