Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Game Review: Eternal Fighter Zero

Eternal Fighter Zero was a fairly popular all-female doujin fighter featuring characters from One, Kanon, AIR, and every other Japanese visual novel you've never heard of.

In fact, I'd never have heard of this game if it wasn't for my obsession with the first Kanon anime which turned my attention to visual novels in general and somehow led me to this game. You can find more info on it from the wikipedia article.

Now on to the review. For the average gamer, Eternal Fighter Zero is seriously the best 2D fighting game you've never heard of. It has an easy learning curve which conceals an incredible depth that you can only experience by actually playing the game.

Anyone familiar with 2D fighters can easily pick up and play it right away. The specials and supers are simple and easy to pull off with only some variations for each unique character. The combo system is extremely flexible, but it takes a lot of skill to pull off more than 8 hits without using a super move. The beginner can get away with using two light poking attacks plus one medium, plus one heavy and adding in a special at the end, but don't think this will work with advanced players. This is where the game truly shines, thanks to the recoil guard system. If you time your block just right, you'll be able to counter with your own attack, however, unlike most other fighters, the enemy can actually recoil guard you back and initiate his own counter.

The AI is also fairly competent on the hardest difficulty level (though nowhere near the level of an advanced human player) and doesn't usually use cheap uber-reflex counters that most fighting game AI have. (think getting kicked out of terra firma by Guile every time you jump in SVC:
Chaos) Thanks to the somewhat unpredictable but fair AI, this game is
infinitely replayable even without any human competition and doesn't get tiring even after hours of play.

The graphics, while slightly pixelly are nothing to complain about with 3D effects and the level of animation you'd expect to see from commercial arcade fighters. The 2D sprites are also really cute especially if you're somewhat familiar with the characters.

Another bonus is the image gallery that comes with the game, which is used for the "now loading" screens featuring professional to amateur quality fanart of the characters and the games that they came from. Speaking of characters, EFZ also features a good selection of characters with 23 unique playable characters in the latest version. Ayu is a bit of an all-arounder, Shiori is more adept at hurling projectiles, Misuzu is for technical players, Kanna is a super-cheap character (nuff said), Mayu is basically balrog/vega in one character, etc.

While lacking a story-mode like Melty Blood, I prefer EFZ because of the simple controls and less combo-friendly system that allows for a variety of different playing styles, such as counter-punching, poking, or even missile spamming thus, allowing even players like myself who don't like stringing long-combos together to mix-it-up with the repeated-pattern-attack combo spammers.

One thing though: Don't even think of playing this game on hard without a gamepad. (although, I've tried it myself. It's possible but difficult)

Playing this game on a Windows 7 PC (and possibly VISTA) sometimes causes screen corruption. Try using a program such as DXWND or D3Dwindower to run it in a window. This fixes the problem on my part.

Official Website: http://www.tasofro.net/efz/index.html
*This is an old review reposted from my previous blog 

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