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Project Justice (Dreamcast) artwork

Project Justice (Dreamcast) review


"This is one fine game my friends, a fair apricot amongst prunes..a real breath of fine fresh air. Finally proof if proof be need be that Capcom (bless 'em) still have the magic touch. "



This is one fine game my friends, a fair apricot amongst prunes..a real breath of fine fresh air. Finally proof if proof be need be that Capcom (bless 'em) still have the magic touch.

First I have to 'fess up..I don't really like that many 2d beat 'em ups much. Call me an easily amused spectacle freak, but I like to see fine, rippling 3d muscles. I like to feel the thud and crack as pixelated knuckles squish textured mapped noses. I've always been happy to sacrifice the speed of a 2d game for a more measured 3d fight-fest.

So there we are I'll just say three Hail Marys and two Hello Dolly's and all is forgiven OK? Beacuse in this game Capcom have given jaded old me all the speed of a 2d fighter wrapped up in a sumptuous 3d erm, wrapper. I have a game that I can enjoy with my casual gaming chums but also get alot out of while playing on my own.

So in detail then..

Story 8 As I guess many of you will know this a sequel to the psx game Rival Schools: United by Fate. Don't go expecting Shakespeare, frankly I have played the Story mode thoroughly today while getting all the secret characters and I'm still not that sure what was going on. Ther are some schools and someone is causing trouble between them, and erm..they ruck with each other for abit, and then this bad demon guy turns up..well play it and you'll see.

However the Story mode is nicely done, you pick a school and fight though its particular branch of the story. Certain decisions create storyline branches so you can replay each school with a different ending. The stories all crossover each other so gradually the full picture emerges. However if like me you were still scratching your head and gong ''huh?'' at the end, you can view each completed story and ending in the Extras mode.

Gameplay 9 One of the best things about Rival schools on the psx was the team-up element. The best thing about Project Justice on the DC is you can have teams of three rather than the usual two. When fighting you have an energy gauge which will gradually fill up, this can be used to power up ''Burning Vigour'' Attacks or call in Team Mates for ''Team Up'' attacks, some of which are hugely amusing. Tactically play comes in with the realisation that letting the guage fill to Five allows all three of you to perform a hugely damaging attack. But this must be balanced against the fact that it is now easier to dodge, repel or intercept Burning Vigours and team up attacks.

Some characters when called individually won't attack the other player, instead they will Fill up your power gauge and replenish some life. You may want to make sure you have at least one team mate who can do this as it can often make a huge difference to the outcome of a fight. You can also swap characters between rounds which helps keep your opponent on their toes.

Generally speaking the gameplay is right out of the big book of Capcom Fighting cliches, d-pad twirling initiates special attacks, you can leap and attack miles in the air and 3d movement is restricted to a one-way sidestep. But hey, when its carried off here with such aplomb who's complaining? Not me.

Audio/Video 10 Right, I LOVE the look of this game. The big chunky characters are lovely to look at, smoothly animated and colourful. All the characters are well designed and memorable, Shomo the baseball player is back as is Roberto the Footballer, Akira the biker chick, Edge the nutcase and all the others. I haven't played Rival Schools for a while so I'm not sure who the new characters are, but the teeny-weeny tennis player Momo who likes to wallop tennis balls at her opponents face had me chortling.

There are not rendered FMVs, the story is told with still pictures and they fit the cartoony nature of the game to a tee. Soundwise there is plenty of shouting in japanese, lots of ''tzinging'' noises and impacts register with satisfying slaps, thuds and cracks. The music is the usual selection from ''Capcom's All-Time Lift Music Greats.'' But hey, good music in a capcom game would be scary after all this time.

The only downside is some rather dodgy translation, not too awful but a little sloppy and irritating. Otherwise, perfect!

Replayability 9 Like any other beat 'em up replayability is to be found in the multiplayer. Rival Schools comes with Versus, Team Battle and Tournament mode. Although it lacks the depth of Soul Calibur there is still plenty there to ensure it being bought out for a whirl on games night for many years to come.

So the Ultimate Question...To Buy or Rent oh I think you know the answer folks. BUY IT!! It's great and it'll make you smile. What more can I say?

Rating: 9/10

falsehead's avatar
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)

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