You want a good fighting game, but you also want something with adventure elements, but that's not all. You also want to play little mini-games with your friends. And there just isn't anything that fits all of your needs, until now. Ehrgeiz, which means "ambition" in German, is on the scene with all of the previously mentioned features and more. Squaresoft can finally be forgiven for not releasing Tobal 2 American, now that they have released a superb fighting game with an adventure mode attached. Not only that, but it is also a fighting game with many of your favorite Final Fantasy VII characters.
First let's talk about the fighting engine. The game in the arcades translates really well to the Playstation. It is fast and there are an abundance of moves including combos and a fighting engine that uses magic as well as brute strength. Each character (11 to start with at least 4 secret ones) has a special meter that feeds their super special attacks. Once they have charged up they can attack with swords, ninja stars, and magic depending on the character. The game plays on a 3-D platform like Power Stone or Bushido Blade, but it is much harder to control than either of them. The game has a big learning curve since all eight buttons on the controller are used and it is difficult to remain facing your opponent. There were times when I tried to back up, in order to do a move, but instead I attacked in the opposite direction. It was very frustrating especially since the opponent is right on.
If the game were no more than just this fighting engine then it would be great. Being that it is much more it is more than great. The adventure mode is designed very simply, but has all of the beautiful graphics that are featured in the fighting game. Basically you have a character that runs in and out of dungeon rooms, killing monsters, and picking up money and weapons. You can use magic in the story mode as well as building up your character with weapons. There is a story line that accompanies the adventure, but it is not as important as monster butt. There is nothing that separates this adventure from any other kind of action RPG, except for the fact the fact that an entire fighting game comes with it.
As if all of this excitement was not enough, there are 4 mini-games to throw some diversity into gameplay. The games are mostly racing games with a few fighting and strategic elements to them. The games are quick and not all that exciting against the computer, but with friends it can easily be the kind of thing that players will come back to again and again.
Ehrgeiz stands out as a good fighting game with a good engine, but its main selling point is that it is so much more than that. Picking up where Tekken 3's "Force Mode" and "Ball Mode" left off, Ehrgeiz's diverse non-fighting elements make it multi- genre goodness.
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