Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Tekken and Virtua Fighter merge on the Jaguar."
There have not been many fighting games on the Jaguar, and you’ll find that Fight For Life outweighs the others by leaps and bounds from the opening screen. Featuring some pretty impressive brawlers and exceptional visuals for a Jaguar game, it almost seems as though Tekken and Virtua Fighter had some say in the way this game runs. Giving you control of eight characters and the ability to create your own characters for custom battles, Fight For Life is a game that you have to play to believe. If you’re into the fighting games and you have a Jaguar, this should be one of your first stops before Ultra Vortek and Kasumi Ninja!
In a dimension parallel to living human existence is the specter zone-store-house of unrest, undead; journey interruptus on the road to Heaven or Hell. Overseeing this realm is a morphing abomination called the Gatekeeper, ever watchful for opportunities of amusement. To the lucky and skillful this is also a land of hope, for the Gatekeeper has the power of redemption, the power to grant a second chance at life. In order for you to become the champion of this gift, you must defeat eight other opponents in a fight to the finish where there are no friends, only enemies.
-The Game Play-
Following along the lines of Virtua Fighter and Tekken, the game that you have here is based on a combination system that requires perfect timing and plenty of special moves. For the most part, you’ll be confined to one character and his/her move set, which your opponent occasionally mirrors. The trick to the game is to either beat your opponent out of their life bar or push them up against the edge of the ring to kill them hence cementing your advance to the next round. As with most fighting games, this is a best two out of three scenario and you’ll have to fight hard in order to advance.
The next part of the game comes with the ability to create your own character and use it in battles with either your friends or in the game. Though the basic design of your character is that of one of the characters in the game, you can use any of the moves available in the game in order to build a character. In order to use the character though, you have to input a password that is given to you throughout the different battles that you undertake. This can lead to versus gaming with a friend that is rather impressive to play once you’ve gotten a good lead on how to create your own custom character.
The control that you find here is a little on the touchy side simply because the game requires you to use a lot of input commands for special moves. Unlike other fighting games, you don’t block anything, but rather you avoid it with a simple button press. This requires you to learn the timing of both your character and that of your enemy. Learning the combinations is something that might take a little work in which you have to learn the timing, but the chaining portion of the game is nothing that someone with enough Tekken or Virtua Fighter experience can pick up on.
Visually, you have a fighting game that works entirely on polygons with detail on most of the characters having some impressive results. However, you have to watch what you’re doing and at times, you’ll find that the game just doesn’t have the right amount of model movement and seems to be a little stiff at times. The backgrounds that you fight on also seem to be lacking any real definition and even any sort of character. This is a trait of the earlier Virtua Fighter and Tekken games, though those aspects have been fixed in later games. You might find that the lack of imagination in some of the combinations is also a little hard to work with and that some of the character fighting isn’t motioned correctly.
Possibly the best part of the presentation, the audio that you find here is extensive and full of metal tones that will keep the pace of the fights to the maximum. You won’t find too much that will keep you remembering, but the way that the music is set up, you’ll still find that the game has a theme. However, the musical tracks are shortened, which means that if you’re in the middle of a long fight, it will switch over into another track abruptly. The sound effects are your standard grunts and groans, but you’ll find that the voice compliments that accompany the moves and the successful hits are well worth listening to.
Fight For Life is a great fighting game even though it has a tendency to be a little slow. For the Jaguar owner, there really isn’t much of a selection on fighting games and if you have a Jag, it is well worth picking this game up just to see what it has to offer. With plenty of different aspects from other famous fighting games placed here, the true champ of the game play options is the fact that you can create your own character according to what you want. If you have a Jaguar and you like the fighting games, then you’ll do well to find this title and put it in your collection ahead of Ultra Vortek, and you won’t be sorry that you did.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/30/02, Updated 09/30/02
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