Review by XGlite015

"The best party game on the DC ever!!!"

Playing party games is one of the best way to kill time and have fun with friends, it is the game for the sociable and those who just wants to dominate. Dreamcast owners are blessed to have so many party games and most of them are very good. One party games stands out from the crowd and is definitely the best party game on the Dreamcast ever. It is better than Saturn Bomberman Fight! the party game I consider the best on the Sega Saturn, it's more fun than Marvel vs Capcom, it's none other than Power Stone 2.

Power Stone 2 is a 4-player party game from Capcom, the game is obviously the sequel to Power Stone, the game I describe as a Jackie Chan-style fighting game which is also a very good game. Power Stone 2 is a huge improvement over its predecessor, it has more and better interactive levels/fighting stages, more characters, more items, new modes and enhanced gameplay mechanics, and its most important feature, the four-player mode. Power Stone 2 is one of the greatest Dreamcast games ever made, it's almost perfect in any category, let's have a run down shall we:

GRAPHICS - The game looks very good, pleasing to the eyes and fits the game's theme perfectly. It's not cel-shaded like Jet Grind Radio nor realistic-looking like Shenmue, it has simple colorful cartoon-like graphics that does the job well. The game's environments and characters are 3D fully rendered polygonal graphics and they look great. There are also transparency effects as evident on the waterfalls and when characters are near objects or walls they turn transparent so nothing blocks your view. The lighting effects/sourcing are very good, candles and flames lit their surroundings and the Power Fusion when activated looks so damn cool. All these with busy environments and 4-players on-screen at once are executed with little to no slowdown, a testament of the Dreamcast's graphics potential. If the game's graphics is cel-shaded, even better but the game still looks very good. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best score, I'd give it a 9.

MUSIC AND SOUND - The game's sound effects are very fitting. if you watch cartoons like Looney Toons or Spongebob Squarepants and see a cartoon character whack someone with hammer and you hear that wham! or bam! sound, it's the same thing you'll hear in the game with some sound albeit different. Kaboom sounds from cannons or ratatat sounds from machine guns are again same thing you hear on cartoons, some even sound like the real thing. And you have got to hear the anouncer, I like his voice, some maybe annoted by him but I like it very much. Character voices are average, they don't sound annoying but rather entertaining and when they turn into a super-powered freak by activating their power fusion, it sounds cool. The Music fits the game very well, it's not boring like the jazz music in Marvel vs Capcom 2, the music puts you in the mood. It's hard to describe the music but I'll just say that it's orchestrated music from movies, the pharaoh walker and final stage/level music sounds like the music in Jaws when the shark is about to attack, now imagine it remixed and more lite. That's the best I can do in describing the music, you just gotta hear it for yourself, it's very good, puts you in the mood as you play and fits the games level environments. Music and sound I give a 10 out of 10.

CONTROLS - As simple as standing up, as easy as walking, and as natural as breathing. The game is so easy to control, you move you're character with the analog stick or the directional pad, but anyone will prefer the analog stick. Then you have the jump button to jump duh!, Action button to pick up objects/items or other characters, Attack button to throw object or execute combo moves, a Discard button to discard items you are holding that you don't want, and the Power Fusion button to turn into a super-powered freak once you collected some power stones. Power Stone 2's controls are as simple as it gets, you won't have any worries and you'll master the game's controls in minutes.

GAMEPLAY - It's an improvement over its predecessor, three, no four times better than the first game. You have new features like being able to revive your partner when is KO by picking him up, you can now ride attack vehicles like a mini tank or turrets to your advantage. The levels changes, one of my favorite stage is the floating platform, in this stage you fight in a huge floating arena with turrets and eagles you can interact with for your advantage. And then minutes later it collapses and you fight in mid-air as you fall towards earth, and then finally to the ground where you can finally conclude your match. This is definitely one of the coolest features of the game, most of the stages are like this giving you advantages or disadvantages. Another cool feature is Mel's Shop, the game mode where you can mix items you collected in the game to create new ones, it's fun to experiment with the items kinda like chemistry class, you can create cool items or crappy items. You can also play some mini-games in this mode as well as downloading the power stone mini book to your VMU. And of course the four-player mode, it won't be a party without four player duking it out. While there are new features, the gameplay is still the original game, you still collect power stones to activate your power fusion so you can have advantage, you still throw items, dodge or catch them or use hand to hand combos to beat your opponents. Still it's so fun to play that I'd rate gameplay a 10 out of 10.

REPLAY VALUE - The game has many extras, more characters, items and fighting stages can be unlocked. Of course the game is so fun, it's addictive, you'll want to replay the game over and over again just to beat the crap out of your friends or enemies for that matter. Seeing them run around panicking as you wreck havoc with your power fusion activated, or blasting them with a mini tank or attack turrets is priceless. And there are so much items you can use in the game that'll keep you playing just to try them all from bubble guns to umbrellas to molotovs, these weapons are so fun to use. It's so much fun to play this game and of course you will spend so much time playing a co-op story mode or experiment with items at Mel's shop. Replay Value deserves a 10 out of 10.

THE VERDICT:
Power Stone 2 is one of those dreamcast games that deserves a perfect score and guess what? I'm giving it a perfect score. I have one gripe about the game and that is about having only 5 levels, they are massive but it would be better to have more, there are some more unlockable levels but they're not as impressive as the prime levels. I like the game very much, it's so much fun to play, Single player mode is fun but 4 player modes are way much more fun. Power Stone 2 is meant to be a party game, so go play it with some buddies, it's 10 times more fun than single player/story mode.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/28/03, Updated 06/28/03


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