Over the weekend I got myself a couple of below-par fighters/beat 'em ups for the ol' Xbox.
One is Iron Pheonix, an oriental fantasy-themed multi-player weapons fighter. The game is set in a land that kinda resembles ancient China. As the story goes, a meteor crashes into the kingdom, and the metal found at the crater is soon made into powerful, magical weapons. It is in these weapons, and on the hands of those who wield them, where the fate of the entire realm will be decided. That premise is all the story we're going to get since Iron Pheonix doesn't have a Story Mode like most fighters. There's just basically an offline mode for non-Xbox Live players, and the more copious options for online play. Well, for the most part the game looks nice, but I've seen much better. With no real meat to the characters (which range from various males and females and the odd undead) and this game is just not my style. Probably cool for party gamers, but again, the lack of character, substance and presentation just communicate dull, dull, dull.
The other title I got is Spike Out Extreme, a title originally from Sega. This basically is a Final Fight-style battler, with players taking their chosen brawler out to put paid to various thugs and the occasional boss. There's a story mode, where you play as a main character chosen to save his estranged dad and defeat an evil gang. For the most part, the game looks good, albeit a bit retro. The action is all about using your punches, kicks and combos to get from one end of a stage to the other to fight a boss and break down a gate. Sega fight fans may appreciate the retro feel of the game- and the easy gameplay should please anyone looking to let off a bit of stress. The cheezy in-game cinemas are pretty hilarious, like an eighties American karate revenge flick- and we all know how good those things are. Well, I gave up after an hour. Wow. That was time well spent.
I guess I really can't express any more grade-A titles on the Xbox... or perhaps even on PS2 anymore. Soul Calibur III seems to be the last great fighter coming to the present crop of consoles. The next generation of games are already being produced right now as we speak, to so far unseen consoles and platforms. Can you say... Dead or Alive 4 on Xbox Next? Heh. We'll see. Anyway, I still have some cool games right now to look forward to playing: Rise of the Kasai and Brothers In Arms. Those should take up my time better. WHEN I finally get a chance to play them, that is.