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Underrated Games: Power Stone 2

 

I used to live in a humble little town called Shefford. It is located near Bedford... you know that place where travellers were keeping slaves? Anyhow, a good friend of mine from back then owned a Dreamcast. I could just end the post right there, as the Dreamcast requires no words necessary to describe its legendary greatness. However, I have always wanted to talk about this absolute gem of a Capcom fighter, ever since I started Alt:Mag.


I remember how all that time ago back in Shefford, I would go round to my friend's house a lot. I especially remember the day I stayed overnight during the summer holidays. We had a barbecue, watched Malcolm in the Middle, played in the woods near his house and then we played Dreamcast. We would play stuff like Quake III Arena and House Of The Dead 2 but the one I remember the fondest was Power Stone 2, a 3D arcade fighter from Capcom. Sadly, I had to move house and so I went without this game for ten or eleven years, until I got off my arse and bought a Dreamcast, along with a brand new, sealed copy of the game.


The way the game works is pretty straight forward, but changed enough to make Power Stone 2 stand out against other fighting games. You'll start off in one area, trying to pummel enemies into the ground by any means necessary. You can use your chosen character's combat moves to attack, or you can pick up a huge variety of weapons that appear round the area. These weapons range from skateboards to samurai swords to machine guns to flame-throwers. There are always bits of scenery that you can interact with that can often be used as traps against your opponents. The main aim however, is to collect three 'Power Stones' (each player starts with one). When you have collected three, your character will transform in to a super powerful version of themselves and for a limited time you can kick ass with some awesome special moves.
After fighting for a bit, you get warned that you must escape from the first area. This is when you move on to the next area swiftly in something similar to an endurance test. The slow ones get left behind and take damage, while the fast ones often get to the next area unharmed. Examples of these tests include falling from the sky and trying to find an umbrella to help you float to safety (you can steal your opponent's umbrella from them) or running away from a massive boulder, Indiana Jones style. Once this part of the level ends, you reach the final area and this is where you face off to the death (unless you take too long and then it goes to sudden death). That is how most conventional Power Stone 2 matches go and that is what made it so exciting to me. The levels moved around you as you fought it out… and when you fought it out, you fought it out with friends. Sure there was an adventure mode where you could play by yourself against the computer, but Power Stone 2 isn't about being a loner. It's about getting a group of your best mates together, battling it out and just having an ace time. I would definitely consider it a 'party game'.  


Power Stone 2 doesn't use complicated combo moves like most conventional fighters. The controls are easy to pick up, and the moves are simple and easy to execute, most of them requiring less than 2 buttons, which further helps the game's pick up and play value, meaning your friends don't have to spend too long learning the controls. In this regard, the game feel quite similar to Super Smash Bros. Whether you prefer Power Stone or Super Smash is debatable, but one thing for sure is, fans of one sure can appreciate the other.



We play Power Stone 2 in the Alt:Mag headquarters (my room, basically) when we are not busy gossiping, and soon I hope to share it with my flatmates at university... and I recommend that you play it too! It is hard to hate this one. You can pick it up in the PSP collection (which includes the first game as well) or fork out a tiny bit of money and get the Dreamcast game. Give this game a try, it is one of my all time favourite games and one that I hold close to my heart.

 
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