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Fighters Destiny

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Reviewed by Innovation, a driving force in the video game industry. Almost all great series start with innovation, a brand new idea or just a thought about how to do something differently. Innovation could very well be the key to a successful system. Yet, N64 has had almost none of it. Most of what we get are ports of old arcade games and 64-bit updates to old 16-bit classics. This is where Fighters Destiny comes in, its not only a solid overall game in every aspect, its creative, taking a tired genre and adding a new twist to it.

Gameplay 10

I'll start the review with gameplay, because in my mind, this is the single most important part about a game. Gameplay is just why the game shines, its a fighter based on a unique point system for 1 round of action. Not the usual smash your opponent for 3 straight rounds game. In Fighters Destiny, the first fighter to get 7 points wins the fight, this can be done in a variety of ways. Each different action or special you pull off could end up winning some precious points. Ringouts- Because they only give you one point, it isn't a major objective of the players to knock the opponent out of the ring. Its also a gamble to keep trying to push the other fighter close toward the outside of the ring, if they are hanging off edge and you are standing close to them, they could reach up and pull you off giving them two points for the throwdown! Judges Score- If neither fighter scores a point in 30 seconds of play, the judge will stop the bout and tally up each contestant's score. The score being, an overall average on how the fighter did. The more attacks and combos you hit, the higher the score. The judge awards the fighter with the higher score one point and the fight then continues like a new round, with the adjusted scores. Throwdowns- Considered to be a skill, throwdowns are worth two points in the world of Fighters Destiny. Throwdowns can only be performed upclose, of course you can't just walk up to your enemy and do the move, you have to hit them by surprise. When you hook up in the grapple to throw, a full bar will appear at the bottom of the screen. If the opponent can resist the move before the bar becomes empty (by pressing A + B) the move will be stopped and maybe even reversed. If you are caught by surprise and the bar runs out you'll be throw down, only to see the victor dancing around you with his two points. The length of the bar depends on how strong you are and the element of surprise. Knockdowns- These can be achieved in a couple of different ways. First off, when your opponent is stunned after he has lost all his energy, (That's right, he doesn't just fall over like in regular fighters) any kind of stronger move will knock him/her down. Secondly, if you connect with one of your powerful but slower, knockdown attacks you'll be able to rack in the three pointers. Counters- Counters are worth 3 points and can only be achieved by using dedicated countering moves. Even if you connect a counter move your opposition must be in the process of doing a move for you to counter. If you can pull them off you get a cool blue explosion that fills most of the screen. Specials- The last way to get any points in Fighters Destiny is be doing one of awesome special moves. Each character has a few different ones and they are easily pulled off when your opponent is stunned. If you can get it, they will give you four points and a great animation scene. You can already see that Fighters Destiny is deeper than your normal everyday fighter, but it gets even deeper my friend. Not only is there the common Vs. modes against your buddy or the CPU, but you get other great modes like Master Challenge, Survival, Time Trials, and Rodeo against Ushi, the physco cow. Each mode is different and adds a lot to the replay value of the game. I find myself switching from mode to mode and I just can't put the game down. Here's a quick rundown on what these special modes hold in store for you. First, Master Challenge, in this mode you must press your luck by choosing either one of the eight Masters or four Jokers by random. Each time you pick and beat a Master, you gain a new skill, it could be anything from a common move extension to a new special. These moves can be saved on a controller pak for use later. If you are lucky enough to pick a Joker you will have to enter an all-out brawl with him. The Joker is very skilled and uses many combos and locks to beat you. If you are strong enough to beat the mighty Joker you will able to continue on your quest for new skills by picking from the wheel again. If you lose, all the skills that you gained so far...abandon you. Tough luck because the Joker is hard! The other major mode is called Record Attack. This has three basic divisions: Time Trial, Survival, and Rodeo. The object of the Time Trial is to beat four straight characters as fast as you can. Survival asks you to try to beat 100 fighters straight, this is tough because its the first fighter to one point, not seven. So, get caught in a quick throw, or fall off the edge and your game is over. The last mode in the Rodeo, this one is just a blast, you fight Ushi, a dancing prancing cow that is brutal. He will attack you head-on every time, the object here is to just stay along as long as you can. This is much easier said than done. Top-notch gameplay here, folks.

Graphics- 8.5

If gameplay is the most important thing a game, graphics might very well be the second most important. Fighters Destiny doesn't disappoint here. While at first glance the graphics might not seem to be super, they grow on you. Each fighter is a bit blocky and the player's joints looks rather choppy. The only other bad thing you could say about the graphics are the backgrounds, they are flat, and 2D, but they are spiced up a bit by having some little things moving around back there. The things that make the graphics good in my mind are the great animations that the game has. The fighting moves along at constant framerates and looks beautiful with the animation. Also, their is a good use of the camera, the multiple angles are sweet. Overall, the graphics are tight, solid and only add to the overall game.

Control 9.0

The controls in Fighters Destiny are quite simple, another change from the growing norm in fighters. A and B, and the D-Pad are used for all your punches, kicks, jumps, and combos. L is used to evade high and low attacks. This is really a cool feature, of course when you using the L button, you can be thrown much easier so its a trade off. The R button is used for blocking regular attacks and pretty effective against any middle attacks. The controls are very responsive and only lag after one or two of the longer animations, even then it is only instantious and you can't usually tell. So the controls are tight, responsive and easy to master.

Sound 7.5

Most of what I've read on the net warned me about Fighters Destiny having some bad sound and even worse music. I don't think that all, first off, there is much more talking in the game than I thought there would be. Each fighter has 2 different sound bytes when they are picked, their are many, many bytes that the announcer uses; and the music, while average overall, has some very catchy parts. Also, another part I liked about the sounds were the environment background sounds they used. On the default setting they are hard to hear but if you turn them up you get some cool background noises that run along the lines of the backgrounds. As a matter a fact, you should probably turn the volume way up when you play this one because the defaults are low in every part of the audio. Just a suggestion, you might not even like the music but I found nothing wrong with it, much better than the Fighters Destiny Rush music I was used to.

The Characters- 9.0

Fighters Destiny starts you off with 9 different characters to choose from. While this might be as much as say a PSX, or SS fighter, Fighters Destiny's characters are widely varied in almost every way. First off, there are six different categories of fighters. Quick, Powerful, All-arounders, Skillful, Aerial, and Tricky fighters. Each fighter has totally different moves based on what type of fighter they are and more can be gained from beating the game, or doing the Masters Challenge. Another interesting thing featured in Fighters Destiny is that every fighter has a different amount of energy, for example Tomahawk, the powerful fighter for the US has 20-25% more energy than the quick schoolgirl, Meiling. Of course, it all balances out because Meiling has some of the most damaging combos in the game. Choose your fighter carefully and you soon will be going head to head with the Master himself.

Overall- 9.0

Overall, Fighters Destiny delivers innovation into the fighting game industry through unmatched gameplay. Fighters Destiny also has top-notch visuals, sound, characters, controls. Its a total package that blows away any other fighter on the N64 by a long shot. If you like or love fighters, you'll definitely enjoy this title. If your not too fond on fighters you still should enjoy this one. I'd recommend buying this one, but if you still are unsure just give this one a rent and you'll be impressed.

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