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Star Gladiators 2
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  Capcom
Features:  VMU, Puru Puru pack
Ratings:  Rating Pending
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://
After all of the video games started to get more and more into the 3D realm Capcom decided that they would create a fighting game that did not include any of their Street Fighter or Marvel characters, but was rather in 3D. It was set in space and called Star Gladiator. Since it was not very successful (you cannot even find it on Playstation anymore which is uncharacteristic for Capcom) it was pushed by the wayside in favor of the more popular 2D series. Well, with the new technology available in the Dreamcast, Capcom has decided to release its sequel proving that there is no series that Capcom will n

To tell you the truth though, I am really glad that they decided to put this out. The game is really awesome and very original in many ways. I think that I can be best described as Tekken with a Capcom 2D cartoony feel to it. Unlike Power Stone, which was an analog game wherein one would run around an entire arena, Star Gladiator stays mainly face to face like the Tekken games. The only time where there is definite 3D aspect is when the sidestep is utilized. Then you really begin to feel the depth of the playing filed.

The most remarkable thing to me was the number of character that are playable right from the get go. There are 24 different fighters and although there are many doubles (different fighters with the same moves like Ken and Ryu), the number is still impressive. For the most part the combat is weapons based with a few punches and kicks thrown in to keep it interesting. Each character has his or her own weapon and very specific ways in which he or she uses it. This gives the characters their own personalities and strategies with which to use them. What’s more is that the strategy goes way beyond the slower and stronger vs. weaker and faster variety. There are much more variables such as distance, jumping ability, strength of weapon, and of course special moves.

Much like all of the recent Capcom games, Star Gladiator 2 features a "special" meter that fills up 3 different times, once for each level of the special attack. The longer you wait, the fuller it gets, and the more powerful your special attack will be. The specials are of two types, the devastating throw variety and the special ability variety. The devastating throw is pretty self-explanatory; it is an earth-shattering blow to the opponent. The special abilities are a bit more complicated and is really what sets this game apart from other fighting games.

Each character has their own unique kind of super power that manifests itself in a special move. These can range from growing to three time their size to moving three times as fast to freezing the opponent while the character wails on his defenseless body. For some it is simply an enormous increase in firepower. During the time when the special ability is active the opponent is much more susceptible to danger making it harder for him or her to block the onslaught of attacks. However, it can be done (by some more easily than others). It is in the special ability modes that the game really comes alive. After all they call them "special moves" for a reason and Star Gladiator 2 delivers some good ones.

Another nice feature is the training mode. In it there is a chart which details all of the potential moves and combos for any available character. This is especially helpful since the game is in Japanese and the manual can only say so much anyway. Plus there are a huge amount of combinations of moves giving the game a great deal of depth. The Last option is a Team mode where you can select a team of up to five players to go at it till the last team is standing.

If you were seriously disappointed with Star Wars: Masters of the Teras Kasai and you want a good fighting game set in space with light sabers and laser beams then Star Gladiator is definitely for you. I mean you can only play so much Soul Caliber anyway, right? Time to make a change and Star Gladiator is definitely worth changing to. It combines all of the fast high-animation fighting from the Street Fighter series with the depth of moves and combos of Tekken. Then it adds swords and other weapons, a great collage of special moves, and throws it all out in a space battle. This is once series that Capcom should hold on to.

Chris Shade

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