Groove on Fight (Sega Saturn, Atlus, 1997)
Groove on Fight is the third installment from the Power Instinct series. The series started in 1993, and was developed by Noise Factory. At a time when Street Fighter II clones were a dime a dozen, this game stood out by being absolutely insane. It had a colorful cast of characters, and was basically a comedy of a fighting game. Groove on Fight downplays the ridiculousness, but not completely. The game is about the Goketsuji family. They have a rule that every so many years there will be a fight to see who the clan leader will be. The only returning character from the previous games are Oume and Otane, old ladies who act as the matriarchs of the main family of fighters from the series. They decide that they might be too old to win the tournament, so they decide to fight together by being tied to each other. There are a few more unusual characters, but nothing quite like Pooch, a large man dressed as a dog, from the previous title.
The characters are fun and interesting as far as the game goes, but this title doesn’t do anything that hasn’t really been done before. It utilizes a neat 2 v 2 play style, where you choose two characters. When one is K.O.d, the match restarts with the other player. You can tag in your companion at any time, but they can be knocked back into the background. They can also jump in for a quick attack, or a special tag team move. One more thing: when a character is knocked out, their lifeless body stays on the floor for the rest of the match, so you can actually pick it up and fling it at your opponent. There is a special meter, and when you fill it you look like a Dragon Ball character powering up for just a moment. You’re invincible during this time and it can knock the opponent back. Then, of course, you can use your special move. There are light and strong attacks for punches and kicks, then a button that dashes you past your opponent and attacks them from the back, then an ultra strong but slow attack. Moves are performed with standard Street Fighter button combinations.
One of the best things about the game, and likely the first impression you will have on it, is how fantastic the character illustrations are. The very talented Range Murata has been in charge of the artwork since the beginning. He’s a fantastic artist and I for one, think he is on par with SNK’s Shinkiro, the guy who did the artwork for King of Fighters, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and more. So what do you think about the game? Does it look good to you? Worth playing or importing? DId you ever play the Super Nintendo Power Instinct games? Let us know!