Fighting Force 2 Review

For Dreamcast and PlayStation

Rating: Crappy
   What's this?  A crappy game from Core Design?  I can't believe it!  
Seriously, with all of the talk about how much Core was going to make 
Fighting Force 2 better than the original, I found that I actually had much 
less fun with the sequel than I did with the original.  The original was 
fun for a while and then it became boring, whereas the sequel was boring 
from the beginning.  
   For those of you who aren't familiar with this series, I can sum it up 
in one sentence: It's like Double Dragon (with a clear focus on fighting 
enemies), only nowhere near as good.  While Double Dragon managed to keep 
gamers interested for long periods of time despite its repetitive nature, 
there's nothing about Fighting Force that makes you want to play it for a 
few days, much less a few months or a few years.
   Eidos marketing executives claim that Fighting Force 2 has "completely 
interactive environments," and that sounds very good on paper.  In the 
actual game, here's what that translates to: Kick a box, watch it explode, 
grab the power-up that appears.  Kick a chair, watch it explode (yes, the 
chairs explode), and grab the power-up that appears.  Kick a... well, I 
think you get the idea.  Just about everything in this game can explode (in 
unspectacular fashion) to reveal a power-up. That's not quite what comes to 
mind when I think of a game having "completely interactive environments." 
   The original Fighting Force had multiple characters to choose from and a 
co-op mode, but the sequel has neither.  Hawk Manson is the only playable 
character, so what little variety the original game had is now gone.  The 
co-op mode is also sorely missed.  Playing through the game with a friend 
still wouldn't be very fun, but it would be slightly more entertaining than 
playing through it alone.
   The inventory system doesn't make sense.  After you pick up a certain 
number of items, any more items that you pick up will result in Hawk 
dropping one of his items to make room for the new one.  There's no logic 
when it comes to which item Hawk drops, so you could lose your favorite 
weapon just because you accidentally pick up an item that you don't need.  
Core should have either let the player pick up an unlimited amount of items, 
or have a full-fledged inventory system that lets the player choose which 
items to keep and which ones to drop.
   What little story line this game has is horrible, and it could have been 
written in five minutes.  There's not a whole lot of music in the game, and 
the sound effects consist of generic grunts and gunshots.  The voice acting 
for the main character is terrible, and it eliminates any possible chance 
that Hawk might have had to seem just a little bit cool.  
   Fighting Force 2 is all about fighting enemies, but the action is 
completely mindless.  This might be bearable if the game featured a great 
combat engine, but it doesn't.  The combat engine requires no skills 
outside of button mashing, and the stupid enemies aren't enough of a 
challenge to make you want to try anything else.  When you enter a room, 
all of the enemies in it basically come up to you and wait for you to kill 
them, only occasionally mounting a dangerous offense of their own.  
   The biggest challenge in the game doesn't come from the wimpy enemies, 
but from the dark environments.  As if the screwy camera wasn't already 
doing enough to hinder your view, it's often too dark to see where you're 
going, resulting in lots of frustrating falls off ledges to your death.  
Falling off ledges killed me a lot more than enemies ever did.  This game 
was clearly made to be dark in a lot of places to hide the fact that the 
graphics are very bland and un-impressive, especially for a Dreamcast game.
   Like most bad games, Fighting Force 2 is unbalanced.  As an example of
the lack of balance, there are tons of weapons in the game ranging from 
swords to bazookas, but basic kicks seem to do just as much damage.  The 
weapons are useless because Hawk can kill most enemies with a few simple 
kicks.  Hawk must have really strong leg muscles...
   I can't think of a single positive thing to say about Fighting Force 2.  
It might not suck as much as Mario Party or Superman, but it sucks 
nonetheless.  Stay away from it unless you enjoy being bored to tears.

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