Simple 2000 Vol. 90: The All-Star Kakutou (Japan)

Year: 2005
Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: D3
Genre: Fighting
Review Date: 2/7/06
Rating: **

Prolific budget publisher D3 brings together characters from their entire line of Simple 2000 games for some good old fashioned hand-to-hand brawling. While most of the contenders are scantily clad doe-eyed lasses with physics defying bosoms, the roster also features five male characters, including the pumpkin-headed kid from "Splatter Action" and a squid-like character of questionable sexual orientation from "Tokusatsu Henshin Hero" who looks like a giant condom. He's one of the funniest and most effeminate characters I've ever seen in a fighting game, and I couldn't stop laughing whenever he was on the screen. Of course, my favorite character is the sword swinging Aya from the "OneChanbara" series. She rocks.

Typical of D3 games, this one suffers from its budget price tag. The fighting engine isn't very tight or deep, the controls are sluggish, the characters aren't balanced, the available moves are sparse, the load times are gruelling, and it's generally not very fun to play. However, unlike most of D3's games, the presentation is surprisingly good. The animated 3D environments are detailed and attractive, and the cel-shaded characters look good and animate well. This is definitely no "Love Upper" (2003). The music is also pretty good for the most part - pleasantly subtle and not overbearing. In keeping with D3's themes of low budget sexploitation, the game's incentives include an interactive gallery where you can ogle the various fighters from whatever perverted angles you desire. You can also assign different animation cycles for added hilarity. As both a curiosity and a girl fighting game, it's amusing to pick up and play for a few minutes, but that's about it.