Written by  :  WizardX (117)
Written on  :  Jul 15, 2003
Platform  :  Dreamcast

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Button-mashing raised to the level of art

The Good

The game is absolutely insane. It's one you just have to see in action to appreciate. Especially on the turbo modes, the amount of stuff happening onscreen is simply boggling, what with characters leaping up and down the playfield, letting loose screen-sized super blasts, tagging in and out with other members, etc etc. Frenetic to the extreme. The huge cast of characters also helps, with very few dupes, and the method of unlocking new characters is excellent. (no achieving nearly-impossible goals; you simply get "points" whenever you play the game which can be used to purchase new characters and levels) All of them are excellently animated, and display loads of personality true to their sources. (all of the graphics are great, outside of the final boss being oddly pixelated) The controls are also spot-on, although it did leave me wishing that the DC controller had more buttons. Even in full turbo mode, I never felt like it was misinterpreting my commands.

The Bad

The chaotic nature of the game virtually destroys any sense of strategy. While it IS possible to become a Zen Master at the game, in the end, ESPECIALLY in two-player mode, it becomes a button-mashing contest. This doesn't really doesn't hurt the game at all, as far as I'm concerned, and just adds to the overall insanity, but people who prefer more thoughtful fighting games (like the Street Fighter series) will likely disagree. Ultimately, this is a game to pull out for grins and for the experience, not to become a black belt with. The sound is also extremely weak. The music is horribly bland, and more vocal samples are desperately needed. (you'll be ready to throttle the announcer by the 20th time you hear, "I can't believe it! You're amazing!")

The Bottom Line

Fighting Game crack. To this day, unbeaten in terms of sheer visual insanity and chaotic energy.