"What a LoOoSER!" -- Gradd
Developer: Koei Publisher: Omega Force Genre: Fighting Players: 1-2 Analog: Yes Dual Shock: Yes ESRB: T Difficulty: Easy
Gradd's heart beat rapidly as he dove behind a rock, barely dodging an oversized magic circle. Something was very wrong here.
Anjie should have been incinerated by one of my ridiculously large fireballs long ago. It's almost as if she's inhuman or something...Maybe--
His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the impact of a pink square slamming against his rock.
"Yoo hoo!" Anjie squeaked from atop a hill. "Like, what ARE you doing behind that rock? The laundry? Tee hee!"
"I'm trying to figure out how to kill you, okay?" Gradd said.
"...okay!" Anjie hummed "Blue" as she waited for Gradd to finish thinking.
Maybe I should try the Supaa Haado Bustaa Thingy attack. It's risky, but--
A triangle pounded against Gradd's rock this time. "Hey! Um, couldja, like, hurry up? I'm gonna miss Popular if we don't, like, finish this soo-oon!"
"All the more reason for me not to, you little brat."
"Ooo! That is like, soooo rude! Like, who is more the fool? Like, the fool or, like, the fool who follows him! GAWD! Talk to the hand, cuz' the face don' wanna hear it!"
Anjie continued to babble on as she thrust her arm out in front of her face and stuck her nose up. Almost immediately, Gradd saw his chance. Sensing that something important was about to happen, time began to slow down...
"BUHHH..." Gradd slowly lept into the air, charging up for his patented Supaa Haado Bustaa Thingy.
"Eeeeeeee..." Anjie squealed in slow motion.
Gradd began to chant his spell. "HIDUUU..."
Somehow, using her demon powers aquired from her relative, Yuffie, Anjie sped time up for herself and quickly recited her PSXtreme attack. "Hidu! Ess! Ho!" Meanwhile, Gradd was still stuck in slow motion as the barrage of Playstation symbols bounced towards him.
Time reverted back to normal as Gradd was juggled in midair.
"Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! OwowGAAAAAAHHHHHH!.........uh!"
Anjie squealed in delight and thanked her mother, Jenova, as she celebrated with her flying pet companion, Jem.
"Woo hoo! I'm invincible!"
And so another battle ends in the world of Destrega...
Gameplay--Hope you liked that little mini-fic there. Er, I'll start talking about the (gasp!) game right after I finish listening to Green and Blue.
I just looove that part at the very end. All right, all right, time to get down to Le Beezneez.
Destrega is a completely 3D fighting game with RPG-ish characters that run around and shoot really big fireballs at each other. While this doesn't sound too special, let me go into depth on the topics just mentioned. Just for fun.
That's right, folks. There are some games out there that claim to have 3D fighting in them, yet most of fall into the "3D-sometimes-but-most-of-the-time-2D" category (see Tekken 3, Bloody Roar, heck, even Soul Calibur...er, while I have nothing against these games, they aren't fully 3D, so they make good examples). Destrega is not one of these games. You press up, you run up. You press down, you run down. You can even run in circles and jump on top of walls, stone structures, and houses! This adds a little more strategy into the fights, since you'll be wanting to dodge a character's projectile by hiding behind a structure, or you can get a little edge by attacking from atop one, too. This brings us to another point, which would have to be
SHOOT REALLY BIG FIREBALLS~!
This is what makes this game stand out from the competition. Similar to their Street Fightin' buds, the Strega (don't ask me how they slipped "De" into the title) have a nifty magic meter under their life bar that enables them to use level 1, 2, and 3 magic. The twist here is that the meter starts out full, and constantly refills itself at a pretty quick speed, letting you shoot fireballs at will.
The magic in the game ranges from fireballs to knives to Playstation symbols, and just about any spell at level 2 or higher produces an impressive--and equally ridiculous--blast of nn4J1x. Just think of the exaggerated fireballs in the <insert character> vs. Street Fighter series, or better yet, the magic potion/turbo charge thingies in Gauntlet Legends, and you'll have a good idea on what to expect in this game.
As you can see in the intro, the Destrega characters have a little RPG-ishness to them. This never would have been possible without my lovely Sunny Funny...er...a cool lil' story mode in the game. This mode combines fights with some character development (or vice versa), and is a little like mixing the conversations in RPGs with the battles. Basically, you're a Generic RPG Hero Guy who meets up with a Generic Resistance Group after his village gets destroyed by flunkies working for a guy named Zauber.
Cait Sith sez: He looks kinda like Rufus, only without hair that's
been attacked by rabid ferrets.
