Arena fighting fans have been patiently waiting for a new Power Stone for over a decade. LastFight features hectic four player bouts but does it have the stones to step in the ring with its predecessor?
I consider myself somewhat of a Power Stone fan as I loved the originals and even included the franchise on my Top 10 Capcom Series That Need to Be Revived list. Therefore, when I saw that LastFight was on its way, I had high hopes that it would fill the void that Power Stone left behind. Thankfully, LastFight features hectic 3D arena combat with a zany cast of characters that can be enjoyed by up to four simultaneous local players. The gameplay itself is fast-paced, intuitive, and above all else; fun. You tap buttons to attack, grab, jump, block, dash, and perform a special move whenever it's adequately charged. The best part of its fighting is the fact that you can pick up objects and throw them at your opponents. Some items can even be used such as potions and rocket launchers. Overall, this is definitely a crazy game but does it have lasting appeal?
Before we get into that, I should talk about the visuals. It's quite obvious by looking at the screenshots that this is one stylish game. The characters and environments are bright and neon which makes it look like it's straight from the '80s. The characters are very well animated as they talk and taunt each other before fights and perform their arsenal of attacks in the heat of battle. They all speak French, too, which I found to be pretty neat. The music is energetic and the sound effects make the gameplay more satisfying as you hear characters react as fists smash into faces. Overall, LastFight looks and sounds quite good.
The story involves drug-fueled riots which is actually part of the gameplay. You find drugs (known as Anitrans) as you fight which transforms you into a different mutant (referred to as Death Dealers) depending on the kind of drug you collect. Most stages have unique types of drugs in play so experimenting with them makes for quite the trip. Speaking of stages, they're very well designed albeit a bit too small. Interacting with the objects in order to smash chairs into opponents or punch a foe into a plane propeller feels great.
On the other hand, the fighting gets repetitive very quickly. After playing through a match in each stage and changing up your character here and there, it all starts to feel the same to the point where it's just not fun anymore. Of course, playing with friends adds some value although you'll gladly play something else after only a few rounds. That reminds me, I should mention that there's no online at all. If you're playing by yourself, you'll notice that the AI is quite frustrating to deal with as computer opponents are either way too cheap or just stand there as you pummel them to a pulp. I don't think I encountered one foe where it felt like a satisfying challenge.
Finally, there is an extremely small amount of content. Story mode only allows you to play as one of two characters and it's over in about 15 to 30 minutes (depending how good you are). Versus mode lets you play 1-on-1, 2-on-2, or free for all matches while Ranked mode is a weird online simulation that pits you against an AI adversary. Endless mode is your basic survival mode and Pinball mode has you beat up folks by throwing giant pinballs. These modes are mostly superficial and definitely don't add much replay value.
Although LastFight is certainly a promising fighter, it doesn't quite do enough to bring the genre back. You could give it a try if it sounds like your cup of tea, but I'll be happy to hook up my Dreamcast whenever I want some great 3D combat.
- + Crazy fighting gameplay with a cool cast of characters for up to four local players
- + Stylish visuals and great animation
- + Well-designed interactive stages
- - Computer-controlled opponents can either be incredibly cheap or easy as pie
- - Very little amount of content
- - Gameplay gets repetitive fast