Asuka 120% Burning Fest. Final (Japan)

Year: 1999
Platform: PlayStation
Publisher: Family Soft
Developer: Fill In Cafe
Genre: Girl fighting
Rating: ***

This is a 2D anime styled fighting game where a group of twelve high school girls compete for a martial arts trophy in the "Mega Fight Tournament." Each girl has a unique fighting technique based on what school club they belong to, giving rise to all sorts of interesting and absurd combat. The game primarily revolves around Asuka Honda, who represents the Chemistry Club, and her specialty is attacking with incendiary bombs. The "120%" of the title refers to a "power level" feature of the game, where the player's potential builds up to 120% over the course of a fight. At 100% certain special attacks are enabled for a short period of time, and at 120% a super devastating special attack is enabled for a short time before the fighter goes back to 0%.

Surprisingly, apart from technical and visual improvements, this series hasn't evolved at all since its initial conception back in 1995. It's still the same twelve girls fighting in the same tournament, with the same stages and the same music. What this entry finally brings to the PlayStation is decent graphics - it basically looks identical to the Saturn version, "Burning Fest. Limited". It also adds a training mode and puts more emphasis on the combo engine, if you're into that kind of thing. Basically, all moves can be endlessly combo'ed together, including aerial combos and counters. (The game is often compared to "Street Fighter Alpha" in this regard) Unfortunately, the voice talent in this entry is uninspired and falls a little flat. The character portraits also aren't as lively, and it appears that all of the girls have undergone some serious breast augmentation since the previous games. (The art director must have thought the 120% was referring to cup size...)