Star Gladiator


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


Drug screaming into 3-D, Capcom' s first polygonal fighter doesn't break much ground. It's a decent weapons based brawler, which has sadly become victim to time. Those combos that used to feel smooth and natural now feel forced and rough. It's been bested by a better sequel, yet Capcom fans that always need another fix will find this diversion interesting (at the least).

stargladiator1.gif (52914 bytes)Its wide array of characters is memorable simply because of the outlandish designs. Hawks, dinosaurs, people, and other various freaks are selectable, and the balance issues are evident early. Certain characters have overwhelming strength and quickness, not the combination you want to be fighting against. Combo moves quickly add up when unleashed properly, and in the hands of an expert, will end the match.

Star Gladiator suffers from an identity crisis too, unsure if it's 2-D or 3-D. The ring out feature seems tacked on, simply because other games like it have used it. You can however turn it off. Jumping is floaty, again mimicking the early 3D fighters, though it's useful here and can be used as an adequate attack once the timing is down. Dodging from side to side is implemented too, though it never seems to be the addition you're led to believe.

On the ground, the usual array of attacks is present. There's nothing included here that you won't expect to see elsewhere. Strung together hits simply don't feel natural, though their impact is brutal. There's enough here for newbies to quickly latch onto to, and enough depth for veterans. That doesn't matter much if the game doesn't feel right, and it doesn't.

The acceptable frame rates keeps a steady pace, but it's not up to the speed of other fighters from the company. It's sluggish, and there are times when you'll be stuck facing the wrong direction, and the controls fail to respond to correct this. It's aggravating, and the visual package isn't enough (even with the fully polygonal backdrops) to overlook these obvious gameplay issues.

This is a niche 2-D fighter trying to pass off as something else. It has an audience, and it's understandable why. Those are the patient types, willing to disregard the flaws while digging into the fighting system deeper than most people would ever try. It's an admittedly fun, light weapons fighter, just not one that's going to appeal to everbody.


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