Reviewed in 2011 by Tibe

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Vidéogames and.... drugs

by Tibe (2011)

It wreaks havoc ... And one wonders what Atlus programmers had smoked when they designed Power Instinct. Released in 1993, this game is yet another Street Fighter II and other Fatal Fury's rival, and clearly not the worst of all! Atlus draws a little late, but provides a quality soft, original and packing plenty of fun. Programmed on a 68k-based support, Power Instinct occupies no less than 115 megabytes of space with its large sprites, nice stages, and (especially) its demonic damn good soundtrack ! In fact, it quite sounds like a joke from the designers of the game. Sound effects seem to come straight out from a clown performance, the different voices that punctuate the action are completely crazy, while the two dwarfs arbiters present in every fight multiply funny actions and stunts in the background!

You understood it, the main atmosphere of the soft is fun. Power Instinct does not take itself seriously, and this is good to see for once. We could mainly say that the team that programmed the game was pretty inventive and 'original', with all this funny and sometimes absurd stuff. But don't misunderstand it, all this is very cool, and gives a real break with serious games. But this musn't distract us from what we came to see: we want to see fighters and blood, intense 2D VS fighting action, big roster, technical game, with a challenging adventure and a realization that rocks. So, besides making us laugh ... is there something else for us, tell me? On the realization, it's quite honest. The graphic style is simple but lacking no depth, and the backgrounds are cute and alive. The characters are well drawn, although they're lacking some finesse, but all this is remarkably staged. The animation is not the best we've seen so far (Fatal Fury Special or SSF2 are way better) but the pace is good, the game is catchy and dynamic, providing intense and beautiful fights.

The roster made of eight characters is not ridiculous, but really stands as the bare minimum in 1993. If this number seemed magical in 1991 with Street Fighter II, things have changed in two damn years, and mega-hits of the time offer from twelve to sixteen playable characters. Ouch! Yes, but this is the first installment of Atlus' saga, and the protagonists in a word, if they are few are rich enough, packing a plethora of special moves. Four buttons are used, two for kicks and two for punches, the same configuration as Fatal Fury. Many combos are included and the special moves are numerous, with some of them that are spectacular, the game even offering some additional techniques such as double jump, dash, dodge, counters... And the pleasure of play is felt rather quickly! The bonus stages are featured too: you must knock out the numerous small-arbiters within allowed time. Above all this, the shifted japanese atmosphere of the game is particularly exotic and pleasant. 

The characters are a little insane, judge yourself: choose between a grandmother who throws dentures, a brutal indian warrior, a bipolar ninja, a completely crazy buddhist monk , a transvestite wrestler, a schoolgirl, a stereotypical american and the classic clone of Ryu. The fine team! All are fun to play and have various attacks, with their own strengths and weaknesses. There 's only one Boss, the twin sister of the grandmother (dentures thrower). This one can rejuvenate at will and use as many different attacks depending on its shape. Reach her is already a great accomplishment, as the machine anticipates your moves and fakes the fight right from the third one, to have you using some credits! The versus allows a great time to fight with a friend, and the atmosphere of the game could set in good mood the most grumpy players. The soundtrack fits perfectly this crazy game: the music is cool and catchy, accompanied with well-chosen sound effects and crazy voices! For a first-time VS fighting game, Atlus escape with honors. Power Instinct is a good title, fun at will, that deserves to be discovered by all fans of the genre!



Few backgrounds, but quite a nice and original style... despite its relative cheapness!
Speedy and well-animated, it's in the time's standards.
The big point with Power Instinct! Themes, effects and voices are totally crazy, making the game so special!
Eight selectable characters is average in 1993, but the game is quite hard to clear.
Dynamic and technical, the game packs combos, dashes, double jumps, varied special moves... 



The first Atlus VS Fighting Game, crazy as hell and fun to play! Try it, if you dare!


I inevitably think of World Heroes 2 or even Karnov's Revenge and their very 'special' characters, as similar games on the system: ADK's game is even better, but not as crazy as Power Instinct!

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