E3 97
Part Two

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Fighting Games

Developed by Square Soft and published by Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Bushido Blade is no ordinary fighting game. It takes the best of traditional fighting games and adds uncommon elements such as the lack of life meters, no time limits or ring boundaries, and a unique story mode. The game features six different characters, each armed with one of eight weapons ranging from katanas to long swords, and continuous 3D environments allowing a "strategic" fighting game play. Players will be able to walk up stairs, climb pits or balconies, and even fight in water. Bushido Blade will be available on the PlayStation in October 1997.

Cardinal Syn is also a tentative to break the mold of traditional fighting games. Scheduled for 1998, Cardinal Syn will send players into one of the 18 enclosed large levels to fight against medieval warriors with weapons such as battle axes, swords and maces. The real time 3D environments will feature elements that players can interact with. Environmental hazards, for example, like fire pits and spiked-line walls will be perfect to throw your opponent in. Cardinal Syn will also include multi-hit combos, special and gruesome finishing moves, and dismemberment scenes. Slated for release in 1998 on the PlayStation by Sony Computer Entertainment of America.

In the fourth quarter of 1997, the Street Fighter series will jump into the world of 3D fighting games. Street Fighter EX Plus on PlayStation will deliver Capcom's signature game play and incredible control in a title that will see the return of the favorite Street Fighter II characters like Chun, Ryu and Ken, appearing for the first time in 3D. Overall, 18 characters will be included in the game, introducing all-new characters like Skullomania, Pullum Purna, Hokotu, Garuda and Cracker Jack. Boasting explosive 3D graphics, special moves, new super-combos and multi-hit barrages, Street Fighter EX Plus promises to be the next blockbuster this holiday season!

Back to 2D fighting games, Capcom announced three new titles for both, PlayStation and Saturn: Marvel Super Heroes for September 1997, Darkstalkers 3: Vampire Savior and X-Men Vs. Street Fighter for 1998. In Marvel Super Heroes, players will control ten of Marvel's mightiest Super Heroes and Super Villains. Battling through savage rounds of competition with rich and detailed graphics, players can customize their power with the Infinity Gem which grant healing, super attacks or increased strength. Along with the regular moves, players can also build up energy in the three stage special Infinity Meter. In Vampire Savior, besides the addition of four new characters (Jedah, Q-Bee, Lilith and B.B. Hood), the new custom-combo Dark Force move kicks the fight to new heights and opens never seen before possibilities by stringing together special moves, multi-hit combos and other devastating secrets. Finally, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter will let players choose among 8 X-MEN and 9 Street Fighters for the ultimate battle. The game will feature advanced guarding techniques allowing to reverse forces and push the opponent backward while blocking an attack, and super moves like the X-Barrage and the ultimate Tag Team Combo.

Sega Entertainment will ship Virtua Fighter 2 for the PC in August 1997. With more realistic graphics, new moves and ever-changing 3D perspectives, Virtua Fighter 2 features 11 different characters and supports network play via LAN, modem and Internet.

This summer, Interplay will release Clay Fighter 63 1/3 and Clay Fighter Extreme respectively on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation. Unique fighting game combining cartoon-like humor and eccentric 3D molded clay characters, Clay Fighter brings a serious dose of humor to the fighting genre. First in the series to feature breakthrough interactive backgrounds, Clay Fighter also offers 20 new different environments to choose from, adds new characters and awesome special effects, as well as three hidden characters familiar to long-time fans of the series.

With more playable characters than ever before, MK Trilogy from GT Interactive will bring fighting fury to the PC in December. Including LAN and Internet support for multi-player matches and a new Aggressor Kombat Mode, MK Trilogy will give you more strength and power to inflict heavy and damaging combinations to your opponents.

Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi is LucasArts's first entrance into the fighting games market. Centered on the character of Arden Lyn, a master of the ancient martial art Teras Kasi, the game pits feared champions of the Galactic Empire against the leaders of the Rebel Alliance into an one-on-one tournament. Characters like Han Solo, Princess Leia or Luke Skywalker will battle the likes of Boba Fett, Tusken Raiders and Gamorreans into various 3D environments familiar to the Star Wars universe such as Cloud City, Hoth and Tatooine. Real actors were filmed to provide 3D animators with realistic movements to assure that animations would be extremely lifelike. Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi will include hundreds of possible moves, 3D rendered characters and weapons such as lightsabers, bowcasters and blasters. The Force will be present in the game under the form of a Force Power that players build up as they fight, that will allow each character to execute specific power moves. Available on the PlayStation in fall 1997.

Published by Playmates Interactive Entertainment, Battle Arena Toshinden 3 will be available this month for the Sony PlayStation with a new set of features. Featuring all of the toughest characters of the first two episodes plus 14 additional, completely new redesigned fighting arenas, new moves and multi-hit combinations, Battle Arene Toshinden 3 is a serious contender in the fighting games arena.

Available first on Sega Saturn, then later on PC, Last Bronx is the latest fighting game from Sega to be converted from the arcades to the Saturn. Eight different street fighters will combat in eight unique locations that depict actual scenery from Tokyo. Armed with authentic martial arts weapons such as San Set Sukon (three sectional staff) and Nun Chaku (martial arts weapons), players can fight alone or go head-to-head against friends and foes.

In September 1997, Midway Home Entertainment will release Mace: The Dark Age on Nintendo 64 and PlayStation. Based on the popular 3D medieval-themed fighting arcade game from Atari, Mace: The Dark Age includes ten selectable characters, two bosses and seven other hidden characters. Each character is fully equipped with a specific weapon, unique fighting style and gruesome fatality. The game also features true multi-level playfields with ledges, steps and ramps; deadly hazards such as lava, quicksand and spikes, and interactive and throwable objects. Spectacular graphics and awesome visual effects like transparency and dynamic lighting will make Mace: The Dark Age one of the best-looking 3D fighting game ever.

Online Games

Designed specifically for a massive multi-player experience on the Internet, Assault! (a work in progress title) is a 3D action/strategy game developed by Trilobyte and published by newly formed Red Orb Entertainment. Slated for release in early 1998, Assault! privileges competitive team play over single minded Rambo style tactics, and combines intense action and strategic planning. While the massive multi-player experience is what makes Assault! unique, single players will still be able to enjoy the game through a series of stand alone missions. Supporting most popular 3D hardware accelerators, the 3D engine will display fast polygon-based high resolution graphics to further immerse you into the game. Additionally, 3D sound effects during the game will enhance the realism of the combats.

If you are looking for a multi-player arcade-style combat game, Headland Media may have what you are looking for with their latest product called NetWar. Currently in beta testing, NetWar can support 30 players simultaneously per level, the server launching multiple levels at the same time. Using a 3D isometric perspective with SVGA graphics, NetWar features arcade-style action through four different modes ranging from Practice to Death Match through Team Battle, and ten different vehicles including jet packs, boats, tanks, jeeps and helicopters . Each of the four characters (A.K., Schmitty, Sonya and Special Forces Dude) are armed with a specific weapon that can be upgraded during the game with various power-ups. Chat capabilities are also implemented in the game with a leaderboard where players will find their rank and score.

This September, Berkeley Systems will add a new online multi-player game to beZerk, Berkeley's free online entertainment network. In Acrophobia, up to 14 players meet in a game room where they must think of phrases that match the letters of the displayed acronym in a race against time and other players. A vote among players will select the best phrases, and points will be awarded for speed and humor. Acrophobia will also feature original music, cool graphics and a chat interface that allows players to converse during the game.

