Anyone who has ever played Power Stone, wants one thing, Capcom to make another Power Stone. The short-lived series for SEGAs Ill-fated Dreamcast, is easily one of the finest arena fighting games ever made. However, with SEGA long out of the console game and Capcom abandoning the series over a decade ago fans of the anarchic arena brawler are left looking for alternatives,
Piranaking’s LASTFIGHT is probably the closest we’re likely to get. A loving homage (well it is French) to Power Stone; a hectic arena brawler for up to four players featuring a cast of madcap characters.
Story mode (which makes up the bulk of the game) sees players take on the role of either Duke Diamonds or his partner in Crime Richard Aldana, after experimental drugs called Anitrans whip the populous into a homicidal haze the pair go on a globe-trotting adventure to stop the riots and destroy the dangerous drugs.
Fights are fast-paced, intuitive, and fun. You can wade into your opponent with single button combo strings or perform special moves with the press of a button. Alternatively, you can tear the arena to pieces and assault your opponents with it. Tossing table, chairs and even the trophy you receive for winning a round at them. There’s also projectile weapons to fire in their general direction as well, like pistols and rocket launchers.
You can also pick up the aforementioned murder drugs which transform your character into a high-powered mutant known as a death dealer. The form you take changes in each level as the powers bestowed to you. So, it’s well worth nabbing them.
LASTFIGHT’s presentation is decidedly old school, with cartoony visuals that are best described as a cross between Power Stone and Double Dragon, mixing bright colours and neon lighting to great effect. Each fighter is well animated and their attack animations are smooth and watching them taunt each other before each battle is a lot of fun. Interestingly the game is French audio only, with English subs. I guess they couldn’t afford to get a new dub made, which is understandable considering this is after all, an indie game.
Unfortunately, each character looks far more distinctive than they handle, and with super moves tied to pick-ups instead of specific characters the action swiftly begins to feel repetitive. The enemy AI in single player also swings wildly from one extreme to the other, either being incredibly cheap or a complete walkover, with absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why. The difficulty settings don’t even seem to have any bearing on it either.
Alternatively, you can always play in local battles with up to four players, though oddly there’s no online modes at all. Which highlights LASTFIGHT’s biggest tissue; there simply isn’t enough of it to keep you occupied for more than a couple of hours, tops. Story mode can be played though in half an hour on a good day, which leaves you with local versus mode (if you can drag some mates round) Ranked mode which is an odd AI driven proxy for what should have been the games online functions. Endless which is your basic survival mode, and Pinball which sees you attacking your adversaries by knocking giant pinballs into them. At best, you’ll play each of these tertiary modes once or twice before getting bored and moving onto the next.
LASTFIGHT had a lot of promise, a Power Stone clone by any other name, is still someone trying to recapture the fun of one of gaming’s forgotten greats. That’s an admirable goal. However, it just doesn’t match up to the wonderful series it so desperately attempts to ape, and the few original ideas of LASTFIGHT it brings to the table do not enhance the experience at all