Sunday, 18 September 2011

Kishin Douji Zenki FX - Vajura Fight (PC-FX)

So, this is a beat em up based on a cartoon I've never seen. You get two characters to choose from, a warrior-looking boy and a priestess-looking girl, and they both actually play really differently, the boy being a traditional beat em up character, and the girl being able to slowly shoot balls of energy at the enemies. This review will mostly be about playing as the boy, though, as playing as the girl isn't much fun, and is probably best saved for when you're playing two player and you force your friend to be her.
The game doesn't go the usual beat em up way of having a psuedo 3D plane in which you can move up, down, left and right, but rather more of a platformer-style arrangement with just left, right and jumping. It gets off to a strange start with the first ten minutes of play being mostly taken up by a series of boss fights and cutscenes, but once you get past these, it's a lot of fun to play. You know how beat em ups work, you walk along, and beat up enemies until you get to a boss, then you beat them up too. This game also adds a block button into the mix, which you'll have to get used to quickly if you want to get past even the first array of bosses. One cool touch the game has is that a short time into the boss fights, a bracelet power up appears, that turns you into a fully grown adult, giving you more powerful attacks and making you the same size as (most of) the bosses. The small difference between doing this and just having you automatically transform at the start of the fight doesn't sound like much, but it does add a minor element of drama to the fights.
The most obvious thing to talk about regarding this game, though, is the graphics. They are excellent. The sprites are big and colourful, all the characters, right down to the regular enemies look cool (though, since this is a licenced game, that's really more down to the source material. Treasure's Bleach fighting games on DS suffer the opposite, the licence having lumbered them with a cast of boring looking people mostly dressed in the same outfits), and along with that, the animation is excellent. I don't know how powerful the PC-FX is, but looking at this game, I'd guess that it's at least on par with the Saturn. It makes me wonder how differently things would have gone if it became popular, and if Capcom and SNK had decided to make it the home of the 90s fighting game, rather than the Saturn.
In summary, this is an excellent game, and makes me look forward to futher exploring the PC-FX library, having previously written it off as a console full of boring adventure games for simpering milksops who watch cartoons about little girls eating cake. Play it!

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