Thursday, October 01, 2009

Power Stone 2 on Dreamcast

Sooner or later, I'll have to come up with better post titles.  Anyway, I'm continuing my series of Sega Dreamcast posts in honor of its 10th Anniversary this September.......and I'm really wishing I had one again.  Sigh.  That can be fixed easily, so we'll see what happens with the next available payday.

Power Stone was Capcom's launch title for Dreamcast, and it was one of the standout titles.  It probably would have got more attention if Soul Calibur hadn't stolen all the thunder, but it's a different kind of fighting game, more of a mayhem brawler akin to Nintendo's Smash Brothers.  Capcom followed quickly with Power Stone 2 in 2000, which was heads and shoulders above the original.  Now a 4-player free-for-all, Dreamcast had one of its very best party games.

Power Stone 2 features 13 fighters, a very ecclectic and goofy mix.  There's really not much difference between any of them, which is fine since most of the action involves throwing things at one another.  Each fighter can transform into a superhero state for a short period of time - by collecting three power stones - which can be really super cool to watch.

As you can see from the video, the game environments are a character in themselves.  Many stages include multiple segments and scenes, such as a house that catches on fire, forcing everyone to scale to the roof.  Another stage is inspired by the Indiana Jones movies, with giant rolling boulders and ancient Aztec traps.  The airship stage might be my favorite.  You begin on a giant airship, loaded with several giant cannons.  Over the course of the fight, the plane crumbles and falls apart; it ends with everyone plummeting through the sky to the ground, where another battle arena awaits.

There's one game feature that I really loved in Power Stone 2.  It's a alchemical furnace where you can create new items and weapons, by mixing together items that you collect during matches.  Naturally, there's no expectation what to expect, so there's a spirit of experimenting and goofing around to find some real surprises.

Power Stone 1 and 2 are different enough to make it worth your while to collect both titles.  That was my story back in 2000, and I think it's still valid today.  Dreamcast is a fab games console because of multiplayer arcade classics such as this.  This is a tougher game to find today, so good luck searching around the used bins and Ebay.  It's worth the hunt, trust me.

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