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Power Stone Series

Updated on September 14, 2015
The most iconic fighting series on the Dreamcast, surpassing even Soul Calibur.
The most iconic fighting series on the Dreamcast, surpassing even Soul Calibur.

Fight For Your Freedom!

The Sega Dreamcast can probably be remembered as one of the most popular consoles among fighting genre enthusiasts. The system is home to some of the best fighting games, not only of the 5th & 6th generation of video games, but possibly in the entire history of console gaming. I will go so far as to say that Power Stone & Power Stone 2 surpass even the legendary Soul Calibur in terms of art design, play mechanics & unique personality. This is not your typical fighting game experience. PS puts you in a third-person, open arena brawl with emphasis on utilizing the environment as a weapon against your adversary. Each character begins a round with one (1) Power Stone, with a third, fourth or 5th stone appearing at random as the match progresses.

The character roster, while admittedly limited in the first game, is full of eight (8) playable warriors with two unlockable bonus fighters & one secret multiplayer fighter. So let's go through this roster, because there's a lot to discuss here:


CHARACTERS-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. Falcon - The titular character who seems to embody the very concept of the game. Wearing a red baron's outfight with goggles, this slender pilot is one of the fastest & most agile fighters in the game. Power Change:

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Power Missile - Falcon discharges a single rocket (up to three in rapid succession) from his arm. The missiles will home-in on your target's general location. Most effective at mid-range to long-range distances.
  • Power Hurricane - Falcon launches upwards in a burning cyclone. Effective at close range only.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Power Rocket - Falcon charges up the remaining power change energy to release a large-scale rocket invasion. Effective at all ranges. Easily one of the most powerful fusions in the game.
  • Power Explosion - Falcon converts the remaining power change energy into an effective speed burst, essentially transforming himself into a homing missile relentlessly attacking the opponent until energy is depleted.

2. Rouge - The "Scorching Beauty" of the game. Rouge uses her affinity to fire in her primary fighting style. She lacks a double-jump, and actually isn't as fast as some of the other, slimmer fighters.

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Hellfire Sign - Rouge exhales a deadly inferno kiss (ground) or scatters seeds for a fire garden (aerial). Effective at mid-range to close-range.
  • Dream Temptation - Rouge flies on a mystical carpet, enveloping the opponent in a burst of flames. Effective at close-range only.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Fiery Trap - Rouge charges the remaining power-change energy into a final, explosive earthquake inferno. Effective at mid-range to close-range
  • Secret Heaven - Rouge uses her remaining energy to trap her opponent in a mystical carpet beating (ground) effective at close-range only / Rouge summons the devil to pass judgement with his words. Effective at mid-range to long-range.

3. Wang Tang - I sometimes wonder how Capcom was able to pull this character off without being sued. He's the most agile fighter in the game, but lacks a double-jump. Wang-Tang has some of the fastest wall-jumps & Power Drive/Fusions in the game.

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Dragon Fang Bomb - Wang-Tang fires off a sort of energy sphere-like projectile rapidly in a single direction. They do not home in on the target, but due to their relatively high velocity, this doesn't really matter. This attack is effective at all ranges.
  • Dragon Storm - Wang-Tang rotates rapidly, creating a whirlwind with the cutting quality of 100-knives. Effective at close-range only.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Big Dragon Ball - Wang-Tang charges one final attack with an industrial-sized Dragon Fang Bomb with an electrical field. This attack homes in on the general location of your opponent. Effective at all ranges. This is probably the third most damaging Power Fusion in the game, next to Falcon's Power Rocket & Gun Rock's Rock 'n' Roll.
  • Dragon Dance - Wang-Tang charges at the enemy. If the attack connects, then Wang will begin to attack the opponent relentlessly in a uninterrupted fury. Effective at close-range only.

4. Ryoma - One of my personal favorites, Ryoma is a master swordsman. Although not the fastest or most agile character, there's nothing more satisfying than swinging from a pole while rotating & effectively tearing into your opponent like a buzz-saw. Ryoma also has one of the coolest power change forms in the game, effectively changing into a fully-armored super samurai.

