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Power Stone
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  Capcom
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  1-2
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
This new Capcom 3-D fighter is a big step for this company in the way of fighting games. There is no Ryu or Ken. There are no moves using the fireball motion on the controller. For a company that makes the same game over and over again sucking their licenses for all they are worth, it is refreshing to see a game with all new characters and an entirely new concept.

Power Stone goes beyond the old style of "face each other and pull off combos" way of fighting. It takes place in a variety of truly 3-D environments where the charcters can move anywhere including on top of roofs and along staircases. In these environents there are tons of interactive objects which the characters can pick up and throw around. There are also many weapons that appear all over from a lead pipe to a grenade launcher. Most everything in the environment can be picked up, climbed on, or used to injure the opponent.

As in the title you get power by getting the stones. (I know, pretty obvious, right?) There are three gems you and your opponent fight to get because once you have them, whoa look out. Your character becomes transformed into a super powerful character that has really beautiful special moves. This feature makes it easy for rookie fighting game players since it does not take any kind of skill to get the gems or to do the special moves. Just run and pick them up and then press a button to pull off the specials. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that this game is easy or that there is nothing to learn. There are tons of different ways to do moves like jumping off walls, hanging from the ceiling, and swinging around poles just to name a

Let's talk about speed. Imagine the speed and fluid animation of the best Capcom 3-D fighter. Now combine that fluid cartoon type motion with the true 3-D feel of Bushido Blade. That in essence is what you have with Power Stone. Even with all the freedom that you have with the level design, the speed and beautiful animation that made Capcom famous remains intact.

This is one of the few fighitng games that I have played where each character has their own technique and strategy of attack. There is the classic strong and slow vs. weak and fast. Some are better close-up and some have to rely on their projectiles. However, the stratgy goes beyond just the characers. The environments are so different and there is so much to do in them that fighters have many different options at their disposal from chairs to weapons to arial attacks to straight up combat. Although each environment is different enough to add variety, the game mostly revolves around running around trying to get the gems. All in all I would say that Power Stone is one of the first fighting games where there is more actual gameplay than just fighting. Trying to get the gems while preventing your opponent from having them makes this more than just another fighter, it is a fun ga me.

Chris Shade

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