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Fight A Day 18: The Power of Power Stone

On 02/24/2016 at 09:59 PM by Vice's Assistant

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Capcom's efforts in 3D arcade gaming towards the end of the 90's were interesting but often looked over history. When Capcom started making 3D fighters on there own, Street Fighter EX doesn't count, things were rocky. However by the end of the 90's, Capcom started getting their stride down and expirementing. One of there more interesting experiments with 3D fighting that yielded a result was Power Stone, which turns 16 today in Japan. Power Stone best represents Capcom's experiments 3D and going beyond a game that just felt like another spin on Street Fighter.


Power Stone's best quality is its simplicity. Its a rare Capcom fighter that requires no fancy button presses, no quarter circles, no charge motions. It has two buttons for attacking and most of the standard combos were simple, short chain combos bouncing off the two and a direction. The game doesn't even have block button. Yet the simplicity in the combo system still had a decent amount of depth to it. In fact, much of the complexity of combat in Power Stone comes from utilizing 3D field and items, all for most part, balanced to not be completely over powered. Even when your opponent transforms and powers up, there were ways still damage your opponent. Power Stone balanced a serious competitive edge with a gentile casual appeal with such ease. On top that, Power Stone had that distinct look to it that make it stand out so much, thanks to Capcom artist Bengus/Gouda Cheese. Its ironic that another game with a similar style, released literally within the same year and same month would straight up eclipse Power Stone in that regard, Super Smash Bros.


The legacy of Power Stone varies depending on where you look at it. On one hand, Power Stone's legacy seems like a macro-cosmos for many fighting games in the 90's: Spawning a sequel as well as other attempts to extend its media presence (OVA series, manga, and other collectibles) before fading off quickly to just background cameos when Capcom dictates. The other hand, Power Stone had a surprisingly long lasting effect on other fighting games. Arena based brawlers, styled similar to Power Stone popped up through out PS2/Xbox/GC years. Even today, you can find examples of Power Stones influence in games like Anarchy Reigns. Coming sometime later this year will be some indie fighting games that definitely wear their Power Stone influence on their sleeves: Kickstarter funded Combat Core and LASTFIGHT.


Capcom may not be giving Power Stone its time to shine but there are people out there who will in their own ways.



Cary Woodham

02/24/2016 at 10:17 PM

Power Stone was pretty fun but it kind of got chaotic sometimes.  I really only enjoyed the game a lot when I played with freinds, though.  I think it's funny that there was a Power Stone anime. I have a couple of them on DVD.

Matt Snee Staff Writer

02/25/2016 at 12:03 AM

I always wanted to play this, and I did have a Dreamcast, but I never got this.  It just didn't come across my attention until afterwards. It looks so cool though!


02/25/2016 at 01:42 AM

I like those arenas. They're like real places. I like that better than just a largely empty square room like in most fighters. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/25/2016 at 07:23 PM

Yeah, I think that's what sets it apart from games like Naruto, where the play style looks to be similar, but it's not just a barren arena. I definitely prefer fighting stages with environmental effects. 

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