I Dream of Indie! Review: Destruction Desire (PC)

Review - Destruction Desire

How ’bout some homebrew fighting game goodness? Check out Destruction Desire for the PC!

Many moons ago (my early to mid-20’s, to be exact), I played around a lot with various game makers: RPG Maker, Game Maker, that sort of thing. I also stumbled upon something I never thought I’d see: game engines to make fighting games. Man, I was tickled pink!

The first one I ever tried was M.U.G.E.N, which is as robust an engine as you can get. The learning curve is a little steep and can be intimidating for new users, but you could do amazing things with it if you stuck to it and learned the ins and outs. Lots of people saw fit to rip characters and stages from existing fighting games to make them work in M.U.G.E.N, or straight up alter them (ya know how many versions of Iori Yagami are out there for M.U.G.E.N.? Yikes…).

I also tried 2D Fighter Maker 2nd, made by Enterbrain (same folks who made RPG Maker). Like RPG Maker, 2D Fighter Maker has a more user-friendly interface, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to use. Like M.U.G.E.N., you really need to read through the documentation to make the most out of the options available to you. The engine was never officially released outside Japan (methinks it has to do with M.U.G.E.N.’s popularity?), which is a shame, really. Would’ve like to have seen how Enterbrain would update it for today’s fighters (update it to accept HD graphics, maybe incorporate the Ruby programming language in it like they have for the latest RPG Maker engines…)

But all that user unfriendliness didn’t stop people from creating their own games to the best of their ability. Here’s a great example of what 2D Fighter Maker can do, something I stumbled upon a few years back: Destruction Desire!

 

Destruction Desire - Title Screen

Destruction Desire

Genre: Fighting
Developer/Publisher: Yew (Homebrew; made with 2D Fighter Maker 2nd)
Platform: PC
Original Release Date: Feb. 2004
ESRB Rating: N/A

 

 

You’re probably wondering what the story is for Destruction Desire… there is none.

Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s a list of characters on the official website that Yew wanted to put in the game at some point; each character affiliated to a group (an organization of holy knights, school of magicians, a fight club, etc.). From what I can tell, some are participating in the Death & Money Tournament (yes, that’s what this tourney is called) to win the prize money to help out their organization, others are in it for the kicks and giggles.

Kudos to Kelvin Wan for putting together this awesome video. As close to an official trailer as you’ll get! 🙂

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Take a look at those character designs. They reek of Guilty Gear influence. And it’s beautiful.

Destruction Desire - Character select

Sol Badguy you are not, but I like the cut of your jib, Barns.

The characters were done by Yew, while the backgrounds are stock backgrounds that were included with 2D Fighter Maker.

Everything about the characters — their designs, moves, animations — are superb. I don’t know what Yew does for a living, but if he isn’t working for some game dev out there already as an animator or somethin’, he aught to. They are all well drawn, and the animation is nice and fluid. And I like the choice of backgrounds; they suit each character nicely.

Yew also did some of the music, while other pieces of music (as well as the sound effects) are stock from RPG Maker 2000. I think that the music choices are okay and suit the stages they play in, though sometimes the music volume spikes… then I curse it no matter how catchy it is.

Getting Your Drive On

Destruction Desire - Barns vs Annette

Barns and Annette are the Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske of DD. Except Barns uses Electricity, and Annette can switch between using Ice and Fire attacks by pressing the Drive button.

Destruction Desire plays like many of your modern fighters out there: choose your dude, and go out and beat the tar out of everyone else in a Best of Three format.

The game has five buttons: Punch, Slash, and Hard Slash are your main attack buttons. Drive does something different for each character and consumes one bar of your Super Metre. Lastly, there’s the powerful Z.O.D. button.

What is Z.O.D.? No, General Zod from Superman won’t appear and beat the ever-loving snot out of someone (awesome as that may be). Z.O.D. stands for Zapping Overdrive, and it can be considered a Hail Mary move. It requires at least three bars of Super Metre to use, and once activated it will proceed to drain the remainder of your Metre. If your Super Metre is maxed out (can hold up to nine bars), you can do massive damage.

Like many of your modern Anime fighters, the action can get fast and crazy as you and your opponent rack up hit after hit during insane combos. And, like any other Anime fighter… those combos can get long. They are colourful and pretty to look at, but… yea. You also have the ability to cancel out your opponent’s attack with an attack of your own, so you can watch those sparks fly. You can also do a counter attack while you back dash or defend, a jumping attack using the Drive button with a lot of oomph, and more. Quite a bit of tricks as far as basic repertoire is concerned.

