"When the frog-like demon Razurou zooms by on his personal jet and the fast-paced battle music kicks in, it's hard not to be distracted by the ridiculous number of clouds scrolling through the sky, and that's part of what makes the ensuing battle so dangerous."
Pia Carrot is the PC-FX classic that you play at home, by yourself, naked. Kishin Douji Zenki FX: Vajra Fight is the mouthful of a game you play at retro slumber parties for 20 minutes to make your friends go "WHOA THAT'S AWESOME" before moving on to thirty-seven consecutive sessions of Halo 2... which isn't retro at all, but that's how these things go.
Because of NEC's strict guidelines (stricter than SCEA!), there were only three straight-up action games released for the PC-FX. Whereas Sony wanted 3D, NEC wanted... anime FMV and digital comics. How did a 2D fighter-platformer hybrid actually get released? Simple: it's based on a 52-episode anime series. A pretty average one, at that.
Fortunately, the TV show's repetitive nature is appropriate for this Splatterhouse wannabe. Priestess Chiaki, the granddaughter of high priest Something-or-Other, is out to beat a bunch of demonic monsters. These demons are actually humans possessed by wicked seeds and, in nearly every episode, Chiaki offs some random beast and collects their tainted heart. Hudson cleverly ties this into the game by making each boss's demon seed (which look like giant winking eyeballs) an edible health restoration item.
Although she can shoot zombie samurai and muck monsters with her psychic Shinto powers, Chiaki's most powerful weapon is Zenki: strongest of all demons. Voila! Two characters for two-player simultaneous action! As the story goes, Chiaki's grandfather sealed Zenki in the form of a little boy a long time ago, but now there's an even greater evil and Chiaki needs Zenki to help her save the earth. Only the perky priestess -- with her magic bracelet -- can restore Zenki to full manly size. Although this would be a great setup for a porn game, Zenki FX is an Altered Beast style romp with Street Fighter attacks and a dozen bosses. It's barely long enough to even be called a complete game, but what's there is pretty damn cool.
Staff review by Zigfried (May 15, 2005)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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