Thursday, 22 September 2011

Toryumon (Arcade)

When you're looking through a big long list of ROMs you've never heard of, how do you pick out the ones you want to play? I picked this one because it had the same name as the wrestling gym/promotion founded by Ultimo Dragon, that eventually changed it's name into Dragon Gate. But obviously, this game has nothing to do with wrestling at all. It's a kung-fu themed puzzle game.
It's pretty simple to play: yellow blocks fall into your pit in pairs, and some (or all) of the blocks' corners will have blue quarter-circles on them. Put four of those blue quarters together to make a full circle, and the four blocks disappear, the surrounding blocks get more blue quarters on them, and some junk blocks fall into your opponent's pit.
The junk blocks are actually an essential part of playing, though, as when you get rid of some regular blocks, any junk blocks touching them will gain a blue quarter on all four corners, which is (as far as I'm aware) the only way to get combos in this game. This means when half your pit is full of junk, it's very possible to make a dramatic and cool comeback! In a way, this is similar to the timed junk blocks in Super Puzzle Fighter Turbo, though in that case using them to your advantage is as much about waiting as skill (not that I'm saying that Toryumon is better than SPFT, though. Although Toryumon is pretty good, that would be crazy talk.).
The AI is pretty good at the game, too. If you let your guard down for even a few seconds, they can quickly mess up all of your plans and beat you in no time at all!
Toryumon is good. Strange that it never got a home or even handheld release, really. It just seems to have sank without a trace, never to be heard from again. What a shame.

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