Fighter Destiny 2 Preview

SouthPeak Interactive has dropped the S from Fighters and Fighter Destiny 2 is making its way to the Nintendo 64.

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Genki's original Fighters Destiny for the N64 introduced the concept of point-based matches - as opposed to the traditional life or health meter found in most console games - to determine the winner. In Fighters Destiny matches, you received a certain number of points for each type of victory - with the greatest number awarded for special moves. Imagineer Studios and SouthPeak Interactive are now bringing Genki's Fighters Destiny 2, the game's follow-up, back to the N64, on a revised version of the original game engine. The title is already available through Imagineer in Japan, and it will be released in the States in the first quarter of 2000.Videogames.com asked Yumiko Asai of Imagineer and Jon Schutts of SouthPeak a few questions about the game, and its US rendition - specifically, what makes this one different from the first? "In the first FD, there was a game mode called master challenge. In that mode, the player fought against eight masters to gain skills. If the player managed to defeat all eight masters, eight new skills were gained, and they could be used in other game modes."In FD2, Master Challenge is replaced by fighter's arena, a board-game-style mode. The player moves the character around the branched courses in a game of roulette, and various events occur at the spaces where the characters land. The players can grow the character's parameter such as attack, health, recovery and skill, as well as gain techniques (moves) through playing the board game. Finally, when the character reaches the goal, that character is saved in the controller pak and can be used in other game modes.In the first FD, you could grow your characters, but the number of moves he or she could learn was limited. In the Fighters Arena mode in FD2, your character can not only learn his own new moves, but rather take moves from the other players as well - giving the game more depth. Fighter's arena takes a longer time to finish than master challenge. And even if the player finishes fighter's arena once, since the routes are branched, the player can try a different route next time and have different experiences.
"And all the graphics are improved as well. Characters have high-resolution 3D modeling, and the stage graphics are much clearer and more detailed than the first FD. The stages and characters look more distinctive, and each BGM sounds very distinctive (and it matches perfectly to the atmosphere of each stage)."The gameplay modes in Fighters Destiny 2 borrow features from the old and enhance them to make them seem newer. The versus computer mode includes the start-up characters and the bosses, at first. As the competition progresses, characters learn techniques and moves, which will ultimately, provided you succeed in your quest, earn you a new character. In the versus mode, you can play against one other human opponent, too, in original fight mode (point-based matches) or in a win-or-lose battle.When playing win-or-lose, you use your saved characters to fight the CPU or a live opponent in a battle for the other character's techniques. For instance, if you defeat your challenger, who has an advanced multiple-point kick move, you will acquire that skill and be able to save it to your character for use later. If you lose all your techniques, your character will no longer be available for play - in that match.Another mode is the record attack. In this mode, you can play survival (where you try to defeat as many opponents as you can); faster defeat (where you attempt to clear four stages more quickly than your opponent); and rodeo (a vestige of Fighters Destiny, where you try to remain in the ring longer than your opponent, who's obviously trying to toss you out).The game will have a training mode, where you will learn moves and perfect them against a Samurai cyborg-type fighter. There will be four areas of training: battle (in the normal or regular vs. environment), special moves, midair combat, and defensive moves and escapes.
As mentioned, in the fighter's arena, you will use a roulette-type wheel or board to move your character through the gameplay. For example, you may land on a space, fight another fighter, and then open up the roulette play, in which you'll learn new moves and generally grow your fighter through this training for speed and skill. There are seven "checkpoints" to this roulette, and one final boss match, which you must win in order to move on. Your end goal, or boss match, comes in three modes: survival, the most difficult challenge, which requires you to win 20 consecutive matches; the fastest challenge, which is of medium skill level and that requires you to beat the test under a time limit; and the rodeo, the simplest test, which essentially requires you to live through a battle for 30 seconds. Once you have beaten the boss, you can enter the versus play mode with your fighter's attributes.Southpeak's Jon Schutts explained the fighter's arena mode further: "The player must stop at a master checkpoint or cherry checkpoint, regardless of the number that is output by the roulette. When battling against the master at the master checkpoint, your character is assigned a rank, dependent on the level of your fighting prowess."If the player defeats the master, an S, A, B, or C rank will be awarded, but if the player loses, an F rank will be awarded. If the player wins at the master checkpoint, the player receives one special skill from the master, and the player's character grows according to the rank."Regardless of whether the player wins or loses at the master checkpoint, when the master checkpoint ends, is automatically saved on the cassette. At a cherry checkpoint, the player's character grows if the player is able to defeat the cherry. At this time, the parameters greatly increase according to the fighting style. Cherry checkpoints exist so that advanced players can aim at becoming even better. It is possible to reach the goal without passing any checkpoints at all."
The twelve stages found in the game are essentially the same as they were in Fighters Destiny, only they've been revamped. These stages consist of the amusement park, the great wall, the festival stadium, Mongolia, southern country, cherry's estate, the tomb, factory, Ninja house, castle, and laboratory.There will be a total of 16 characters in FD2. Returning characters include Saeki, Mou, Master, Pierre, Ninja, Ziege, and others. New characters include more of an international cast, including D-Dog (we've decided he's meant to be a bit of a Dennis Rodman lookalike) from the USA and Samurai from Japan. Each character will share a common move bank containing about 20 different maneuvers, with about 30 of his own unique moves, to make things interesting.So, the first game did pretty well, as far as its review went. We asked the developers whom, exactly, they're trying to appeal to with part 2: serious fighting-game fans or casual gamers? "I think this game is quite satisfactory to core fighting-game players, but also enjoyable to others. There is a training mode so that beginners can practice their skills before actual matches."With that said, we'll have more on the progress of Fighters Destiny 2 in the coming weeks.

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