Groove On Fight (Import) Review

If Fellini had made a fighting game, it would have been Groove On Fight.

My wife probably pegged this game best with the remark, "If Fellini had made a fighting game, it would have been Groove On Fight." Kind of a highbrow analogy, to be sure, but the title definitely has the filmmaker's trademark of "standard reality crashes headlong into the dramatic and absurd." In short, it's a crazy Japanese take on the Street Fighter genre. And that, coupled with the fact that it's a pretty good 2-D fighter, makes Groove On Fight really quite charming.

More to the point, this title (the latest in Atlus' Power Instinct series) shares more in common with Capcom's X-Men vs. Street Fighter than anything else. It's a team game where players pick two characters, and they can switch back and forth between the two throughout the fight, giving each character a chance to rest and recharge. Each fighter has his own set of themed special moves, all of which can easily be considered…nutty.

For example, Larry, Groove On Fight's blond Ryu, hefts a burning meteor over his head and throws it at opponents; Tenjinbashi, the monster-masked warrior, sends his enemies flying into orbit (and a completely different screen) like Fourth of July fireworks; and Remi, a young witch who carries an animated musical note that doubles as a scythe, plays at a pipe organ that summons the grim reaper. Luckily, these moves can be done only when the characters' collective power bar is full, making it unlikely that they'll be able to use them more than once per round - ruling out the sort of special move cheapness found in games like Battle Arena Toshinden 3.

While not the most original fighter in the world, Groove On Fight does what it does within the 2-D genre very well. Its hand-drawn graphics are fantastic (though the character animations are admittedly not quite cutting-edge) and its soundtrack, which ranges from 1920s tunes to hip-hop, is excellent. The gameplay is fast and furious, and while not incredibly hard to beat, the title shines in two-player mode, requiring constant revisits. Also, a nice little added touch is the ability to view early sketches and production art for each character after said character has been used to beat the game. All these factors combine together to make Groove On Fight a pretty appealing title.

Since Atlus has confirmed that the game won't be released in the US (it has two knocks against it: it's a Saturn title and it's a Saturn title that requires a RAM cartridge), it's definitely worth considering - for 2-D fighting aficionados who can afford the import price.

The Good
The Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Groove On Fight: Gouketsuji Ichizoku 3 More Info

  • First Released May 16, 1997
    • Arcade Games
    • Saturn
    If Fellini had made a fighting game, it would have been Groove On Fight.
    Average Rating10 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Groove On Fight: Gouketsuji Ichizoku 3
    Developed by:
    Published by:
    Fighting, 2D, Action