G.A.S.P!! Fighters' NEXTream
GASP? More like a wet tuberculosis-ridden WHEEZE! More than six months after the Japanese version struggled onto our shores, the official PAL release is here, and the time lag has done it no favours at all.
GASP! Fighters' Nextreme, to give it its full, ridiculous, title, is a beat-'em-up that is very much in the style of Sega's Virtua Fighter and Fighting Vipers games. The main - well, just about the only - interesting new feature is a character creation screen. Once created, the fighters can then be trained by pitting them against the eight built-in combatants and learning their moves.
This sounds like fun, and the character creation part certainly is (we tried in vain to create a Roy lookalike, but couldn't get anything odd enough), but actually training a custom character up afterwards is a drag, since they always start off with only two feeble moves to their name. Getting them to a point where they've got a decent set of attacks can take a while.
Combat, unfortunately, is where GASP! is knocked down - rather a problem for a game that revolves around fighting! Even with the enormous borders, which are as chunky as Fergie's thighs, all around the screen (not just at the top and bottom) GASP chugs along like a tractor holding up holidaymakers. Fighting moves aren't so much animated as sculpted, the fighters popping from one position to another with nothing in between.
Pitted against Fighters Destiny or Mortal Kombat 4, GASP is left bleeding on the pavement. It's very much a second-division fighter, a poor copy of Sega's titles, and these days you could probably pick a Saturn and Fighters Megamix for the same price as this!
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This N64 game is still very early. In fact, the name of this Konami 3-D fighter isn't even set in stone! The game puts players in a variety of three-dimensional environments ranging from the back streets of an inner-city to the aisles of what seems to be a church. The arenas have items scattered about them, but instead of just being stagnant background objects, players can use them to bash the opponent's head in. Another nice feature is customizable characters which you can save onto a memory pak and then challenge friends with your very own fighter.
A stinky old fighter, sneaked out without anyone noticing. Or so Konami thought. We sprang out on it and punched it in the face.
Bog-standard Virtua Fighter knock-off with the twist of a character creation section. Sadly, it doesn't make things any less jerky.