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Video Game Reviews Heavens Gate Arcade

Around the latter part of the 1990s, 3D fighting games were gaining in popularity. Sega had the “Virtua Fighter” series. Namco would release the “Tekken” and “Soul” series. Tecmo would release the “Dead or Alive” series. These three companies dominated the world of 3D fighting games. Other companies had attempted to jump on the bandwagon. Capcom which is known for its “Street Fighter” series had taken notice. While it was a dominant force in the world of 2D fighting games, Capcom saw the popularity of the 3D fighting game scene.

Capcom would publish the “Street Fighter EX” series with Arika as the developer. However, the series’ success was not as great. It did not stop other game companies from doing the same thing. Around 1996, the game company known as Atlus had tried doing the same thing. It would develop and publish this game called “Heaven’s Gate” a.k.a. “Yusha.” No, this is not based off the cult that killed themselves in 1997.

The game is somewhat interesting. However, it seemed to have taken elements from Takara’s “Battle Arena Toshinden” series. I have also noticed some elements from Virtua Fighter and Bloody Roar in the picture.

• Storyline: C-

So far, it would seem that there is a lack of a storyline in the game. It is unknown on why these fighters are being brought together. Perhaps it is for some tournament where the winner gets some sort of power or some hefty cash sum. Overall, the game lacks in a storyline. Then again, not many people play fighting games for the sake of a storyline.

• Characters: C+

The characters seemed to be quite unoriginal. Most of them look to be extremely mediocre. I could say some of them seemed to have been ripped off from Sega’s fighting game called “Last Bronx.” It would seem that some of them were also ripped off from Toshinden or Capcom’s “Star Gladiator.” It did not seem that Atlus had put forth much work into the creation of Heaven’s Gate.

• Graphics: B+

The graphics were a bit more than passable. The game companies were still experimenting with graphics engines and arcade boards. In this respect, 3D fighting games were still in their experimental and juvenile stages. Before 3D fighting games used CGI, they would use polygons. As a result, the game sprites seem to be a bit blocky and choppy for the most part. However, the background stages looked to be pretty well done for the most part.

• Game Play: B-

The game play for Heaven’s Gate was all right. In a sense, it felt like playing Virtua Fighter and Toshinden. The special moves are something you would find in Virtua Fighter. At the same time, you have a super meter that fills up when you keep attacking. It is known as your Sol or Lunar Meter. When it is filled up, you can unleash a super attack.

Depending on the arena, you are either closed off or free. A closed off arena allows you to knock your opponent against the walls. An open arena allows you to knock your opponent off the edge of the ring for a “ring out” victory. Some stages have ceilings in which you can do a triangle jump. Or, you can knock your opponent into the air as s/he slams into the ceiling. So far, it is interesting enough.

• Overall: C

Heaven’s Gate is an interesting game. However, there is the lack of originality in making this game. Almost everything seems to be ripped off from other 3D games. Still, it is worth checking out. If you have an arcade emulator, you can always download the game ROM file. Make sure you have the necessary BIOS file to play the ROM.

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