Fighter Maker Review

For PlayStation

By Contributing Writer Jimmy Payne

Rating: Average
   After playing a countless amount of fighting games in my lifetime, I can 
honestly say that 90% of them have brought nothing new to the table.  After 
Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat, it seemed for a while that every 
fighting game out there was just a weak attempt to perfect the genre 
without actually adding anything to it.  The good news is that now you, the
gamer, can tweak a fighting game to perfection.  The bad news is that you 
have to buy the very flawed Fighter Maker to do so.
   The backbone of the game is the editing mode, and every other little 
thing they added should be considered wasted space.  In the editing mode, 
you design everything about a character, from his or her looks to the 
actual kicks and punches that he or she will throw (unfortunately, you 
canít create projectile attacks).  Creating the look of your character is 
fairly easy.  You just find a face you like and paste it right on the 
virtual dummy.  
   The hard part is making your own unique moves.  The way this is achieved 
in Fighter Maker is by molding a wire-frame character frame by bloody frame
until all the frames, put together, make one fluid motion.  This is easier 
said than done.  Most of the time I found myself having to re-make a move 
over and over again because one frame was out of place and it looked like 
the fighter was having a knee spasm.  Also, you canít see what directions 
different parts of your fighter's body are facing when looking at the 
game's wire-frames.  I canít tell you how many times I worked on a move for
hours and when it was finished I found out that my fighter's head was 
pointed in the wrong direction and I had to start over from scratch.  
   The game has a huge library of pre-made moves that you can use if youíre 
having a hard time manually creating them.  Unless you know some exotic 
fighting style and want to create "The Flying Donkey" or something like 
that, then I suggest looking into this stress-free alternative.  On the 
other hand, it seems counter-productive to me in a way.  I donít understand 
why anyone would bother with the frustrating wire-frame mode at all if they 
can take the easy route and create their fighter with a few button presses.  
Hereís what might have gone on during a developers' brainstorming session:

Developer #1: Okay, so we have this wire-frame mode which will allow 
players to design their own totally unique characters!  Itís gonna sell 

Developer #2: Why not make an even easier mode?  We could take a whole slew 
of pre-made moves that we can rip off from other fighting games and let the 
player just point and click them right onto their fighter!  We can have so 
many that it will pointless for the player to design his or her own moves 
for hours!

Developer #1: Sounds great, but we can still keep the wire-frame mode in 
the game just to make it look bigger and give obsessive kids something to 
waste their time withÖand itíll still sell millions!
   If the editing mode isnít what youíre craving, you can always fall back 
on the arcade mode, but it's not much to fall back on.  First of all, the 
characters you have to choose from are bland, unimaginative, and have no 
personality.  A lot of the characters look the same as characters, with 
their only differences being their stats.  The graphics suck as well 
(they're only slightly better than Virtua Fighter 1's graphics).
   The actual in-game fighting is average as well.  The moves are all rip-
offs of the Tekken series, and itís almost as slow as a Quake 2 deathmatch 
running on my old computer.  To top it all off, there are only six stages, 
no bonus rounds, and get this, no end boss!  If this game didnít have an 
editing mode, I donít think it could be classified as a full game.  I felt 
like I just got done playing a demo disc of a 50% complete Fighter Maker 
when I finished the arcade mode.
  Finally, thereís the music.  As is the case with most fighting games, the 
music isnít good, but it isnít bad either.  In other words, itís nice to 
have, but Iíd rather be listening to something better. Thankfully, there is 
no annoying music at the character select screen.  Fighter Maker only gives 
you music to listen to when itís necessary... if listening to annoying 
techno tunes is ever necessary.
   If youíve got the time, patience, and mental stability to sit through 
hours of tweaking just to find out that the moves you spent days creating 
are nothing like you wanted them to be, you might be able to enjoy Fighter 
Maker.  Otherwise, save your money for the barrage of hot-looking fighting 
games coming to the Sega Dreamcast this fall.

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