E3 06: Power Stone Collection Preshow Hands-On

We take on all comers as we check out a demo version of Capcom's upcoming PSP fighter.

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We've been eager to see just how Capcom's Power Stone Collection, the upcoming compilation of its two Dreamcast brawlers, would turn out on the PlayStation Portable since the game was announced earlier this year. The two games made a respectable splash back in the day thanks to their crisp visuals, fast-paced gameplay, and multiplayer modes. We finally got the chance to check out a very early work-in-progress version of the compilation, which gave us a taste of what to expect from it.

Though the final game is set to include the original Power Stone and its sequel, Power Stone 2, as well as a host of PSP-exclusive extras, our demo version was pretty limited. The demo we played let us try out only the arcade version of Power Stone 2, which expanded the simple one-on-one formula of the original game to include four-player brawls and multipart stages that scaled on the fly. We tried a few of the main stages with a sampling of characters and were pleased to see that the game handled just like the Dreamcast originals. The simple attack system let us create a modest array of chained combos, use objects in the environment as weapons, or use the environment itself to inflict some pain on our foes. The multipart levels and scaling view were also in full effect. The scaling view proved to be somewhat problematic because the farthest view that the game scales to makes it a chore to see what's going on, since the fighters are reduced to the size of ants. Thankfully, Capcom is addressing the issue with the addition of a new camera system, which will let you toggle different views while you fight. Though the game is also set to include new weapons for use during battle, we didn't see any, because we were fighting for our life against some aggressive CPU-controlled characters.

The character models look great when you have an opportunity to see them up close.
The character models look great when you have an opportunity to see them up close.

The presentation is coming together well from what we've seen. The game's sharp look is right at home on the PSP. However, at the moment, there are some texture and resolution issues that keep the game from looking like a perfect conversion. Still, minor elements aside, the game's performance is pretty smooth even now, which bodes well for the future. At the same time, the game's audio appears to be nailing the voice and sound effects from the Dreamcast version, which isn't too surprising.

Based on our brief time with the game, Power Stone Collection is looking like it will, at the very least, stay faithful to its Dreamcast predecessors. Besides the new content we already mentioned, the game is slated to include a new minigame, dubbed Bomber Battle. We're curious to see how the first game will handle, but given how Power Stone 2 is shaping up, the outlook is good. Power Stone Collection is slated to ship this fall for the PSP. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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