Mace: The Dark Age
Reviewed by Ari Packer
Mace: The Dark Age is the kind of game Nintendo 64 fighting
fans have been waiting for since the beginning. It isn't the best
fighting game ever, but its certainly the best to grace N64
as of now. Sure, you could save your money and get a better game
in half a year, but why? Mace, although not excellent, offers
some solid gameplay and crisp graphics. Its a good game to tide you
over until the real fury begins...
The graphics in Mace are superb, almost good enough to gape at.
The backgrounds are, in a sense, interactive. They contribute to the
fight. There are polls and huts which one can back another up to,
and even pools of water to fight in. Each background has its own
uniqueness. Instead of ring outs, the area outside the ring, or fighting
area, takes off energy slowly. In one stage, if you are knocked into
the water, beautiful electric currents run through your body. The
backgrounds also have nice animation. From a grinder with spikes and
moving clouds to a burning torch, you will be impressed by the detail.
In fact, there is so much detail, that when one wins, you can see
his/her face (or mask) rather clearly.
The sound in Mace is nothing to drool over, but it's not bad either.
The music is never so bad that you'll have to mute the TV. Sometimes
the music will just fade into the background, but other times the music
is very intense and stays in your head. Man, I can still hear it. The sound
of weapons swinging through the air is good, but not to great. Overall, the
sound is below average, but when compared to other games on the N64, it shines.
Although others complain about the control in Mace, I think it's fine.
It's like playing Dark Rift, but faster paced. When you first start
off, you'll find yourself pressing B-B-B-B, but once you get the hang
of it, you'll wonder why you ever doubted it. While moves are fairly
easy to pull off, combos are a problem. It takes much practice to do one of
these right (lucky there's a cool practice mode- you fight a dummy with
a smiley head, a wooden body, and a "KICK ME" sign on his back).
Some powerful characters are big and slow, making them harder to
control, but others, such as Koyasha, are quick and weak. If you aren't
good at fighting games and have no strategy, the light and quick ones
are best for button-meshing.
The gameplay in Mace is one of it's best qualities. At first, it seems
a little dull, but once you play two- and one-player for a while, it
begins to be more fun to you. With two faster characters, you seem
to be always up close slashing each other until one breaks it up with
a fireball or clean kick. The slower characters have the power, but
until your practice with them for a while, they are almost useless.
The gameplay is good, and better than any other N64 fighter's, but
it still lacks. Mace's gameplay isn't as good as the PSX Tekken game
or the Saturn Virtual Fighter games, but as for the 64, it's the best
of a sorry group of fighters.
In comparison to War Gods, Mace seems too good to be true. It beats
War Gods out in every aspect. The same goes for Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
You aren't often forced to chaos pressing any button repeatedly like
in KI Gold, but I have to give KI Gold credit for having better
It's the best part of KI Gold, too bad gameplay and fun are more
important in a game, and this is where Mace comes in. Dark Rift was
a good game with good graphics and cool characters. Mace is a
great game with awesome graphics and cooler characters. As you can
tell, Mace: The Dark Age is the best fighting game for Nintendo 64 thus
far, and looks to hold that position for some time. If you like
fighting games, Mace is a good buy, but if you'd rather not spend your
money on this genre, at least rent it, you may change your mind.