Brad: Weaponlord is yet another Genesis fighting game that, despite a half-hearted effort to compensate, ultimately requires you to have a 6 button controller. On top of that, they decided to throw a drastically different control scheme at you. Thanks, Namco! Maybe while you’re at it, you could come up with a few more ways to make this game unnecessarily complicated – perhaps figure out a way to reverse the audio and video so that the screen displays color patterns that represent sounds while my speakers broadcast a narrator describing what’s going on in the fight.
What the hell? Did you just throw a ghost at me?
Look, there’s a lot about Weaponlord to like – great animations and backgrounds, good AI, solid character designs. And if you’re willing to sink several hours into getting the hang of the gameplay, the fighting system is quite deep and nuanced. But the flip side is that most of the other top Genesis fighting games – Street Fighter 2, Fatal Fury 2, Samurai Showdown, etc. already have everything Weaponlord has, do it better, and don’t require a college-level training course to get the hang of. And some of them even play adequately with just the standard 3-button Genesis controller.
In other words, playing Weaponlord is kind of like learning to drive a stick shift car after being raised on automatics – it’s frustrating at first, you’ll stall out all the time, and you’ll look like an idiot to casual observers who don’t realize how hard it is. But if you stick with it, eventually you’ll get the hang of it, feel slightly superior to everyone else who can’t do it, and might even be able to impress your friends. Become proud enough of this achievement, and you may even find yourself swearing that you’ll never go back to the old way.
In the end though, you’re still using the car for all the same things you would be if it were an automatic, without much in the way of additional benefit for all that extra effort.
Stryker: I think Brad’s onto something with his car analogy, but I’d argue that Weaponlord is more like a car that you steer with your feet and control the speed with your hands. It’s a pointless change that gets passed off as innovation, but in the end, isn’t really any better than the way we’re used to, and might even be worse. No thanks. And while it was kind of a cool idea to work the fatalities in to be part of combos… who gives a rat’s ass about fatalities anymore?
Winner gets to live in that gigantic – whatever the hell that is – in the background.
I also don’t buy into the idea that it’s somehow impossible make a deep, interesting fighting game with only a 3-button controller. These folks (well, this company anyway) went on to make Soul Calibur after all.
Mr. Do!: Hey Weaponlord fans, I’ll start listening to your lame arguments about how great this game is when you can find something to talk about other than how awesome the fucking fatalities are.