Title Critical Blow
Developer/Publisher Banpresto
Type 3D Fighting
English Version Not Available
Reviews #1

Review #1 by Roderick Bell

Fighting games...for some people it is the only reason to have a system; for others it is that game that you play between FFVII and the next game that catches their eye. No matter what... they are always friggin' fun. Do you remember TEKKEN 2 when it first came out!?! I bet most of you who did do not even remember the time you put in on that game! Hell it was like playing an RPG for months!!!! There were a lot of others like SFA1 & 2, Fighters Impact, and the most graphically breath-taking fighter...SOUL BLADE (of which by the way I have just seen pictures of 2...people will die when they this game...in an import PLAYSTATION mag), or even the TEKKEN 3 screenshots that are all over the net now, are simply awe-inspiring. But then came TOBAL 2, the real total package!! This game is still the champ in terms of gameplay, graphics, mechanics and just plain fun (Come on! TOBAL 3, it has just got to be with weapons and upgraded fire balls); and even now the top dog of the minute BEASTORIZER, brings a whole new set of fun to the table. With all these, how can a little game from Banpresto hold up to these big boys? The answer is quite nicely!

First off, let me explain that this review is based on a strong first and second impression! The only reason it is not final is that this is one fighting game that does need a manual translation to fully appreciate this fighter (HINT HINT kanji readers); l will explain a little later, but let's go over some important points first!

1-Graphics: the graphics are reminisent of SFex, only better looking; they are not as awesome as BLOODY ROAR or TOBAL 2, but very good indeed. The backgrounds are superior to SFex in every way, one even takes place on top of a moving train.

2-Sound: good sounds an nice non-fruity music...a little mix of everything.

3-Control: very responsive

4-Extras: at least 13 characters including bosses, multiple modes (tournament, vs., theater (aka story mode ala psychic force anime style), and trade mode?!

Now this game utilizes the punch-kick button style of play with a couple other buttons thrown in...the first is an AC button which when used in conjuction with P is a grab and K is a get behind button; the second is a C button which I assume is the critical blow method, though I have not figured how to work it out yet. Now here is where it gets interesting...the trade mode.

In this trade mode, you pick a character, then stats in various categories are given; from there you choose to fight another character and if you win, you will receive a card (I imagine some of these cards are based on the tarot ala health and defense fire and water). That card could be anything from the aforementioned defense card (by the way, there is no block button, but the pull back technique is employed) to another character card; now the edit option opens up and you can place that card on one of your characters open slots!

The signifigance of this is that a character card is based on one of their powers and you can equip it and select how to use it, in conjuction with the ac button!!! For example I win a match with kei and receive and choose from a blank deck 1 card; a rickey card (fire ball technique), I equip him and get to choose how to employ the move; instead of the original fireball motion I can choose, say dragon punch motion, or maybe hurricane kick motion!!! Now while you are fighting to get a card and you win, the program will ask if you wish to 'double up; if you select yes you can fight that character again with your same life bar, ala survival mode, and if you win, you get twice as many cards, which you can continue to double up! But if you lose, you lose what you bet! All can be saved to card also!

All in all, this is a deep and rich fighting game which deserves to be in your fighting game archives....and you may be surprised that your playing this game more than you expected; This game is the very definition of replayability!