Monday, July 20, 2009

Ranma 1/2: Datou, Ganso Musabetsu Kakutou-ryuu

~ RANMA 1/2 3 ~
Super CD-ROM

This third title in the PC Engine Ranma series is known as "the fighter one," but it bears little resemblance to other games from the 16-bit era that we usually refer to as "fighters." There are no quarter-circle-activated moves to be found here. As a matter of fact, there's hardly any technique involved in the proceedings at all. You pretty much just tumble around and whack your opponent. Assorted "special" moves can be performed simply by pressing Select or holding down the attack button to charge up a meter. This is essentially a shoddy sidescrolling action game that has you beat up one enemy at a time.

The funny thing about the three PCE Ranma games is that the middle one is a true gem, an almost perfectly crafted example of what can be done with a digital comic, while the action title and the "fighter" are unrefined flops. I do like the first episode, however, as it closely follows the only Ranma season actually worth watching, and it has appealing graphics and some interesting tough spots. This one, unfortunately, gives me very little to enjoy other than a few funny full-screen cinemas.

Ranma fans will certainly get a kick out of this game, but everyone else should stay away--especially people seeking a legitimate fighter, as this isn't one.

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