Virgin Interactive Entertainment was showcasing SubSpace at E3, an online game that has already attracted over 300,000 players worldwide. Currently downloadable free of charge from Virgin's web site, SubSpace is expected to become commercially available this fall with the simultaneous launch of a retail CD-ROM upgrade module that include graphics enhancements. Hundreds of people can play together with this fast-paced top-down space shooter, firing at enemy ships, avoiding asteroids and vying for power-ups that increase their ship's fire power, armament and maneuverability. An on-screen chat system allows players to communicate in real-time with each other which is perfect for planning an attack when playing in team mode.

Available exclusively on TEN beginning this fall, Confirmed Kill from Eidos Interactive is a WWII flight simulation featuring multi-player capabilities and 65,000 color graphics. Mission controls allow players to adjust scenarios giving opponents with different experience levels to fly against each other. Players can command their own squadron and plan team strategies for online campaigns or instead enjoy a dogfight solo.

Starting public beta testing this month, Jack Nicklaus Online Golf Tour is the first-ever tournament-based golf game played across the Internet. Using the same technology as in Jack Nicklaus 4, Accolade claims that over one thousand people will be able to play online at any given time. Players will chat live with other golfers in a clubhouse, where they will find players with whom to play and visit the trophy room. Hundreds of courses will be available, and players will also have the possibility to create and download courses for the game using the Jack Nicklaus 4 Course Designer. In conjunction with ARIES Online Gaming, Accolade will host a full schedule of online tournaments which are expected to include practice rounds, qualifying and prizes provided by real-world tournament golf sponsors.

One of the most anticipated online games this year is Ultima Online, developed by Origin Systems and Electronic Arts, and is currently in public beta testing. Based on the fantasy world thought up by Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima series, Ultima Online offers a rich and never-seen before experience to thousands of simultaneous players. Not only will the game include a real-time economic and environmental simulation in which players will enjoy true social interaction, but also a phenomenal world that is over 189 million square feet large. Ultima Online also features beautiful 3D terrains with a dozen of distinct sorts that reflect a variety of climates and regions, real-time lighting, day/night cycle and 16-bit colors. No two players will be alike in the game. Multiple skin colors, hair colors and hairstyles, and gender, allow for the creation of more than 10,000 unique character appearances. Add clothing and equipment, and the number of possible individuals is almost unlimited! If you want to see for yourself what the most extraordinary online game ever looks like, visit Ultima Online to make your opinion.

MPG-NET announced several titles at E3 that are currently in development. Empire Dawns will send players into the stars in a real-time strategy game, in which they will grow their colony into a galactic empire. With advantages and/or disadvantages inherent to each species, such as technology and form of government, players will have to find the best strategies to help develop their colony. Through research, players will be able to increase their technology level, build up new weapons, and then conquest new territories. In another style, DragonGard will provide players with a first person perspective game and a 16-bit color 3D engine. Allowing thousands of players to roam for adventure simultaneously, DragonGard will appeal to both, RPG and adventure fans. FiefQuest is about land acquisition, resource management and battle strategy. Combining political diplomacy and military forces to win the land, FiefQuest is a game where players try to climb up the social ladder and stay there as long as possible. Search and Destroy is developed by the creators of the Sniper available on CompuServe. Featuring superior game play and striking visuals, Search and Destroy allows players to follow a career rather than single missions, with increased ranks resulting in new skills, weapons and abilities. Finally, Skulls, Bones and Buccaneers will send players back in time, cruising the Caribbean as a pirate captains. Players will buy sailing vessels, hire crews and equip their ships with various weapons. The game uses a 3D first-person perspective with sophisticated graphics, and will include battle sequences.

Developed by PostLinear for Segasoft, 10Six is the world's first million-player game. Launching on January 1, 1998 midnight, 10Six is a 3D action/strategy game that will be available exclusively on HEAT.NET. Using multiple camera angles that allow three different perspectives modes (first-person, first-person removed and true third-person), the game sends players into a "gold-rush" for a new energy source. The objective is to accumulate wealth while protecting your land on the Internet from attack, with various weapons that can be bought or traded through the Transactor technology.

Last updated July 16th

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