Insane, retro , no holds barred, button mashing – with surprising depth!
Power Stone started life in the arcades, but is best known from its Dreamcast incarnation.
The PSP offering includes Powerstone 1 and Powerstone 2.
Powerstone 1 takes the form of a 1 on 1 brawler. Choose from a cast of initial characters, fight your way through the rest, take on a few bosses, unlock a new character and repeat.
When you first look at it, you will see that the idea is not new! But this is no street fighter rip off. For a start the game is in full 3D. Each arena has bits to climb up, things to throw and a myriad of powerups. Also there are no complex move combinations. You can punch, jump, kick and throw your opponent. Each character has their own benifits, such as the speend of Wang Tang or the huge power of Gunrock.
Don’t be fooled though, a lack of moves in this game is a good thing, less thinking more fighting!
What really makes this game different are the powerups. As you fight various weapons appear in the arena, from simple sticks and swords to gattling guns, bazookas and flame throwers! But that is just the start. The things to look out for are the Powerstones. Collect three of these gems and you are transformed into a super fighter. Not only does this make your attacks stronger, it also gives you 2 specials. For instance Falcon, our British fighter pilot, becomes able to fire a salvo of missiles at his foe.
At this point tactics come into play, like no other beat em up.
Powerstone 2 picks up from where Powerstone 1 left off.
First of all the arenas have become bigger and more complex. Where PS1 had single rooms with balconies, PS2 has battle ships and multi platformed factories with lifts and all sorts. You even have one where you are on a flying ship, with cannons you can turn on you enemy, that ends up with you fighting as you free fall to the earth! (get the umbrella to slow your fall ) )
There are also 2 extra game modes.
Adventure sees you taking on various foe and collecting new weapons and items to use in the rest of the game. This mode is good fun and adds some depth to the game, giving you real end of level bosses and a “choose your own path” style of gaming.
The second added mode is where the game shines. 4 player rumbles. Where 1 on 1 fights were fast, 4 player fights become just insane!
It is hard to describe, but it is just fast an fun!
Powerstone 2 tries to add some depth with the ability to collect items and merge them in the shop to make new ones, fun but not what you are there for!
There are extras to collect as well, such as mini games from the Dreamcast version, which add to the retro value of this type of game.
I was impressed with the A.I. Their use of items does seem intelligent and the fights never get to samey. It will not take long to beat, but you will want to go back and do it again!
The graphics in both games are similar, bold and colourful. Nothing ground breaking, but the fit the retro feel of the game to a T!!
The sounds are as you would expect from Capcom, bone crunching and spleen shaking all the way!
Multiplayer is also available, with up to 4 players in Ad-Hoc mode, but there is no game share and no infrastructure mode, which is a shame.
Both games play very well indeed, the action is fast, the thinking is limited and your thumbs will hurt!
It is a bit spoiled by very long loading times though and as I said, the lack of gameshare and infrastructure mode is a bit of a let down.
If you know the originals, then get this to relive great memories, if you don’t, get it anyway, just cause it is exactly what a PSP is for, short bursts of fast paced fun!