There's been lots of great fighting games in my time, and looking back on them, not a single one was released native to the PC. This hasn't changed now, as arcades and consoles are the preferred method of playing a head-to-head fighter. OMF2097 is the second installment in the One Must Fall series, the first coming out years before this one did, in 1994. Players control humans that control robots with their minds. Sounds cool, but wait 'till you get a handful of this crap.
In the single player mode, you'll pick from one of the 10 humans who all have individual piloting stats, then pick your bot. Each robot has certain special attacks, most of which are done in good fighting game fashion, down forward punch. At first, you'll clumsily bash your way through the first few fights, but eventually you'll learn your attack combos and start getting stuff done. Some of the arenas have hazards that will come out of the background and knock you around a bunch, which is neat. Apparently, you can destroy your opponent "fatality" style, but I didn't get none of that. You'll fight your way to the top, then it's over. There's also a tournament mode, which allows you to gradually increase the human and robots stats based on the credits you've earned from fights. You have to buy parts, train your skills, and trade robots. A small amount of customization is included here, you can change your colors. As for the game itself, the control just feels too unresponsive. You'll be able to get a certain distance just mashing buttons, but eventually you're going to need those controls to be there, and they aren't. I can't begin to explain the amount of times I was trying to block but to no avail. -3 points for sluggish business.
They're relatively good, nice animations on the fighters and smooth, easy textures. The robots all have something pretty neat about them, and it's easy to see that. There's little pre-fight scenes where the characters insult eachother, and after the fight a reporter goes through some highlights. It adds quite a bit to the overall presentation of the game, but I would have liked to see more robot destruction. -2 points for not enough robo violence.
Some neat techno plays while you hear the usual "Round one" from the announcer. A good amount of robot clanking going on as they use stuff like fire or blades. It just feels to me like something is missing, and I think they could have added more character voices or robot squeals. -4 points for the lack of effort in the sound department.
If you like fighting games, it'll float your boat. There's enough replayability in this game to last you a long, long while. Even though it doesn't stack up to say, Killer Instinct, it holds its place as one of the better 2-D fighters for the PC. Perhaps even the best. It was also made freeware only five or six years after its release. Give it a shot, it's cool!
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