Soul Fighter


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2.5

soulfighterdc1.jpg (13151 bytes)Classic games are the types that create genres or set a new standard in an age old one. Take the classic River Raid, a game that arguably created the overhead shooter as we know it today. Or Final Fight, a game that raised the bar for side scrolling fighters. That's the genre Soul Fighter is trying to conquer, and it's unfortunate little effort has been put into the gameplay. It's no wonder the genre has died out.

A wildly programmed camera pans uncontrollably throughout the game. You can thankfully reset the camera directly behind your character if it's a problem (it usually is), but this default camera isn't all that great either. Of course, this leads to all sort of control problems too.

The included analog control is impossibly bad. The D-pad makes you stroll at a ridiculously slow pace, while the analog stick makes you run uncontrollably. Let go of the stick and your character slides roughly five feet, leaving him perfectly open to anyone in the area. Throw in the issue with the camera which switches the directional controls around, and you've got a flaw that literally destroys the game before it even gets off the ground.

Each level has a set number of enemies that must be beat down before the stage is completed. Backtracking is a necessity in every level making it more of a chore than a game. This was done to extend the play time of the game (which would be horribly short without this nuance), but there are certainly better ways to give gamers their moneys worth.

soulfighterdc2.jpg (12639 bytes)If there's anything right with this waste of a GD-ROM, it's the look. Flashy colors and tons of detail are apparent all through the game, unfortunately attached to the low polygon count models. The cinemas are done with the in-game graphics engine, but for some bewildering reason, these are still presented in video form. The soundtrack is non-existent until there's an enemy encounter when it will start over, ever single time. The baffling addition of an announcer (who spurts off some valuable info like "Oh No" every time you're hit) is completely unnecessary, not to mention annoying. How he actually fits into the game is unknown.

It's fun to beat up on loads of people, just not in this game. When something like this is released, you simply have to question the designers. Do they have to try and make a game this bad? During development, don't they realize at some point what a pile they're creating?  How about the play-testers? Hey, it's great to see long dead genres brought back from their graves, but not in this form. Honestly, the Surgeon General should put warnings on games like this. "Warning: This game is for completists only. Playing can cause birth defects.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:33 PM