Pocket Fighter


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


For all of the complaints, it's games like Pocket Fighter shows Capcom is willing to do something off the wall. Immensely entertaining with a great sense of humor, this Puzzle Fighter spin-off isn't a classic of the series, though it's worth tracking down. Its quirky gem system is enough to create tension, and split the game from just standard fighting.

pocketfighter1.jpg (26746 bytes)A first for a Capcom fighter, only three buttons are used for attacking. Punch, kick, and special moves are all that's required to know for basic brawling. This simplifies the game enough to introduce children into the fray, yet still makes it a refreshing change for adults still hooked on the series. Fireballs, dragon punches, and the rest of wide array are all still included. This is still Street Fighter, at least with various other characters, including Darkstalkers.

pocketfighter2.jpg (27288 bytes)Changing everything is the gem system. As the skirmishes roll on, these colored blocks pop out of fighters like blood from Mortal Kombat. Collecting them fills three meters at the bottom of the screen, which refer to special moves. The more gems, the more powerful the moves. It's a quick, innovative way of leveling up your character in the midst of a match. It also stops players from standing around, turning a rumble into a frenzied race for colored blocks.

That's not to say the combat isn't strong. It is, just watered down to its basic core. The special button is a charged, overly powerful move that renders the character in some goofy way to attack. The super deformed sprites are hilarious, and Puzzle Fighter veterans will see some familiar sights. These completely original moves are rarely used due to their timing requirements, but with the common Capcom collision, if you pull it off, you will be rewarded without worrying about being cheated by the programming.

This is hardly a game for purists, and considering that's the audience for 2-D fighters these days, this is one that went largely overlooked. There are numerous references to other fighters from the Capcom universe (and the soundtrack is perfect for the fights, remixed from other specific titles), and that's a great way to pull someone in with an open mind. You don't need to spend hours with a strategy or move guide, but that doesn't prevent this from becoming pure, simple bliss.


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 04:54 PM