Fighting Force 64
Fast, furious, fist-flying fun is headed for the N64 with Fighting Force, a game which already ranks as a proven PlayStation beat-em-up. N64 players will now be able to enjoy the same pugilistic pleasures in one-player or two-player-cooperative combat that pits you against endless waves of thugs and goons on 25 ultra-detailed 3D stages. You choose from four fighters, each with specific moves and combos, and pick up dozens of weapons throughout the game to help you fight your way to the end.
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If you were (or still are) a fan of Streets of Rage or Final Fight from the olden days of gaming, then Fighting Force 64 from Core and Eidos is right up your butt-kicking alley. Some of you might remember a PlayStation version which came out not too long ago. Well, the N64 is pretty much a twin except on cart instead of CD.
The main difference between this N64 version and its PlayStation cousin are graphics. Using the N64's built-in effects, the Fighting Force team is giving nearly everything in the game. Also, explosions and other such effects will be anti-aliased.
On top of the graphics, the gameplay is being tweaked. Fighting Force 64 uses the Al from the Japanese PlayStation release due to its later release. Since the Fighting Force team had more time to work on the gameplay in the Japanese version, they are basically happier with it. There are less savepoints in the N64 version as well. What all of this contributes to is a far more challenging game. The PlayStation version suffered from being far too easy.
For those of you not familiar with Fighting Force, the game is basically a one- or two-player beat-'em-up like Final Fight except in 3D. Marc Silvestri of Top Cow Productions (co-producer of the comics The Darkness and Witchblade, among others) was approached to design the game's characters and give them personalities. With his years in the comic book industry, working for Marvel comics, starting Image comics and now working with Top Cow, Silvestri has the experience to design some kick-ass characters.
Fighting Force 64's story line sounds a lot like a comic book: A madman with a lot of money and power by the name of Dr. Zeng predicts the end of the world, while his followers wait for his prediction to come true. It doesn't, so Dr. Z decides to make it happen himself with a little help from some biochemicals. A couple of for-hire do-gooders hear about it, employ two of their friends and the world-saving adventure starts.
Each of the game's four main characters (two bulky males and two voluptuous females) has his/her own unique punches, kicks, slides and rolls along with special moves. You can also pick up objects and weapons to use against Dr. Z's goons. Enemies are standard stock but are generally pretty smart, often blocking and moving out of the way when you attack. The game's 22 levels take you to city streets, subways, up into buildings, onto aircraft and eventually to Dr. Z's secret hideout where the final confrontation takes place.
Fighting Force puts up its dukes again, this time on the Nintendo 64. However, if you've played this old-school beat-em-up on the PlayStation (think Streets of Rage in 3D), you won't be impressed.
Although the game looks better on the N64, it still has some very PlayStation-esque problems like poor camera angles and cheap-hit enemies. The action is simple button-mashing fare that gets completely dull after a few levels. In addition to your fists, you'll find a few other weapons, such as bottles, bazookas, handguns, and pipes. The won't make much of a difference, though, as each can be used only for a limited time, and the waves of enemies the game throws at you are relentless.
As for features, FF's sound puts up a brave front with clear grunts and groans, but not much else, while the graphics offer solid but bland 3D landscapes and bad guys.The nasty camera angles hurt this game the most as they swing around the screen from side to side, pinning your character against the wall in some cases. Even though you can play as two tough guys or two pugilistic chicks, FFs still not nearly as fun as Streets of Rage was on the Genesis.
Although it tries to talk the talk, you won't feel like putting up much of a fight with Fighting Force--unless you enjoy mindless, repetitive brawlers. Save your money for tastier fare, like Zelda.
- When the going gets tough, use your sweep move to clear out a rat-pack of enemies-but make sure you have the health to spare (this tactic uses energy from your health bar).
- Beware when using Smasher He's tough, but very slow and hard to handle. Use him in the two-player slugfest, but not in the regular game.
- Don't pick up Items when enemies are near, or you'll get whupped on In the process.
- Everything is destructible. Destroy hot dog stands, soda machines, fire extinguishers, or anything else that stands in your way to score bonuses and power-ups.
Get ready for a street brawler with hard-hitting fists, flying kicks, and objects of destruction-- the 64-bit conversion of the fighting fave from Eidos. You'll have four characters at your disposal, along with plenty of combo smashers, as you battle ruthless thugs who are out to rule the world. Interactive objects such as cars and walls can be mashed to a pulp, while weapons ranging from crowbars to broken bottles can be manhandled to suit your combat needs. The action in this preview disc was plentiful, though the disc had no soundtrack and minimal sound effects. This game will definitely appeal to your inner pugilist, but will it be a Force to be reckoned with at its release?