Power Stone Collection Preview
Both games are frantic beat 'em ups done in a fast-paced style similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Unlike Smash Bros. though, Power Stone features an intricate attack system resplendent with combos, counters, and special moves (everything that Capcom is known for). The two Power Stone games further carve their own unique niche by incorporating such nifty aspects as fully-realized 3D environments, destructible environmental objects, and collectible "power stones" that allow players to beef up their characters during matches. For instance, if you play Falcon and collect three power stones, you can unleash a multi-missile assault on enemies from afar.
Power Stone Collection for PSP will include Power Stone, which originally featured 8 playable characters and a 2-player versus mode, and Power Stone 2, which upped the ante with 14 playable characters, dozens of new special moves, and a 4-player versus mode. Multiplayer modes won't be online-enabled, unfortunately, but Capcom has at least promised that you'll be able to setup local matches on multiple PSPs using only a single game disc.
Judging from the information, screen captures, and video demonstrations provided by Capcom, the variations of Power Stone present in the PSP collection will be virtually identical to their original Dreamcast incarnations. The 3D graphics and richly detailed polygon characters still look as bright as ever. By default, both games will run in a "widescreen" display mode that stretches the graphics to fill the PSP's screen. The stretch doesn't appear to distort or mangle the graphics, so that's good. We've been assured, though, that you'll be able to select a letterboxed "normal" display mode as well, which will display the games in their original aspect ratios with black bars on the left and right of the screen.
New enhancements for the PSP versions include multiple camera angles and new weapons in both games, an expanded roster for the original Power Stone (incorporating the 4 new characters from Power Stone 2), and an RPG style adventure mode for Power Stone 2.
Power Stone Collection for PSP is scheduled to ship in Q4 2006 (between September and December).
2/21/2006 Frank Provo