Review by Mister Sinister
One of the strongest fighting titles available for the 3D0 and a DAMNED good laugh !! =)
When I was a boy, one of my best friends came into the ownership of a 3D0. I was SO envious (in a "nice" way, of course). He got a load of games for it including this title, and I - total fighting-games NUTBALL that I am - just HAD to play it ...
The length of time it has taken me to review this title should not be taken as a reflection of the impact it had on me ;) Read on !!
OVERVIEW AND OBJECTIVE OF THE GAME
Way of the Warrior is a 1-on-1 fighting title, so its plot can all but be forgotten (sorry, but it's true). It's a big tournament and you have to pick your fighter from those on offer, each of whom has a different reason for attending, and use that fighter to slice, dice, eviscerate and butcher your enemies until you win, at which point you become the champion ... can you SAY Mortal Kombat ?? *flutters eyelids*
GRAPHICS - 7/10
Digitised actors have been put into place to try and give the game a slightly more realistic feel, and on the whole they work reasonably well. Some of the characters' moves are quite bizarre - Konotori's stance and entire move list fall into that bracket, bless him ... but generally speaking the characters are well handled, move reasonably well, and have moves that are kinda fun to do and watch.
The backgrounds are nicely done, and the cutscenes are very reasonable.
The death moves (knocking your opponent into bubbling lava mid-match HAS to rank as the single BEST finishing move in any beat-em 'up EVER by the way) are very cool actually - considering how PLOP some of the later MK titles fatalities became, some of them are quite ... innovative ... each character has multiple fatalities, and some of them are REALLY really good !! Shaky Jake I particularly like ;)
Another nice feature is that the game zooms in and out as the characters draw closer and then further apart, to give a better impression of space and depth to each arena.
On the whole the game feels, GRAPHICALLY-speaking, quite playable, with considerable attention to detail in the fatalities.
SOUND - 8/10
The soundtrack to this game ROCKS - basically White Zombie contributed the majority of their "La Sexorcisto" album to populate the game with music, and it's REALLY good to fight to ... the voice-acting is rather amusing in parts - AGAIN I have to bring up Konotori - SPECIFICALLY his 'Swan Dive' move where he squeals "Sawahn Die" and then dives head-first at you ... what a TIT !!
So the sounds (basically) vary from EXCELLENT music to LAUGHABLE voice-acting in places ... but they actually go together really well and make the game audibly VERY memorable.
CONTROLS - 4/10
I have to say the control method on this game SUCKS big time ... ok ok so they say a poor workman blames his tools, and I have always been a believer in that mentality, but fair's fair, the characters do not respond as crisply as they should do. Sometimes you're reduced to frantic button-mashing to get your characters to respond as you would like, and that's just not fun really.
Granted the 3D0 controller ISN'T the most user-friendly ... about the best feature is the LUDICROUSLY long cable that you get with it *blush*, but even with that drawback, more thought should have been given to the controls.
PLOT - 5/10
Standard - pretty much the same as most other beat-em 'ups ... I wonder why I really bother putting this section into fighting game reviews I do ... does it EVER really apply ????? =./
GAMEPLAY - 8/10
In spite of controls that suck more ass than ... well ... a HUGE ass-sucking machine ? The combination of memorable graphics and sounds make this game fun to play. It's not going to win any awards, or break any records - CERTAINLY not by today's demanding standards, but if you look at the titles that were around when this game was released it was NOT a laughable purchase - it had a place in my collection (after I bought the 3D0 from my mate), and many of my friends came to my place specifically to play on this game - the 3D0 didn't boast as high a set of sales figures as it perhaps should have, so it's kinda a collector's item these days in my opinion.
Picking characters like Major Gaines (nice name, by the way), Konotori or Shaky Jake and pummelling your opponents with your BIFF moves and then finishing them using one of the MANY many ways at your disposal is really REALLY satisfying, and cannot be overstated.
In addition there are PLENTY of hidden characters to find - the game rivals Eternal Champions on the Mega CD / Sega CD in terms of its hidden characters, which boosts longevity.
REPLAY VALUE - 6/10
The 3D0 was a short-lived console unfortunately. In spite of the die-hard fans out there, and the fact (because it is a fact) that the game boasted some unique and VERY very good titles indeed (Street Fighter II Turbo being one of them - CLASSIC title), the console was a flash in the pan moreso than it should have been. With better support it might have remained longer.
AS such, the replay value of any title for the 3D0 is unfortunately slightly limited (as you have to unpack it from the box, clear some space, phone your mates, bla bla bla).
THIS titles replayability lies in the uniqueness of the characters, the PLETHORA of fatalities that are available to you (including the single COOLEST fatality EVER), and the EXCELLENT soundtrack contributed by White Zombie.
VALUE FOR MONEY - 8/10
Since the 3D0 has been out of production for quite a while now, you might find you have to pay a little to get a copy, but if you're a fighting games fan (like myself), I don't think you'll be disappointed. I certainly wasn't. I keep going back to this game just to hear Konotori's laughable voice - that guy is FUUUUUUUUNNY.
OVERALL - 7/10 (This is NOT an average)
Whilst it doesn't hold up to the likes of Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat in terms of the overall enjoyment you'll get from them, Way of the Warrior is one of the best fighting titles available on the 3D0, and can hold its own against MOST other contenders. The variety of fatalities and the uniqueness of the characters boast good variety, and that's NEVER a bad thing =)
MAIN GOOD POINTS
* LOADS of ways to kill your opponents
* Some really bizarre and funny characters to choose from
* EXCELLENT soundtrack by the legendary White Zombie
* THE SINGLE COOLEST FATALITY IN ANY FIGHTING GAME EVER
MAIN BAD POINTS
* Dodgy controls mar the overall experience
* Some of the sound effects are ... a bit piff to say the least.
SO SHOULD YOU GET IT ?
Yeah ! If you've got a 3D0 then you get FULL marks to begin with, and I expect a WRITTEN explanation as to why you've not bought this title already !! If you're NOT the owner of a 3D0 then I'd say that this title on its own doesn't warrant the purchase of the hardware - it was pricey when it was released (considerably moreso than most of the competition), and I doubt you'd be able to pick one up on the cheap these days ;)
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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