|Title: Eternal Champions
Rom Player: gens
Synopsis: Eternal Champions. Sounds pretty like a generic beat-em up title, and you would be nearly right. However, it is a game that has enough good points to at least be a consideration.
The game starts with the SEGA logo being pummeled by one fighter of the game before the main title comes. At first it's got a lot of features and menus. You have 1-player mode of the main story, 2-player for against friends (oh joy, much controller insurance is needed), Tournament (for when you're bored but can't be bothered to have the story) and Training as well (for the lame seeing-everything-but-not-wanting-story-or-a-challenge).
The story lies within the characters. Each of them are from different time periods and died before completing their noble goal in life. An alien being has collected them together and offered a tournament. The winner gets to become alive again and complete their life. basically, it's a more earth-bound, cheaper and less bloody Mortal Kombat appreciation game if you think about it.
The controls are turgidly slow unfortunately and you really need the instruction manual or a walkthrough to get all the moves of one character. Enemies are quite tough with the somewhat unforgiving CPU against you really dishing out the stuff, and the difficulty level is pretty fixed. The characters themselves are nicely detailed for 16-bit era with muscles showing and some decent moves marred only by their slowness.
The background is a nice touch, quite alive for its time period. Scenes include the lost city of Atlantis within bubbles, a Vietnamese village with a Bell helicopter against the twilight sun, and the prehistoric era of volcanoes and lava rivers (despite the incorrect time period of dinosaurs, but who cares about that?).
The best feature of the fighting is the Overkill ability. When you finish your opponent with a particularly strong move on a certain part of the landscape, an extra animation shows their death. Examples include having a dinosaur eating them, being thwacked into a huge fanblade, and being burned at a stake with their bones left on the pyre. A good reward for extra determination after a gruelling fight.
The music is passable for some places and other times it is a little better for the scenery. But generally, the sound is nothing special. Classic pummels and thwumps with the occasional taunt from your character that sounds pretty cool actually.
I have never been able to finish it for either being real crap at it, or that it is a very hard game. But there are better fighting games out there. Still, this should be mentioned for quite an involving number of stories. Personally though, I recommend getting the more entertaining Sega CD remake.
Game Play: 6
Overall Rating: 7
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