Dark Rift

a game by Kronos Digital Entertainment
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64
Editor Rating: 5.1/10, based on 10 reviews
User Rating: 6.0/10 - 1 vote
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Dark Rift
Dark Rift
Dark Rift
Dark Rift

Do any Nintendo 64 owners want a 3-D fighter on their system? More than likely a unanimous "yes" comes from the thousands of N64 players who have been able to only play Mortal Trilogy and Killer Instinct Gold. Does Dark Rift have what it takes to please them?

Originally slated for the PlayStation. Dark Rift is soon to be released for the Nintendo 64. The weapon-based fighter, that plays similar to Soul Blade, has graphics and sound that are par for the N64 course-which is just fine with us.

There has been a strange event that caused an entire galaxy to explode. Its remnants (particles from the planets that once were there) orbit around the explosion. The cause of the explosion is known as the "Dark Rift"-hence the name of the game. Gamers need to gather the keys to unlock this Rift and obtain its special powers.

Dark Rift features 10 characters-two of which are secret. Each of them has his/her own weapon whether it's a spiked axe. a light saber-esque weapon or others. The Gamer's Edge takes a look at each of the characters and their respective weapons.

The characters in the game are polygonal with detailed textures giving each his/her own unique feel. One character in particular, Morphix. has an animated texture that brings him to life even more.

The lighting effects of the weapons and some of the special attacks have the same result as Star Gladiator on the PlayStation-one of serious power or at least the look of serious power.

The backgrounds vary, but all have an eerie mood. Of course. Dark Rift's characters each has his/her own arena.

The animation in the game was done by Ted Warnock and his team. Warnock has worked in traditional animation (like Ren & Stimpy) before coming to the gaming industry. This may account for the fluid, realistic movement of the characters.

Dark Rift, like Soul Blade, lends itself to two-player action. This may be attributed to the use of weapons. After all. when gamers use a giant plasma gun or a large sword to clobber a friend, things tend to be more fun.

In One-player Mode, if gamers can finish the game in either Normal or Hard Mode, they will get to play as one of two hidden characters Cone is shown to the right).

Check the Review Crew this month to see what the editors thought of the game.

Download Dark Rift

Nintendo 64

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The Nintendo 64 gets another fighting game to fill the rift for action-hungry fighting fans.

Future Fighters

Dark Rift is a fighting-fan's fighter with a fighting-fan's list of features. Choose among eight fierce-looking warriors, then face off against two formidable end bosses, or go head-to-head against a friend. The deep gameplay features multiple grab moves, 10-hit chain combos, projectiles, sidestepping block moves, and combo breakers.

Strange New Worlds

If these screens are any indication, then Dark Rift should take full advantage of the N64's impressive graphics engine. Cutting-edge motion-capture technology enables these realistic-looking fighters to move seamlessly through their environments. Ultrafast frame rates will render impressive, real-time scaling with lush 3D backgrounds. Additional special effects, such as fog and ambient lighting, should complete the overall visual impact of the game.

If Looks Could Kill

There will always be a receptive audience for a well-programmed fighting game, especially on the new N64 platform. Dark Rift already merits attention based on its look and list of features. We look forward to putting the fighters through their paces firsthand to see if the programming matches the appearance.

Forget Vic Tokai's dismal reputation with the 32-bit Criti-com fighting games. Dark Rift (which uses Criticom-style fighters) is a fast, fun, polygon-based 3D fighting game that's imaginative with its use of graphics, and may break ground for other poly-fighters like Tekken 3 on the N64.

Although the graphics shine, the silly story could use a little tweaking. When the universe formed, a key called the Core Prime Element, broke into pieces and scattered throughout the galaxy. A tyrannical being called Sonork Nezom finds a piece of the key and becomes so powerful that he sponsors tournaments to see who can bring him down.

The only beating that gamers will receive, however, will be on the thumbs. The game requires fast button-pressing and brutally exact timing to execute combos. In fact, the combos are the game's Achilles' heel--they're just too hard to perform.