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Raijinken - Ryoma can apparently command lightning at will. This is basically a normal sword swipe with the addition of a stream of lightning. While on the ground, Ryoma can utilize a single shot of lightning or rapidly execute subsequent strikes. While in the air, Ryoma can emit a more controlled form of lightning that comes in spheres that will slowly home in on your opponent. This is a close-range to mid-range attack.
  • Iaizan - This is a really cool attack that didn't make it to the second game. Ryoma can charge up enough energy to strike his sword with enough force to emit a residual cutting force that will travel across the entire arena floor in a concentrated line. Effective at long-range, but can also be used at close range (Executing while Ryoma is air-borne will cause him to come crashing down with mighty force before executing the Iaizan).

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Midare Zantou - Ryoma manages to use his two swords with such speed & force, that he is able to create an expanding cluster of residual blades that cover a wide area. This attack is effective close-range to mid-range, but can also home in on a long-range opponent.
  • Tenchi Ryoudan - If Sonic the Hedgehog were a Power Stone character, then this would probably be one of his Power Fusions. Ryoma curls up into a a ball, uses his remaining energy to surround himself in a field of electric current, and launches upwards before crashing down on the opponent. Effective at close-range only. It can be tricky to get the maximum damage with this move, because if you catch the opponent while in the air sometimes they will be knocked back, dodging your final blow to the ground. But, if you only are able to hit the opponent with the ground blow the damage could also be greatly reduced. It's pretty hit-and-miss... literally.

5. Ayame - Every fighting game has to include a female warrior to avoid the sexism card, right? Ayame is one of the fastest, most agile characters in the game with the added benefit of double-jumping. Her main Power Fusion is one of the most difficult attacks to dodge in the game (I would say at least a 90% chance of a minimal hit and 70% chance of a full hit).

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Flower Shuriken - Ayame throws a cluster of three shurikens, enhanced with flower power I suppose?
  • Cherry Blossom Hide - I never understood why they took out secondary Power Drives in Power Stone 2. This one allows Ayame to briefly disappear into a flash of flower petals, making her invincible for the duration of the attack. Effective at close-range only.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Hundred Flower Bloom - This is the Power Fusion I was talking about earlier. It's damn near impossible to avoid. Ayame releases a huge shuriken that continues to divide & spread covering an extremely wide area. The only effective defense against this move is to use a shield or grab her before she is able to complete the initial shuriken launch.
  • Cherry Blossom Dance - I never really cared for this move. It's hard to catch an opponent in this attack & it does very little damage. It was probably thrown in to make Ayame's power change more balanced due to the nearly impossible to dodge Hundred Flower Bloom fusion. If you're able to connect the attack, then Ayame will begin assaulting her opponent relentlessly without interruption until her energy is depleted.

6. Gunrock - The heaviest, slowest & least agile character in the game. This hulk of a man makes up for a lack of finesse with crushing force. He can pick up poles, large tables, and throw objects faster & farther than any other standard fighter.

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Gun Gun Rock -
  • Rock Crush -

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Rock 'n' Roll -
  • Earthquake -

7. Jack - Another one of my favorites! Jack is a mad clown with no resentment for the murders he has committed. I'm not sure if he is supposed to be a dead person rising from his grave or...?

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Rolling Slash - Jack extends his arm, spinning his blades rapidly at the opponent for about 2 seconds. Effective at mid-to-close range only.
  • Round Slash - Jack extends his leg in one rapid sweep with incredible force. Effective at close range or mid-to-far range.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Killer Dance - Jack extends BOTH arms and begins rotating in place rapidly while ascending. Effective at close-range only.
  • Misery Rain - Jack fires off (around 30-40) energy swords into the sky, which then continue to fall in the general direction of the opponent. This Fusion is very powerful & difficult to dodge by opponents. Effective at all ranges. (TIP: For maximum damage, launch the attack from a grounded position. Jack is capable of executing the attack in the air, but I've found it to be less accurate/effective. Plus, if you're able to launch the attack near the opponent you may be able to damage them during the launch in addition to the rainfall damage)

8. Galuda - Probably one of the most unique fighters in the game. Galuda uses the power of, erm, the Heavens? I guess he just borrows it from time to time. Or maybe Heaven loans it to him. I'm not really sure.

