Monday, June 6, 2011

Power Quest - A.K.A "Spam AXE's low kick to win the game" game!


Fighting games on portable handhelds were something of an oddity back then. On the Gameboy, you only had 2 buttons and the D-pad to do all of your actions, and for most fighting games back then it simply wasn't enough. How can you keep a fighting game interesting if you could only use two buttons? It's a legitimate technological limitation, but Power Quest stood rose to the challenge, and gave us handheld fanatics a fighting game worth talking about today.

You can't hear it, but "1995" is playing right now.
Power Quest was released in the U.S in 1998 by Sunsoft for the Gameboy Color. Looking at the box art and super generic (but awesome sounding) title gives you the impression that this is an action game rather than something that belongs in the fighting genre. In fact, in Japan it went by the much more unique name "Gekitō Power Modeler" and it was published by Capcom! I decided to talk about this game today after talking about Gotcha Force as this game features a similar premise. The entire setting is that there's a new craze in town where every kid had miniature remote control robots that would battle with one another. As a kid in town, you win a contest for a free power model which you then use to fight your way to the top of social ladder and become world champion. Along the way, you take out a gang of cheating punks, put a misandrist girl in her place, and tragically part ways with a life-long friend. Not nearly as dramatic as I like to put it, but the game's story mode definitely tried to make things interesting for people who crave a single player experience.

There are only 6 playable characters that you get to choose from in this game. MAX is great for his punching power, GONG is the brutal-but-slow power house, LON is the Chinese martial artist, AXE is an alien-type who is also known as one of the cheapest characters in the game, SPEED is your speedy quick girl who specializes in kicks, and BOROT is just laughably useless as he only has one punch and can't block or jump. The names aren't the most creative, but they're just remote control models and don't really have personalities of their own. In the story mode, you buy parts to upgrade the attack power of your model and help enable it to pull off super combos. There's a surprisingly amount of variety in the moves for only two buttons, you'll find the fighting system to be very fun with it if you can find a friend who also has the cartridge, but that was impossible for me as a kid back then. The story mode has some cheap A.I but if you stick with Axe and use his low sliding kick, you'll be breezing right through it. AXE would probably be banned from tournaments because he is totally broken.

AXE's low kick is devastating.
Graphics are nicely animated for a Gameboy color game, which is great because each character has a surprising amount of moves they can use. AXE has a particularly notable victory animation where he lashes out his alien tongue which is pretty cool. Most of the story is carried out by goofy looking portraits of the kids and various adults you run across during the events of the game. A lot of them look like borderline Asian stereotypes, which I find a bit surprising as this game was made in Japan. They changed Louis's sprite to look more "American" in the international version, but he still looks like a jackass in both, so nothing to rage about here. The music is actually pretty great though, filled with many upbeat chip-tunes. The best song, according to many, happens to be "1995". Why the song is called "1995" is anyone's guess, but it's a great thing that they let you listen to the game's tunes at anytime via the sound test!

I never met a single human being who has played this game, as a I kid I would ask everyone if they had this, and they would assume I'm talking about something else like Quest 64. I know I'm not the only one who enjoyed this game though, as someone even went through the trouble of ripping the game's soundtrack which is a very noble endeavor indeed!  Even if you factor in the fact that AXE is overpowered, this game is still a lot of fun and it's one of the better fighting games you can find on the Gameboy Color.  Be sure to check out the video as "1995" plays right through it!

10 comments:

  1. i have never played this game before, but it looks pretty retro

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  2. well it has a cool name at least

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  3. never played it but it looks cool

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  4. I think you are better than most mmmm

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  5. Haven't tried this game, but it doesn't look that bad for a 98 game lmao. I miss the olden day games, but at the same time, everyone is glad for technological advances. Right?

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  6. I played this game but I could never complete it... I might try again though using Axe :D

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  7. My god... I remember this game. I think I still have the cart somewhere. Props for having played this. Not enough love for it IMO

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  8. My god, there is another human being that has actually played this game? Props for that, and for picking the best song in the entire game as your favorite (just personal opinion mind ye)

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  9. I played this!!!! Epic game!

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