If Jackie Chan were a videogame (other than his own upcoming Stuntmaster), he'd be Power Stone. Much like Chan's renowned style of comedic martial arts filmmaking, Power Stone is a two-player competitive fighting game that allows players to freely roam about the stage with the ability to pick up, hurl, swing, or hang from nearly everything in it. Players can still slug it out traditionally via punches, kicks, and throws, but the real innovation of the game is to utilize one's surroundings against an opponent. This includes recovering the Power Stones that magically appear during play. Since acquiring all three Stones will enable a player to do advantageous Power Fusion attacks, its always a frantic cat and mouse chase where the hunter can quickly become the hunted (and vice versa) in their desperate attempts at recovering the stones. Unlike most two-player fighting games, where mastery of skill and technique can ensure victory, guile and wit are of supreme importance in Power Stone to steal the stones first or cause your opponent to cough up the stones in their possession.

Even more shocking is how much a player is able to do in this game considering the simple joystick and three button (the Dreamcast controllers extra buttons are used to simulate two-button combination presses) format. Anyone will be able to pick up Power Stone in minutes and once a player is able to grasp the fundamentals, performing the more advance techniques isn't much of stretch. No extensive studying or learning of elaborate directional motions or sequential button presses is necessary in order to perform the moves in Power Stone. Even the special Power Fusion attacks and grab functionality is easily executed by pressing different pairs of the three buttons available at the same time. Consequently, the simplistic controls cause the game to lack a little depth as far as the interface goes, but what it lacks in depth, it makes up for in good production values (graphically and aurally), intense pacing, and constant outwitting. Few games require players to be this crafty in order to be victorious. Power Stone is an fine example of such and I had a riotous time playing it. Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Chi Kong Lui
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