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Dark Rift
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Kronos
Publisher:   Midway
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Fighting
ESRB:   Teen

The best three fighters out there, in my opinion, are Tekken 3, Virtua Fighter 3, and Street Fighter 3. Well, the Playstation's getting Tekken 3, Virtua Fighter 3 will be on the Saturn (don't expect arcade graphcis, however), so that must mean that the Nintendo 64 is going to get.........Dark Rift??!??!?!!!??

Let's just say that if you've played any other fighting game, you've played this. This game steals practically every feature of the game from some other fighting game. Take Tekken Combos, add Killer Instinct's combo breakers, put it into a Soul Edge (or that other name Soul Blade) control scheme, add Virtua Fighter 3's dodedge and block buttons put into 8 characters that were obviously inspired by the above mentioned fighters, and you've got Dark Rift. While you knew you've played this game before, it adds a few new features such as a throw button and a special moves button. But these new features are ones that do not make the game better but worse.

Okay, the controls are pretty much inspired by Soul Edge. I hated using the small C buttons for the main attacks, and I hardly ever used throw and special attacks buttons although they were put into the most often used buttons (A and B). The controls were also very loose and slippery.

The AI of the computer controlled opponents was very terrible. I found myself being able to use the run and sweep technique till the end. What's worse is the first few characters don't move at all. That's right. They don't do anything but let you hit them. I found the fighters stranded on the ground a lot. About 50% of the time either you or the other player is on the ground. You can't do anything; you just have to wait about 5 seconds for your character to stand back up. (Maybe they should take lessons on how to fight on the ground from Lei from the Tekken series.)

The characters are very unoriginal and unbalanced. While you won't chuckle at them like you did with War Gods, they are very pathetic.
Most are direct copies of fighters from other games.

The fighters sure look pretty, though, as the game's high point is the graphics. Animation is a smooth 60 fps, and you can clearly see everything in the background. When two people are up close, you can easily tell which one is yours, even if you use the same character. The music is easily forgettable.

Thankfully, this isn't as bad as Kronos' earlier game, Criticom,. It ranks down there as a bad game, however. Games like this show that the N64 can do bad games.

Overall: 4.0

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