Power Stone Collection PSP Review

If there is one fact in this great gaming world we love to take part in it’s that everyone that played Power Stone when it was released on the Dreamcast back in 1999 had one hell of a great time. Whether it was ’round your mate’s or just having a quick go on the single player when you got the itch there was always some great entertainment to be had. The whole spectacle was made even better with the release of Power Stone 2 in 2000 as it brought many more features to the table. Now both games have been shrunk down and brought to the PSP… the quality is most definitely still there, but for multiplayer fans it’s going to cost ya!

For those unfamiliar with the series Power Stone plays very differently from Capcom’s other gaming efforts they have released over the years. The biggest difference is that all matches take place in large interactive environments. In these areas there are many items which can be used as weapons. There are many different kinds of weapons available, some which can be picked up and used in melee attacks, some which can be thrown and some which can be slid in the direction of your enemies as well as many others. The second game in the series changes things up a bit by adding bigger weapons to the mix with the likes of turret guns. Other items available are food items and of course the fabled Power Stones from which the games gets their names. These stones transform whoever picks them up into a extremely powerful version of themselves who can cause a hell of a lot of damage for a short amount of time.

In Power Stone Collection both Power Stone and Power Stone 2 are two completely separate games, with each one available via the main menu screen. On your first play of the original you are given eight different characters to choose from: Falcon, Ayame, Wang-Tang, Gunrock, Jack, Galuda, Rouge, and Ryoma. Each charcter has their own skills with some being very fast with weak kicks and punches, and others being the opposite with hard hitting attacks, but are very slow to move around the arena. The controls are very easy to pick up – even for beginners – with jump, grab, kick, and punch all mapped to the face buttons and ‘power fusion’ available via the shoulder buttons. There are loads of modes to play around with as well. The first port of call will probably be story mode where you fight your way through the game’s other characters just like you do in all other beat ’em ups. CPU mode is also available which gives you the option to fight any character in any environment you choose. Training mode is also available to practice your skills (or refine them if you are coming back to the PSP version after not playing the Dreamcast version for a few years).

Power Stone 2 changes things up a lot, and ends up being the better game available in the pack. While it still has all the features and modes that made the original great it adds four player simultaneous play along with free-for-all, team-based, and tag-team battles. It then ups the size of the play area significantly and also adds changeable, and at times multi-tier environments to the mix. Characters called Pete, Julia, Gourmand, and Accel are added to the names listed above and are all available from the start of play with even more unlockable messages as you play through the game. An item shop and minigames are other addition which were not seen in the original

Both Power Stone and Power Stone 2 look great visually. The game has been shrunk down very well to fit on the PSP screen (and UMD) and thankfully nothing seems out of place after the switch. After attempting to compare the Dreamcast and PSP version of Power Stone (the first one) side-by-side I did not notice any huge alteration to the graphics, although a few new weapons were on show. As fans of the series will know Power Stone is a very quick game to play and once again the PSP seems to handle this well. Even though things get manic at times (especially in Power Stone 2) the game’s frame rate never seems to slow down. The camera system, which is the bane of many PSP titles also seems very capable of keeping up with the mad-cap action and never seems out of place at any time. It really is an amazing accomplishment and something I would have not though possible. Each game also supports the original 4:3 display as well as a widescreen display option.

Although it is a very entertaining title Power Stone Collection will probably only appeal to fans of the original Dreamcast releases, and if you’re anything like me you will most likely still have your Dreamcast proudly sitting under your TV, thus taking away greatly from the appeal of a buying it again. If you combine this with the fact that you need multiple copies of the game to get the most out of the multiplayer Power Stone Collection does not rate highly in terms of value for money. But for those that may have sold their Dreamcast (you should be ashamed of yourself!) Power Stone Collection is a great way to remember the games you once loved, and if you have 4 PSP owning friends who are willing to buy a copy of the game then you have the luxury of Power Stone on the move! What could be better than that?

Without a doubt Power Stone Collection is a very good game but a lot of money needs to be spent to make it great.

8.2 out of 10

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