RESURRECTION & REVENGE
During the summer of my senior year in Mt. Pocono High School, I signed up for classes in Tae Kwon Do. I dreamt of being a master of ‘deadly blood-sports’. Practicing moves that were not allowed for a novice of my belt color was such a rush. I advanced so quickly in six months that I was one of two white belts allowed to compete in a competition in Allentown, PA. After kicking and blocking my way to the white/yellow/orange belt finals, I was proud and confident even though I had lost the previous spar and now I fought for second place. In the final round, my opponent came at me with a bombardment of quick, poorly timed, punches. Almost at the edge of the ring, something inside me took over as my right foot launched toward my opponents head. I stopped my crescent kick about an inch and a half from his right ear as he punched me twice in the abdomen. For younger belts, discipline is the name of the game in Tae Kwon Do. I was faster, more agile, and I was able to stop my kick from connecting. As a result, I carried home the trophy for second place that day. I also have some good news to share. Although discipline is an important factor in many facets of life, in Sierra’s Cyber Gladiators, you don’t have to pull your punches!!!
Because I took martial arts,
and I’m also part of the Street Fighter II generation, I have a few pre-conceived
notions about what a fighting game should be. Cyber Gladiators, although
not much is “new”, has some pretty impressive features for the P.C. But first,
The game takes place in the future. Years of terrorist assaults by the Gy Djin have reduced Planet Id (Industrial Dump) into a radioactive wasteland. A freak comet storm plummets to the surface, lighting up Planet Id like a super nova. Toxic chemicals, military refuse, and the radioactive waste are fused together. Out of this primordial ooze crawls a new race of super beings: part military surplus, part computer hardware, part sentient life forms. All resemble the Alliance heroes who fought to protect the planet years before from the Gy Djin. Unfortunately, this cosmic storm also hit DungeonStar, a deep space prison at the far end of the galaxy. Massive, Cyber transformations led to the escape of some of the most fearsome Gy Djin criminals captured by the Alliance. Commanded by the ruthless leader, Master Pain, the evil warriors now seek revenge. The target: The New Alliance…
Although it’s no Virtua Fighter II, Cyber Gladiators holds it’s own on the PC gaming market. Its graphics are a bit of a mixer. The backgrounds are fantastic, and the texture mapped characters look decent. The real treat behind this game is the actual combat.
Each character comes with over 50 moves. There are two final bosses, depending upon which side of the Alliance your character originated. The motions of the character’s moves are amazingly realistic and fluid; all with a constantly changing perspective as the camera moves. Also, if you end a battle with a spectacular combo, there is a chance that you can watch the loser’s head fly into the air as it’s dismembered corpse tumbles to the ground (ha ha).
Another great feature is
the semi-interactive backgrounds. Some arenas have spears, meteors, or crates
flying at the players from the background. If one lands in the middle of the
playing arena, characters can pick it up and hurl it at the other player. My
favorite background is the jungle with the flying spears. My life was saved
more than once by back-flipping out of the way of a spear. Then tumbling forward,
pulling it out of the ground, and nailing my opponent, knocking him off the
edge of the arena.
I should also mention that when I was playing Cyclops and I finally made it to the Gy Djin boss, I had a big surprise in store. Using my best combos, I managed to drop his energy level down half-way. Then with one foul slice, I watched my right arm fly into the air and fall at my feet. Then my left arm sparked off and landed some distance away. Next thing I know, I’m dodging like a pheasant during hunting season. My special moves still worked, but the loss of my arms prevented me from doing as many hits and damage. Soon I was knocked off the edge of the arena, with my head following behind me a second or two later…
The sound effects are awesome. Each punch and kick makes that sweet, clinking metal to metal noise, or flesh to metal depending on what hits what. A loud thud can be heard over the superb background music when a player hits the ground. And speaking of the music, the cyber-techno that plays during the combats really gets your heart pumping.
All in all, Cyber Gladiators is a fantastic 3D perspective fighting game. Guaranteed to give players hours of fighting fun. The idea behind the game is nothing new, but with add-ons like throwing rocks, knocking off your opponents head, cyber-techno music, and very creepy inner-space backgrounds, players are sure to be entertained for hours. My suggestion is: try it before you buy it. Especially if you enjoy a decent fighting game…