Drawing early comparisons to the classics Golden Axe and Final Fight, Toka's Soul Fighter is one of the more anticipated post-launch Dreamcast titles. A game that can be described as a medieval Streets of Rage (in 3D, of course), Soul Fighter takes you into the world of Gomar, where a mysterious mist is turning the locals into half-men/half-beasts. Like any self-respecting half-man/half-beast would be, they are vicious monsters bent on destroying anything and everything. Enter the three heroes, Orion, Sayomi, and Altus, who must destroy the monsters and recover their human souls in order to set things straight.
Gomar is divided into six different worlds, with each world having 10 sublevels. In order to progress through the levels, all enemies must be defeated and their souls collected. The medieval locales include courtyards outside of a castle, the inside of a cathedral, and deep in the recesses of a dungeon. The three characters each has his/her own different weapon and fighting style, and are able to perform power-combos and super-combos if they have collected enough magic. More than 40 different monsters exist, programmed with some intelligent Al--they'll attack in groups, call reinforcements, and block many of your combo attacks.
At this point, Soul Fighter is shaping up to be a quality title. The "arcadey" graphics are relatively smooth, except for a few problem spots with massive slowdown. However, there is one major hurdle. For whatever reason, has decided to make Soul Fighter a single player-only title. While it still has the prospect of being a quality one-player game, the lack of any kind of multiplayer mode could have a serious negative impact on the replay value. Who wouldn't love some cooperative beat-'em-up action? Since the game is far along in the development process, things are unlikely to change--perhaps we'll see it in a sequel.
While not quite the "soul" of the Dreamcast (another game holds that title), Soul Fighter looks like it could be a worthy addition to the Dreamcast library. Now how about a DC Streets of Rage?
Download Soul Fighter
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Let's jump right into it: The intro is terribly lame. The cutscenes are just as bad (wait until you see the shark pirate boss scene). The game doesn't support things the way it should (no jump Pack, and arcade stick controls suck). The stupid computer-controlled units have trouble tracking you around corners and can have some ridiculously cheap combo attacks (and when they knock you down, it takes forever to get back up, allowing all the baddies to regroup at their leisure). Even though the designers did a nice job mixing in short levels with the long, the long stages can drive you absolutely insane. A couple of them are psychotic in length, with no check or save points (If you die...guess what? Start all over). Clear out attacks (you know the kind, you spin around, lose a little health and knock everyone on their asses) work like crap with their practically zero range of effect. The environments, although beautiful, have clipping problems (you know it's bad if enemies can hit you through walls). Most of the time, it's impossible to win without exploiting the retarded Al (by taking advantage of enemies' near-sightedness and drawing them out of a crowd from a distance, one at a time). There's no two-player mode, even though it's a party of three traveling around everywhere. And the camera! Ugh! It's nauseating!
The idea of Soul Fighter is great. A Golden Axe-type game with good-sized levels and plenty to beat up. It's hindered by a few glaring problems. First, no multiplayer. Second, the camera is too tight on your character and likes to swing around when you turn--often with dizzying results. If you can't immediately see a radius of 10 feet around you how do you know where to attack? Graphics are pretty but there's not enough substance here.
Does this game ever stop sucking? Er, no. Soul Fighter is an appalling excuse for a 'next-gen' fighter. Obviously borrowing heavily from the Golden Axe school of mindless running and hitting stuff, It's prevented from being fun by a boring premise and a camera system that appears to be on crack. You constantly fight with the stupid thing while trying to remain interested in the godawful repetitive game-play. Do not buy this game. You'll regret it.
I'm sure we saw plenty of games like Soul Fighter when the PlayStation first came out--you know the kind, lots of "wow!" and very little of anything else. The controls in this game almost cost me a new Dreamcast pad, and let us not speak of long-leveled adventure games with no save points...I just about lost it playing Fighting Force 2 this month. Don't be enticed by Soul Fighter's delectable visuals, it's a real piece of crap in disguise.