Although Dark Rift may not be in the elite class of fighters, Nintendo 64 owners starving for a slaying may find themselves satiated by a weekend with Dark Rift.

ProTips:

  • A good way to get in a cheap hit is to constantly tap the kick button (lower left C) when you're on the ground. You get up with a sweep.
  • To clear the path to victory, it's imperative that you use the 3D button to avoid projectiles. It also works well against opponents who charge you.

Graphics

Razor-sharp polygons and colorful special moves really help this game. The backgrounds are also clean, imaginative, and detailed. Dark Rift's a good graphical outing that shows off what the N64 can do with polygon-based fighters, but some slowdown really mars its performance.

Sound

The sound effects are right on target, with small nuances like the clink of falling grenades to excite the ears. Weak voice effects, however, take away some of the game's personality.

Control

Although most of the standard moves and special moves are easy to execute, the combo system is too unwieldy. You're lucky if you can string three moves together.

Fun Factor

The game is more fun to play than War Gods, but slightly less exciting than MK Trilogy or Killer Instinct Gold. Fight fans will have fun taking this one apart in a weekend.

More shots of this game show that it could be something that stands out in an over-populated genre. Dark Rift has 3-D polygon fighters with gigantic weapons that let gamers really feel the hits. Various holds, throws and weapon attacks add depth and variety to the game. The graphics are similar to games like Toshinden. The main difference is character size and weaponry. Keep an eye out for this one.

  • MANUFACTURER - Vic Tokai
  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

If there's one genre that has run rampant. it's 3-D fighting games. This, however, is not stopping Vic Tokai from releasing another contender in the fight to win gamers over. Dark Rift is the latest brawler to hit home. It takes place in a future world where you take control of one of 10 different characters in an attempt to prove yourself the top fighter. The game features full motion-capture animation that is shown at a high frame rate, resulting in incredibly realistic movement. To make the game engine as realistic as possible, you can look forward to such features as side-stepping block moves, a counter attack system that targets both the upper and lower body and a variety of grab moves. For your combo freaks, there are chain combos and combo breakers to escape from a barrage of hits. Adding a new element of strategy is the variable gravity on different planets. This will make jumping and attacking trickier. At the end of the game, you will encounter two Bosses, who will hopefully be hidden playable characters. Dark Rift looks to be a unique fighter.

People say:

6.0

Dark Rift looks good-real good-and the animation is some of the best around (next to VF3 and others as realistic). With that said, let me get into some things that are far more important than looks that bug me about the game. First the Al seems to be really slow with the first few characters who often just sit there and let you hit them. At first I thought it was just the natural progression, but as I got to the fourth or fifth characters, all of a sudden the enemies become incredibly hard. I would've liked a bit more of a gradual ramp instead of giant steps. Some of the characters (like Eve compared to Morphix) seem unbalanced even with knowing their specials. Dark Rift also has a lot of good points. The weapons are great-looking and actually seem to cause major damage (i.e., Zenmuron's Samurai slash). On top of the cool-looking weapons, the graphic effects used in both characters and weapons, bring out the best in the N64 visuals. Let's face it. many of the good things about the game are merely aesthetic. When you put this up against a $70 or 80 price tag. graphics and effects don't matter so much. What it boils down to is Dark Rift being pretty fun, but it's an average 3-D fighter with incredible graphics. Even if you're starving for games, think about renting before buying.

4.5

The bad news: Sushi and I spent a lot of time picking Dark Rift apart (via two-player battles), so I found a lot of fundamental flaws in the game (slow, sometimes useless projectiles, lethargic music, super cheap one-button counter throws, lame dial-a-combos that are executed almost the same for every character, etc.). The good? The game looks nice.

