Dream Mix TV World Fighters

It's like a copy of Smash Brothers without the charm


The Lowdown

Pros: Eclectic blend of characters, party game action, easy to learn
Cons: Boring and unbalanced gameplay, poor AI, characters aren't as interesting together, bad camera

Purchase at Play-Asia
Dream Mix TV World Fighters is a smash brothers clone developed by Hudson, most known for their Bomberman and Bloody Roar games. Hudson doesn't have as many "mascot" characters as Nintendo does so they teamed up with Konami and Takara to add in a couple of extra characters. The full cast of characters includes: Bomberman, Higgins (from Adventure Island), Optimus Prime (from Transformers), Simon Belmont (from Castlevania), the Mascot from Konami's Baseball series, characters from BeyBlade and Licca (from Licca family and friends). There are a number of secret characters to unlock including Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid fame. However, even with all of these characters this game doesn't offer anything new to the genre or have the same charm as the Smash Brothers series.

The bulk of the game is battling against other mascot characters. Moves are performed by pressing one button for a standard attack and another button for special attacks. Mashing the standard attack button unleashes a combo, you can also do more moves by combining a direction with the standard attack button. Special moves include transforming (for the two transformers), dropping bombs, throwing spears and even boomerangs. Most of the special attack moves are designed to hit enemies far away, so they're either projectiles or extended reach attacks. To avoid attacks you can block and a circular shield will encompass you or you can jump over attacks. This part of gameplay is pretty standard compared to Smash Brothers.

The main difference between Smash Brothers and Dream Mix TV world fighters is the way you eliminate your opponent. Instead of having a life bar, at the beginning of the stage a giant heart will shoot out little hearts. You have a limited amount of time to collect these hearts, which end up becoming your life bar. When you're hit, you drop hearts and when you're slammed to the ground you drop more hearts. The attacker can choose to collect hearts from the opponents or can let the disappear after a short amount of time. If you lose enough hearts you release a large heart. If you collect this heart you're given a second chance and come back to life. If you fail to do this your character becomes much smaller and you can wait to collect another large heart as a "comeback" move. This system doesn't work as nicely as the Smash Brothers system, where you knock an opponent off a platform. One problem is that one player at the beginning of the match can get lucky and capture a lot of the hearts, making it almost impossible to eliminate that player. Another problem with the system is that matches can be a little too fast. When three players are throwing projectiles on screen, hearts are just flying everywhere. By the time players attempt to get up they've already vanished making the match last a few seconds. You can set a number of matches like best 2 out of 3 or so forth, but in general matches don't last over a minute.

Another one of the problems with Dream Mix TV World Fighters is that the characters seem a little out of place. You have giant huge hulking Transformers fighting against a little girl in a pink dress, who gives equal damage. You also have the bloody roar, mystical beast characters going up against a kid who shoots spinning tops. Smash Brothers had a lot of common ground between the characters. All the characters come from the same universe, the Nintendo universe, almost all of the characters are really well known mascots, they all have the same graphical style to them and probably best of all they have an equal balance of heroes and villains. Dream Mix TV World Fighters isn't as engaging due to the character variety as Super Smash Brothers.

Besides that Dream Mix TV World Fighters doesn't have much to hold up a single player mode. You can play through the entire "arcade mode" in less than half an hour. The enemy AI in the game is pretty stupid. Enemy characters don't really collect a lot of hearts, so you already have a huge advantage from the start of the match. Besides that enemy characters will stand around and do absolutely nothing to defend themselves in early matches. This makes winning way too easy. Even in "hard mode" the AI isn't much better, it may attack you and that's about it. Doing this will unlock another character, but there are few characters to unlock. Besides that there is a challenge mode where your goal is to collect the most hearts, which is a big yawn. The characters don't need much skill to master, so there is no reason to keep playing this game by yourself unless you are truly bored.

Graphically, the game doesn't look too bad. Each of the stages are theme stages and have a style towards the theme. For instance the Adventure Island stage is full of palm tress and water while the baseball stage has floating bases, which is kind of cool. The game runs at a pretty smooth frame rate even when a number of characters are running around and throwing projectiles. At the same time the character models look pretty decent. At the same time nothing looks particularly amazing in this game either. The biggest graphical blunder in this game is the camera. The camera doesn't seem to zoom in and out properly, which means a lot of the time you'll be seeing your character as a far away stick figure. This problem is heightened when you're a tiny character. A tiny character is 1/4 the size of a normal character, making it really hard to find your character on screen. The camera acts worse when your character gets hit outside of its boundaries and for a few seconds you'll be off screen. Since you can't really see what's going on in battle, players are often mashing buttons in sheer confusion. This is both frustrating and boring.

Overall, Dream Mix TV World Fighters, isn't anything special. Unless you're craving a party fighting game this game has way too many problems to make it enjoyable. Add short replay value to that and you got a dust collector, instead of a game.

Console Comparison

The Gamecube version is the sure fire winner. At least with the Gamecube you can play with four players off the bat. Without the Playstation 2 multitap you're forced to play Dream Mix TV World Fighters as a two player game, which is just too awful.

Import Friendly

All the sound clips from the fight announcers are in Japanese and so are the menus. Luckily, the sound bytes are mostly annoying and inane information to the game. This game takes about two seconds to learn and thirty seconds to master, so you won't need to understand Japanese to play it.

US Bound?

This game doesn't have a US release and it is unlikely that it ever will debut in the US due to licensing issues.

Overall

This game falls flat in both gameplay and entertainment value. Even if you're favorite video game character is featured in this game save your cash unless you really like party fighting games.