As for character variety, you can tell from the screen shot of the Character Select screen that there aren’t many characters to choose from. But you do have your basic shoto characters, a trap character with a strong air game and mix-up heavy, a character that can summon helpers, and a boss character with an insta-kill Z.O.D attack. It’s a good start, but for those who prefer big body dudes or grapplers, you’re out of luck.

Destruction Desire - Misty

Misty has a strong aerial game going (reminds me of I-No). She also has the ability to set multiple traps on the ground or air which she can set off at any time.

Controlling your guys is okay for the most part, and the special and super moves are easy to execute. You can use either a keyboard or a controller, and you can configure the buttons anytime by choosing “Option” on the menu toolbar.

You can make further tweaks by editing the game configuration file, so you can add a timer (though it seems to work in versus mode only, for some reason), display hit box information, and even switch between windowed and full-screen mode. You can also configure the buttons here, if you so wish.

Overall, I quite like the feel of the game, as it really is like other Anime fighters that I’m familiar with. For all the craziness, there’s still the need for strategy and the all-important Metre management (do I use my Metre to bust out my Z.O.D., or save it for my Super Moves?). The characters all fall within a typical fighter archetype which gives you a sense of how they play, and their moves are interesting, to say the least. It’s not often that I get smacked around by a broom, lemme tell ya!

It Just Keeps Going… And Going…

There are only two modes to choose from. Survival Mode has you fighting against the tiny cast (except for your doppelganger). Once you beat Lister, the credits roll, and that’s it!

Except now you’re thrown into “Level D Mode”, where you’ll have to fight them all again, except someone gave ’em steroids. No really, it’s like the AI was asleep the first time around, then it woke up, and now it wants to kill ya for disturbing it. No mercy whatsoever… unless you spam projectiles. Then they fold like cheap suits.

So yea, that “D Mode”… it’s on the level of SNK Fighter Boss Syndrome, where the bosses just have these ungodly high reflexes that can make ya cry.

Destruction Desire - Lister

Lister has some interesting mechanics. He can summon skeletons (you can have up to 9 at one time), then destroy them and use their remains for his others special moves, like a bone cannon or skeleton monster. The remains disappear quickly, so ya have to act fast! Oh, and he reminds me of Nero from Melty Blood. Weee!

Versus or Training mode is just that. You and a buddy can duke it out for DD Domination, or you can set the second player to the Training Mode character to create a Training Dummy. The Dummy’s life will go back to full after a few moments, like it would in any other Training Mode, but you can “kill” the dummy if its life reaches zero. Huh.

Any Negative Shenanigans?

There are some technical hiccups that creep up in Destruction Desire. Transitioning to the next opponent after you win is… well, non-existent: screen is still frozen after the 2nd win, then you’re spit out on the next stage facing your next opponent. Then there were those times where I stayed facing the wrong way after jumping over an opponent or doing a cross-up combo. For several long seconds. Meanwhile, the other dude was pointing and laughing at me (before proceeding to hurt me).

My personal favourite glitch is when I beat an opponent and the game didn’t go to the second round. Poor sap was just lying there, life bar completely drained, and I was still just walking and jumping along, doing a lil’ jig. Had no choice but to close the program and start over. That glitch was brutal.

Destruction Desire - Wif

Wif is a dirty old man. Okay, not really. He represents the woodland folk. He kinda reminds me of Testament, as he can send vines and things along the ground to attack you or to create mix-ups. And he can summon critters! 😯

Thankfully, hiccups don’t pop up all that often. I don’t know if it’s simply an issue with the engine (I seem to recall that 2D Fighter Maker can be temperamental), if maybe there was something wonky with the character programming, or a combination of the two. I think it may be that last one, since the game is incomplete in its current form (again, going by that character link, feels like Yew had much more planned for this game). As for the lack of modes, well, it’s limited because of the engine. It does, however, hurt the replay value somewhat if you were hoping for more things to do.

Embrace The Destruction… With Desire!

Overall, I like Destruction Desire. It’s fun if you want a quick fighter to play other than the main ones that are out there now. The fact that Yew was able to do all this fanciness with the 2D Fighter Maker engine is impressive, to say the least. So, if you’re a fan of Anime fighting games (in particular the stuff Arc System Works puts out), you should give this a shot! Might as well, seeing as how it’s FREE!

Check out Destruction Desire‘s website (it’s in Japanese), and you can download the game here.

 

Final Verdict:  7/10 – This game has lots of potential. Not a bad experience at all

 

I Crave This With Much Desire!

+ Those characters are drawn and animated well
+ Nice music choices
+ Gameplay is intense like other Anime games
+ Moves are reasonably easy to do

So Much Destruction!

If you were hoping for a large cast… sorry!
Temperamental 2D Fighter Maker engine causes the occasional technical hiccups (not often, but still kinda annoying)
Not much of a reason to go back and play due to limited modes