Review by wing2871x

Reviewed: 12/09/99 | Updated: 12/09/99

The best original 2D fighter for the PC

In the early days of gaming, when Street Fighter was all the rage, the PC gamingcommunity had a big open hole. They basically had nothing to offer in terms offighting game. And in the great D.I.Y. spirit of the early days of shareware,many people took it upon themselves to create their own. Among these effortswas Diversions Entertainment's One Must Fall 2097, which in my opinion standsas the best 2D fighting game on the PC available. Unfortunately, since EpicMegaGames became full of themselves with the upcoming Unreal, they dropped theirentire lineup like hot potatoes in favor of Unreal (which also included somebeauts like Traffic Department 2192, Tyrian, and the retro-classic Jill of theJungle), and now OMF:2097 is available as freeware. If you have not played this game, you're missing out. I recommend you look for it, get it, and play it now.

The game is about the future where actual physical fighting is outlawed andfighters now attach their brains to giant Human-Assisted Robots (HARs). Thiscombat is exhibited in a tournament called One Must Fall, and it's the mostpopular form of entertainment in the world at the time. The leading companyof the galaxy, WAR (World Aeronautics and Robotics) needs a VP to run thingsat the newly colonized moon of Ganymede and, seeing as all their toptechnicians are also skilled HAR fighters, they decide they should fightfor it.

GRAPHICS: (8/10). On the plus side, the HARs are amazingly and beautifullyrendered, and the backgrounds are a sight to look at. Unfortunately, what'snot rendered is woefully amateurish. The pilots and humans are drawn in ananime-like style that, without scanlines, comes off as pasty and blocky.Nevertheless, these are a minor detraction from the gameplay.

SOUND: (9/10). Sound on this game is fantastic - I don't know how they didit, but they managed to make the effects sound very real. The music is alsoamazing. It was composed by Kevin Chou, who also lent a hand to the amazingshooter game Zone 66 (also discontinued, unfortunately).

GAMEPLAY: (10/10). The fight engine for OMF:2097 is simply brilliant. Thereare only two buttons: punch and kick, however the programmers have found a wayaround this limitation that is innovative and easy to learn. Holding forwardresults in a light punch, holding back results in a heavy punch, neutral meansmedium punch. It also has an amazing combo system which, unfortunately, canonly be taken advantage of with a secret code: at the main menu, hold thenumbers 2, 0, 9, and 7, then head to the Option screen, go to Advanced Optionsand turn on Rehit mode. This mode allows for flashy juggle combos that dogreat damage and require real but accessible skill to pull off. Without Rehit on, this game sadly loses a lot of its amazing gameplay. This game also hasthe intriguing pilot/robot combo system, which was not taken advantage of toits full potential but still makes for some interesting fights. And there'salso the Tournament mode, which lets you build your own robot out of the 11HARs.

STORY: (9/10). Unfortunately, the game makers of OMF:2097 didn't give toomuch attention to the story. The story was one of the best aspects of OMF,but is sadly being put on the backburners for its upcoming sequel.

REPLAY VALUE: (8/10). I really never get tired of watching the 1P mode endingsbut some might. You also have the user-created tournaments available on the'Net which add to the game's fun. The main kick is to play this game witha friend, though.

All in all, this game is a must have for the 2D fighting game fanatic. It wasa great game in its own right, and is hands down the best 2D fighting game available for an IBM PC compatible. Download it now.

Rating: 10

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