5.5

Although Dork Rift isn't a terribly original 3-D fighter, it is the first N64 game to deliver Tekken-style gameplay. Unfortunately, its simple dial-a-combo system won't hold most gamers' interest for long (a shame, considering the cost of N64 games). Still, the fighters themselves look superb and are well-animated. The arenas, however, are kinda blah.

6.5

Dark Rift has a distinct Soul Blade feel to it. but the control is vastly different, i.e.. using a throw button. Yes. a THROW button...what a waste of a good control. The music is annoying, so lower your audio. After learning the tap moves, it can be fun for two players, but the computer Al is pathetic. Simple patterns can beat the toughest CPU easily.

Can the N64's first 3D beat-'em-up trash Tekken?

The current generation of 32-bit bone-crunchers have made much of their Gouraud-shaded, motion-captured, eyeball-swivelling, fully 3-D polygon fighters without, actually, bothering to exploit 3-D in their gameplay. Tekken 2 and Virtua Fighter 2 are both entirely happy to look 3-D and play 2-D. More ambitious games, such as Toshlnden or Iron 6 Blood, have generally lost more than they've gained and been judged second-rate. So far, 3-D movement seems to enhance realism at the cost of intuitive controls.

In the arcades, Virtua Fighter 3 and Tekken 3 are offering a modest step into that tricky third dimension with side-steps Into or out of the screen. Neither of these games will be converted until year's end and, even then, Sega has confirmed and Sony hinted that the host machines will have to be upgraded to cope. Step forward, with an impressive side-ways sweep, Dork Rift from Vic Tokai. Developed by Kronos In the US, it promises to not only leapfrog 32-bit systems with superior graphics, but also by implementing an intuitive 3-D control system. Side-stepping offensive/defensive moves are very much part of the control system, together with the usual projectile attacks, combo moves, throws etc. More unusually, the game will also feature variable gravity depending on the chosen arena - Moonwalking combo-attacks should be something to see! There will be eight fighters to choose from, plus two bosses, all of whom will be animated using sophisticated motion capture. The beat-'em-up field is currently as competitive in development terms as gameplay and Vic Tokai aren't known for their expertise. Then again, who can remember a Namco beat-'em-up before Tekken...?

Prospects: A great idea and the graphics look impressive - can vk Tokai pull off a Capcom-esque super move? Probably.

Blah blah blah dimensional rift. Blah blah blah fighters from all time zones brought together. Blah blah blah battle for ultimate power. A tedious scenario that is perfectly suited to this tedious game. It might have attractive and quite smooth visuals, but the gameplay is both tedious and derivative of other, far superior, games. As bland as a meal of Cream Crackers.

With only two N64 fighters on the shelves so far, and no 3D brawlers available at all, Dark Rift could feed the hungry gaming public its necessary fighting food.

Ironically enough for a beat-'em-up, Dark Rift has a remarkably familiar backstory which we won't get into here. But, with a liking for the fighting system in Tekken, Kronos have stepped into a fantastical sci-fi world with human and alien creatures who fight to the finish for the Core Element.

With eight players and two bosses, a slew of combinations, get-up combos and chain combos, players already have decent learning curve to climb. Each character also possesses projectile attacks, and most are armed with weapons. A good thing in our book. Players can also use the left and right shoulder buttons to side-step into and out of the foreground to dodge atacks and can easily throw opponents by pressing B.

Running at 60 frames per second, character movement is quick and reactive, though possibly a little jumpy. Character design is truly fantastical. Evil-looking demons like Demonica and eye-candy contestants like Morphix are matched up with six more regular fighters with styles that range from fencing, to primal animal attacks (chewing at your enemies heart for instance), to Japanese style ring fighting.

Kronos aren't renowned for their fighting games, but Dark Rift could be the title to change all that. If it's as good as the game it's based on, it'll be a sure hit.

Uninspiring special moves and similar characters. Nicely animated, potentially solid but. ultimately, really rather dull.

Enter this code at the title screen to play as the game's two secret bosses: A, B, R, L, Bottom-C and Top-C.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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