Power Drive: (Depletes a portion of the power-change bar)

  • Light of Vengeance - Galuda will launch an energy trident in the direction of the enemy. Relatively weak Power Drive that isn't difficult to dodge by opponents.
  • Heaven's Cry - Another weak Power Drive that is limited to close-range encounters. Galuda will grow wings & charge at the enemy.

Power Fusion: (Depletes the entire power-change bar)

  • Light of Vengeance - Galuda will charge a bow & arrow with his remaining Power Change energy. Once launched, a series of projectiles will rain from the sky, homing in on the location of your opponent. This Fusion is capable of substantial damage if a direct hit is successful.
  • Heaven's Victory - Depending on which difficulty/damage level you're playing on, this can either be the strongest or weakest close-range Fusion in the game. Galuda will grow (bigger) wings and make one final launch towards the enemy. If contact is successful, Galuda will fly towards the Heavens with a tight-grip on your opponent, ending in a direct slam to the ground with incredible force and all damage absorbed by your opponent. Unlike in Power Stone 2, Galuda is limited to an upward charge. It will not connect with your opponent if you're above them.


BONUS CHARACTERS/BOSSES:--------------------------------------------------------


Power Stone contains two additional characters that can be unlocked by completing the game with all of the characters, including the ones you've unlocked. There is also an extra multiplayer map & character unlockable by simply completing the single-player game with all characters.

Extra Character #1: Kraken, a pirate with a floating ship in search of the Power Stones. He is considered a mini-boss before encountering Valgas. I've always found Kraken to be my least favorite character. Even after unlocking him, I didn't find his move set to be interesting or effective. His power change form looks really cool, but unfortunately the Power Drives & Power Fusions are pretty lame & it's actually pretty difficult to land any hits with them.

Extra Character #2: Valgas, the main villain & boss of the game. Valgas is one of the strongest, most unpredictable fighters in this game. He can throw objects faster than Gun Rock & deliver Power Change damage that surpasses even Falcon or Wang-Tang. In fact, Valgas has the single deadliest Power Drive in the entire game, capable of depleting the majority or entirety of your health reserve in a couple of goes. I also believe that Valgas contains a small energy handicap, as it seems that when I use Power Change moves against him, they always seem to do less damage than with other characters. It's not a huge difference, but it's still noticeable.

Extra Character #3: Final Valgas, now I could be wrong about this.. but I remember having to complete the game with every character in order to use this bonus feature. Final Valgas is technically the endgame boss in the single-player mode of the game. The arena & character become available in multiplayer mode only. Additionally, only one player can choose to play as F. Valgas at any given time. Another restriction is that only one multiplayer map is available should either player choose F. Valgas as their fighter. For these reasons, I don't really like this extra character. I don't have any friends to play against anyway.


POWER STONE 2-----------------------------------------------------------------


The sequel to the first game was Power Stone 2. This game added several features & play mechanics, but also took a few things away that disappointed me. The most notable addition in this game is four-player simultaneous combat. You can now fight up to three AI or human-controlled opponents in 1 vs 3, 2 vs 2, 1 vs 1 or Free-for-All matches. The second most notable addition to this game are the the transitioning environments. Unlike in the first game where you battled in a stationary arena, PS 2's levels are far more dynamic. Parts will move, break, explode & eventually the players will be launched into an entirely different area of the level.

The Power Stone mechanics in this game are very similar to the first, but there are several changes in the formula this time around, some better than others. Firstly, there are more Power Stones available. It's now possible for two players to reach Power-Change status simultaneously (which I always wanted to do in the first game, but is possible only with GameShark codes). Secondly, the duration of the transformation is somewhat extended, allowing players to execute two (or more) Power Fusion moves before losing Power-Change status. This is further enhanced after you've completed the game and unlocked Extra Options, allowing you to turn off the Power-meter timer.

