Battle Heat Review


Battle Heat was the first fighting game to come out on the PC-FX. Actually it was one of the three release games if memory serves me correctly. It was created by Hudson Soft to show off the FMV game capabilities of the console and went gold in 1994. From the very beginning a widescreen, clearer than day intro with equally clear music greets you. No boring company screens and animations...

By MissaFX

The FMV intro is not only totally chocked full of action, but unlike so many game intros, the sound effects have been included and play out while the intro plays out. The inclusion of the sound effects really make it one of those intros you will play over and over again should without exception be in the intros of every other CD based game. No expense was spared in the animating of the intro, and luckily the same attention to detail is present throughout the game!

From the title screen, Battle Heat gives you the option to play either the normal arcade like mode or a “free” mode where you fight single battles and get to choose who you fight. You can play single player, two player or even CPU vs. CPU. The CPU vs. CPU mode is one of the best things since sliced bread, since this game is somewhat hard to grasp at first, being able to watch full battles play out will really give you a better idea of what to do. If you want to just show the game off to friends, the CPU vs. CPU mode also works out wonderfully.

Gameplay/Graphics: Even though Battle Heat is the most responsive FMV based game I have ever played in my life, because it is a FMV game and it is on a CD with limited space, there is one unusual limitation it has. There are two factions in this game, The Republic of Kriph and The Holy Dark Empire. And because of the limited space, there is no room for animations of characters from the same faction fighting each other. So you must always fight one faction against the other and you will never be able to fight yourself as well. However even though this is a FMV based game, don’t think of Dragons Lair and pressing left, right or sword at the right time. Imagine if street fighter II had been done totally in FMV, made up of short clips, with dynamic angles; where you enter your move in while the CPU enters their move, and then a multi layer FMV video plays out showing the resolution…Then without any delay you enter another move and the next sequence of video plays out. It neither feels sluggish, nor do you feel at the mercy of the video sequence. The game is also full of counter moves, so once you see a sequence playing out, you have a second or less to enter a counter move. The PC-FX has no trouble then changing the video on the fly, without any loading delay to reflect this counter…impressive…

Once you choose who you are fighting as and against, you are greeted by a CPS2 quality arcade screen with large graphics of your character and the enemy character. After some typical game sound effects and maybe 2 seconds of loading, you go to the game screen which shows two character portraits at the top. The portraits are animated and move in and out of the middle of the screen. When they are in close, it means close range moves like grapples will work, when they are far on the corners, it means only far range moves like fireballs will work. There are some basic movies which work at any range, but these moves do only a half bar of life damage. You each have a life bar with 21 segments…not 20, 21. Different moves take off different amounts of life and some moves take off half a segment. There are also two bars, one at the top and one of the bottom of the screen. These have 8 segments and they change color from empty (black), to yellow or blue or red. If the bars are going from left to right, the first player may make a non-basic move. If the bars are red you seem to be able to do strong moves. I am not 100% sure what the blue and yellow colors mean yet, but they let you do other moves which seem to be worse than the red ones. Graphically this game had to be ahead of anything else I can think of which came out in 1994 even though it has a border. I really don’t know how it has the time to read all the jpegs off the CD as fast as it does with a double spin drive either.

Music: The music in the game seems to be done by the wave generating sound chip normally used for sound effects, the sound effects seem to be mostly recorded audio samples on the PCM chip usually used for music. So the music does sound like a fancy NES game since the PC-FX is busy the whole time streaming jpegs off the CD. The music is good enough though not to be annoying, it’s just too bad they didn’t have the hardware resources to make it better. And the music seems to be made up of very few voice channels, the Fami sure has more. The voice samples and sound effects though sound like a good SNES game or better. The women have less distortion on their voices than in some PC-FX games, but they also don’t have any of those super high pitched idol voices, which may be one of the factors.

My final thoughts on Battle Heat are that it is not only a good release game, but because it was a release game, it is common as stray cats are in Florida. This means you can pick it up easy for under 20 dollars from any reputable FX game seller. In fact, you should be able to get it shipped from Japan for 20 dollars or less. It’s unique enough to take the time to learn the fighting system as well, it’s not just another bland fighting game.

Original Source



2 comments:

  1. I am trying to develop / code a game like this do you have any resource of where i can start?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am trying to develop / code a game like this do you have any resource of where i can start?

    ReplyDelete