Veteran Combat is an action packed 2D one on one fighting game that takes place in the 1940's and centers around military men and lovely female "workers" (Note: They might actually be hookers and strippers). The goal of the game is to pick one of the twelve characters (four of those twelve are unlockable) and beat the rest of the characters in mortal combat and eventually face off with a mighty female dominatrix named Lady Commere. Yep, not much in terms of story but that can be said about a lot of arcade style arcade fighters. Will this game pack a punch? Or will it fell like a swift kick to the sensitive areas of the body. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).
This game doesn't really have a story other than two cut-scenes to which I'll talk about a bit later in this review. The gameplay style of this game is just a simple one on one fighter and you'd think that it'd be smooth to play right? (You can already see where I'm going to go with this). No, this game isn't very smooth to play at all. Being able to pull off punches and kicks are just fine but when it comes to performing special moves,
While it isn't simple to pull of specials but you can beat this game with ease just by mashing the punch and kick buttons to the point where you'll have no trouble beating the game at all. When you start a game you get to choose three characters instead of the typical single pick and the reason why you pick three characters is because each character serves as a credit for the game. When you lose with your first character you will be forced to play as the second character you picked, when that second character is defeated you get to play as the third character, this just means that you have three credits to work with. This is also a game where you will only get to face the final boss depending on the difficulty you have chosen. If you are playing on easy then you will not be able to face the final boss but you will be able to if you pick normal difficulty and I don't have anything to object with that system at all as it encourages to try to get good at games on higher difficulties.
This game has multiple modes of play such as: Team battle, verses, instant battle, and training with the master. None of the game modes feel different from one another, they all just feel like verses mode. The training mode does give you the ability to customize the difficulty of the CPU player and fight the final boss but other than that it just feels like verses mode once you start the mode up. It would've been real nice to have a proper training mode where I can try to learn all of the moves on a lifeless second player that has infinite health. You can record replays and watch them back in the replay section and that was an okay feature but I never had a match that I wanted to re-watch.
Controls in this game are very uncomfortable as you can only use the keyboard and that's including player two. If you want to do a multiplayer match you must have both players use the keyboard and that can lead to some very crowded gaming. You can re-arrange the controls but even then you won't be able to get a great button set up due to player two controls getting in the way to where you won't be able to set up your button lay-out to how you like it. This is a game that would greatly benefit from being compatible with plug-in controller support.
Graphics in this game uses real people that were photographed into the game and it was a very cool thing to see as we rarely get fighting games of this style these days. The graphics are also in sepia-tone (AKA a brownish grey) with a film grain effect mixed in to make the game look like an old movie. I found the old film look to be also very awesome and it blends in with the characters well and they don't get too blended into the film effect to where you can't tell where the characters are. If for some reason you do not like the film grain effect, you can switch it off in the options. Another thing about the game is that there is no full screen mode for this game and instead you are stuck with a 4:3 ratio box that you can't change. You also won't be able to fully see the whole game anyway as the bottom of the screen will be covered by that silly looking Windows program bar.
The look of the characters are very cheesy as the characters look like they are wearing cheap Halloween costumes and I love it. The look really captures the photographic fighter very well and the look of some of the characters reminds me of a nice tribute to Hogan's Heroes. The animation of the characters is a little weird looking as it is very floaty and doesn't work all that well. This game has an opening and a closing cut scene and I did not like them at all as they were all about the characters being silly with a guy doing a stereotypical Asian accent for narrative. the cut-scenes were not funny, made no sense, and were very pointless but it was nice seeing the main characters in action.
The soundtrack in this game sounds like a southern country album you would hear in a dark and sleazy bar to where you'd might pick up a cheap drink, a cheap woman/man of the night, and get into a bar fight with a cheap cowboy or a cheap biker. The music itself wasn't all that bad but it didn't really work out being part of a fighting game about a war in the 1940's. The voice over that you will hear during the battles helps capture the nostalgia feeling of playing an old photographic fighter but the voice over is also not that great as it is missing some weight to it and comes off as weak. The sound effects are very generic and also didn't fit in with the game.
Overall this game does have some very good ideas and does capture that old photographic fighter charm but is ruined by the controls and ratio aspect. I actually wouldn't mind seeing this game ported to the 3DO console or the Atari Jaguar CD add-on as this game would blend well on those consoles and I am not joking either. A game that could've been much better.
Game: Veteran Combat
Genre: Action, Fighting
Price: $4.99 (Steam)