Way of the Warrior


Review by Matt Paprocki

Universal Interactive


Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 3

Why is it that with every fighting game we are introduced to the "world's strongest fighters?" Are we going to run out of these people eventually? How many could there be? "Way of the Warrior" has to contain the most rag-tag bunch of combatants ever put onto a gaming screen along with a fighting engine that follows the same description.

There's very little to like about this one, developed by the same guys who later give us the overly family-friendly "Crash Bandicoot." Getting it out of the way now, yes, the game looks great. The polygonal backgrounds mesh well with some of the largest digitized sprites ever seen in a video game. It zooms constantly to make room for the brawls and it never slows down. Animation is practically non-existent as a trade-off for all of this detail.

None of that matters when the gameplay is this big of a mess, fueled by flaws you didn't even know fighting games could have. Combo strings are non-existent and depending on what kind of controller you're using, special moves may not play that big of a role either (Capcom's 6-button works great; standard 3DO pad not so much). Block buttons are never a good idea either. Everything feels very loose and incomplete. It's far too easy to get inside and just start wailing away with light kicks to win the match on anything but the highest difficulty. There's also one multi-tiered stage that adds to the gameplay a little. Why that idea wasn't explored further only adds to the mystery.

To even try and get into this one, you'll (obviously) need to pick a character and stick with them. That's not easy. You've got a guy named "The Ninja," one so cheesy his belt his pink. Shaky Jake is a drunken hick with a kendo stick. Maybe that's scary in real life, but that doesn't translate to great design in a video game. The obligatory Bruce Lee rip-off comes in the form of The Dragon, a horribly un-Chinese fighter with the worst haircut in the history of haircuts. How can anyone relate to that?

Provided by Rob Zombie, the soundtrack works wonders. It fits the tone and style of the game perfectly, regardless of whether or not it's your style of music. By default, it sits in the background and it's not very loud meaning the hilariously cheesy voice-overs come through cleanly. Taunt just once for maximum comedic effect.

This is one of those games that like a bad movie, you continue to play for hours on end and just laugh. It's a hideous product, one that never should have seen daylight in any form. It might not be so bad if it was an arcade game where a quarter is all it took to realize just how insipid it is, but here is cost people a whopping $50, and that's far more criminal than selling an eight-year-old "Grand Theft Auto 3."


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Last updated: Sunday, March 20, 2005 08:45 AM