One of the changes that I personally hated was the exclusion of certain moves that were available in the first game. The first one I noticed was the absence of a flying kick with clear direction and momentum. There are basically two aerial attacks possible by using punch or kick after jumping. However, not all of the kick attacks are.. well there not all really kick attacks and many of them will not home-in on the target like in the previous game. The second set of moves, and perhaps the most substantial omission in the game, is the removal of certain Power Drive moves. In the first game, each character had two Power Drive/Power Fusions available to them during a Power-Change. However, in PS 2, the players are limited to one primary Power Drive, with some of those drives having a ground-based version as well as an aerial-based version. For example, Ryoma (like in the first game) commands lightning with his swords during a transformation. While on the ground, Ryoma will strike the ground with his sword, with a beam of lighting striking down (from Heaven, apparently) onto the ground and/or any opponents in the immediate area. If you jump with Ryoma, he will use both swords to generate a more controlled form of lightning capable of homing-in on opponents.

But, in the first game Ryoma was also able to use the attack known as Iaizan, which was a ground-based, long-range attack where Ryoma charges his sword and strikes the ground with enough force to create residual cutting forces that run along the floor of the arena, damaging any objects or opponents in its path. This move along with others were not included in Power Stone 2, and to this day I haven't been able to figure out why. One of my theories is that the GD-ROM used to store the game on ran out of space and the development team was required to cut-back on content to avoid a multi-disc release. Another theory I have is that perhaps with the pressure to get killer titles out for the endangered Dreamcast console, developers were being rushed to push out titles. It's possible that Capcom cut a few corners in order to meet a strict deadline. If anybody knows the truth behind why these moves were not included in the game, I would love to know! Please comment in the appropriate section below.

NEW COMERS------------------------------------------------------------------------

Power Stone 2 introduces four (4) new characters to the existing roster. I'm going to be honest here, I only like one of them.

Extra#1: Pete - I hate Pete. He's the smallest character in the series with the shortest reach. His Power Change form isn't much better. He has an Energy Shot as his Power Drive which isn't particularly accurate or effective. He has four individual fusions, varying between two ground-based Fusions & two aerial Fusions. They all pretty much suck and are easy to dodge.

Extra#2: Julia - I can't decide if I dislike Julia or Pete more. I hate her character design. She is so weak until entering Power Change, but her Drive & Fusion attacks are just as (non)effective as Pete's & easy to dodge as well.

Extra#3: Gourmand - Given the choice of Pete, Julia or Gourmand... I would always recommend Gourmand. At least he has average mobility & reach with Power Drives/Fusions that are much more effective in both accuracy & damage. He carries a butcher's knife and pot with him at all times.

Extra#4: Accel - If you only ever touch one of the new characters in this game, make it Accel. I like his design, and he carries dual revolvers that you can actually use through pole swings/wall jumps. He has intermediate handling & reach, becoming the fastest fighter in the game after Power Change. I like firing his dual-mounted machine pistols, but I only care for one of his Power Fusions, the Wild Buzzsaw. Accel will literally transform into a motorized chainsaw with considerable range/mobility. His other Fusion attack (Crazy Revolver) is slow, ineffective & easy to dodge.

BOSSES---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Power Stone 2 contains only two boss encounters. Which is one more than the previous game, depending on whether or not you consider Valgas/Final Valgas one encounter or two. One could also argue that Kraken is a sub-boss of sorts, but I personally don't count him.

Boss Encounter#1: Pharaoh Walker

Hazards/Weapons: The Walker will move forward, stomping anything beneath its feet. Muslim/Egyptian men will launch homing-projectiles at you with tridents from within crevices of of the Pharaoh. The Walker's tail serves as a rotating laser, targeting the around the edges of the the Pharaoh. Occasionally, the Walker will drop to the ground with legs spread, rotating rapidly in place causing significant damage to players caught in the whirl-wind. The Walker may also launch itself into the air to switch perspective, and then come crashing down with significant force which can potentially "stun" your player for several seconds if he/she is in contact with the ground at the time of impact.