Um, anyway, the game's conversations mostly involve either the good guys who are trying to round up the Strega (a.k.a Guys that can throw dem big ol' fireballs), the bad guys planning out their heinous deeds in a room (the main bad guys are your generic Big Bad Leader, Big Dumb Left Hand Man, and Smarter Right Hand Man Who Always Lives Longer than the Other Bad Guys), or anybody in-between (blue haired buckaroo, shamelessly bouncy Tifa clone, ultra-spunky Yuffie-alike with annoying, high pitched voice, etc). The voice acting is a little flat--more on that later--but the game manages to flesh out the characters a lot more than your average Fighting Tournament Of Random People Thrown Together game.
Anyway, as you roam around your 3D environment, your character has two ways to attack: Magic shootin' from far away, or Kung Fu fightin' from up close. This adds even more strategy to the battles--the choices of whether you should keep the opponent at bay with quick bursts of magic (sploit!sploit!sploit!), strong, slower magic SPLOOOOOIIIIT!), or, better yet, a combo or two (ftftftftSPLOIT!) are all up to you.
GRAPHICS--Anybody play Ergheiz?
...um, Mom, you can put your hand down now.
Er, what I was trying to say was that the characters basically look like something right out of that game (fortunately, the graphics aren't the ONLY good part about the game, unlike Ergheiz...). They look and move pretty smoothly, have some cool (and annoying) victory poses, and have some great detail on them as well. My only gripe is that the attempt to make their mouths move during the conversations in Story mode is pretty feeble.
Sound--Usually, I don't get too aggravated at the standard character grunts 'n groans in a fighting, but Destrega is completely different. Every single frickin' spoony spum-hocking time that a character charges up for a magic attack, he/she/it (in Anjie's case) exclaims either "Hidu!", "Ess!", or "Ho!", depending on the type of magic they've cast. After you hear these sounds for the 27th time every match, it starts to have an effect on you. For me, it was one that made me want to jump in the air and fire some magic at the TV (this, unfortunately, is only possible after a couple truckloads of bean dip, so the sounds from hell kept playing throughout future matches).
Not only are the character grunts annoying, their death cries are so bad, they're funny, actually. One botched Celia cry ("AAAAAAAuhhhhh...") sounds like the voice actor ran out of breath in the recording studio, while Gradd's is equally pathetic ("Gaaaaahhhhh!.........uh!"), sounding like the voice actor forgot his lines halfway through the scream, then tried to improvise something at the end. Aii-yaa...
Speaking of voice acting, it could use some work in the Story mode as well. It's not exactly Castlevania: Symphony of the Night quality ("What's-with-the-pauses-in-between-my-words-?-"), but it certainly isn't Metal Gear Solid quality ("In China, they say, 'When walking through a melon patch, don't adjust your sandals!'"...wait, bad example). The character development isn't helped along by the bad voices, and when you add that to the slow, jerky mouth movement that's supposed to make it seem like they're talking, the Story mode becomes less and less dramatic by the minute.
As for the music, it's pretty good, having a very anime-ish style to it--especially the upbeat main theme--and they compliment the action very well. Unfortunately, one of nine random tracks is selected to play for each battle, meaning that not only are you going to hear a track at least three times per sitting, but is also means that the characters don't have their own distinct themes, a feature that is a must in EVERY fighting game! Whoever decided to add the "feature" of random music tracks in this game, in the words of Garfield, should be drug out in the street and shot.
Control--In car terms, Destrega handles like a Porsche, while its counterpart, Ergheiz, handles like one of the cars from San Francisco Rush. Controlling your character is a breeze, and it doesn't take long to learn how to cast magic, dash, block, and create small combos. A very helpful tutorial runs you through all the basic controls in the game, which is always a plus.
Fun Factor--It's pretty fun to play at first--running around a big 3D environment, shooting magic around, and jumping on structures is all fun for the first time, but it begins to wear thin after you figure out that your character only has a few different attacks, and just about every character in the game would have identical moves if it wasn't for the type of magic that they use. A little variation in the characters could have given this game some depth, but nevertheless, the action is still fast 'n furious, and fun, nontheless.
Overall Satisfaction--By reading this review, it seems that Destrega has it all--great graphics, simple controls, a novel Story mode, cool characters, and innovative gameplay. So why isn't it all that great a game? The answer is depth (and Anjie). Not only does the Story mode become completely pointless to play after you've beaten it once, but the characters don't even have their own friggin' ENDINGS when you finish the standard one player Battle mode! This gives you no incentive to beat the game with every character--another feature that should be in every fighting game--since there's no reward for doing so. Destrega offers you the obligatory Team Battle, Survival, and Time Attack modes, but these modes have been re-used so many times in every other fighting game out there, making them less and less fun to play each time. In the end, Destrega ranks a little over the Super Average Joe Fighter 3: Extreme Killer Revenge Edition game for having a cool concept and an above average cast of characters, but other than that, it's just another game.
Highs: Great concept,
innovative Story Mode, BIG FIREBALLS~!