Strategies: This boss encounter takes place in a relatively large/open arena. Use this to your advantage. Use wall jumps, cacti and (if applicable) double-jumps to maneuver/dodge. If you can manage to make it on top of the Walker's back, it is possible to take out the Muslim manning the laser tail & use the laser against the Pharaoh (limited to three bursts, you must execute quickly or you will be ejected). This can be a useful tactic if you're running low on energy or time, as it will rapidly damage the Walker with a direct hit.

Otherwise, concentrate your normal attacks or weapons on the Walker's legs. When two legs are destroyed, the Walker will topple over leaving it defenseless for a short time. At this point you will want to concentrate Power Drives/Fusions on the head of the Walker (the head is the weakest point on the Fortress). You can also try targeting the head while the Walker is upright, but it will frequently launch a rapidly-retracting tongue, capable of trapping you in the mouth of the Walker if contact is successful (once caught, it is impossible to counter this attack).

Instant Knock-Out: If you're playing with a time limit, the Pharaoh is capable of launching an additional attack at time-out. The Pharaoh will launch itself to another arena in the far distance, charging one final laser that will instantly K.O. any remaining fighters on the field. There is no known defense against this attack. You will be notified of a nearby time-out with a 10-second warning/count-down. (NOTE: The seconds in the count-down warning are actually slightly longer in duration than real-time seconds. I would say they are more like two-seconds for every mark on the warning)


Boss Encounter#1: Dr. Erode

Hazards/Weapons: This emperor is packing a kitchen as his armory. He will use a fork to rapidly stab random areas of the small arena. He is also capable of coughing-up stomach flies which are capable of homing in on a player on the arena. Erode will occasionally gargle his beverage, spitting the back-wash onto the arena floor. Be aware of his arms/hands as the Doctor will randomly swipe at the arena, grabbing any players in the way and trapping them in his mouth for an instant. He is also capable of launching a lightning bolt that will home-in on one area of the arena floor.

Strategies: Due to limited size of the arena, you will need to be very aware of your surroundings, as well as the actions of your team mate/AI member. The AI-fighter will launch attacks with no regard for your well-being, often damaging you if you happen to be in the way. I actually prefer to fight this boss solo due to this annoying fact. Other than that, stay towards the rear of the arena and use the (invisible) wall as a spring-board for dodging Erode's periodic sweeps, stabbings and lightning bursts. When he coughs up the flies, stay towards one edge of the arena and quickly shift to the opposite side as they begin to home-in on your location. When he gargles his beverage, return to the rear of the arena and jump into the (invisible) wall again. It's also possible to use his hands as platforms if you're wanting to get closer to his head and your character lacks a double-jump

(TIP: You should get used to jumping frequently in order to avoid Erode's random attacks. When in Power Change, launch your Power Drives/Fusions from an aerial position. You will have a significantly higher chance of successfully launching a Drive or Fusion this way while avoiding Erode's random sweeps that could cause damage as well as waste your Power Change energy.)

Instant Knock-Out: If you're playing with a time limit, Erode is capable of launching an additional attack at time-out. The emperor will launch one final burst of lighting, covering the entire arena. This will instantly K.O. any remaining fighters on the field. There is no known defense against this attack. You will be notified of a nearby time-out with a 10-second warning/count-down. (NOTE: The seconds in the count-down warning are actually slightly longer in duration than real-time seconds. I would say they are more like two-seconds for every mark on the warning)

EXTRAS------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Power Stone 2 includes a new "Adventure Mode" in which the player engages in a variety of 1 vs 1, 1 vs 2, 1 vs 3 & 1 vs 4 matches complete with boss encounters. It's basically the same as arcade mode, but without the ability to continue after defeat. If you are defeated in Adventure Mode you will be forced to restart from the beginning. Your time & money/score is also recorded while playing in Adventure Mode. Players seeking a challenge will find it here.

When you've completed Adventure Mode, you can visit the item shop to purchase/sell items & create new weapons using a combination of essences & acquired items.

Power Stone (1 & 2) Review

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