Back in the 90's, my favourite fighting game was Mortal Kombat, not only the
original, but its second and third sequel as well. But, after a while, I just
had to try something different, and still, something similar to the Mortal Kombat
series. Before Theatre of Pain, I tried several fighters and I liked them, but they
just weren't the thing that I was looking for. And Theatre of Pain... well, I like
it now as much as I liked it then. So, let's start!
Theatre of Pain was developed by Mirage (the same company that made gorgeous
Rise of the Robbots with lousy gameplay, and its pretty good sequel Rise 2:
Resurrection) and released in 1997. It was published by GT Interactive, but in
this CDrip I'm reviewing, GT Interactive is not mentioned at all...
I won't be able to tell much about the story and music, since both were ripped,
but there should be enough to tell about the game, even without those.
First time you start the game, you're taken to setup where you can choose
language, set sound card and resolution, configure keyboard and game options.
After you set everything as you prefer, the game will make folders (MIRAGE\PAIN)
on the root of your C drive and save your settings in there, and later the
Theatre of Pain features beautiful SVGA graphics, with excellent 3D effects and
smooth animations of the characters. The stages are also well done, and the
characters blend in perfectly. If you ever played Rise of the Robots, you know
what I'm talking about - the graphics are the best you could get for a DOS game.
There are 8 very muscular characters to choose from and some of them are named
after the gods from Roman mythlogy, like Janus and Vulcan, or even after the
historical characters, like Spartacus and Caligula. Beside them, you can unlock
4 secret characters, by playing the game on normal and hard level. Most of them
are equiped with weapons and some fight bare-handed. There are six attack buttons;
three different punches (slashes) and tree kicks (weak, medium, fierce). You can
perform combos, special moves and super moves, and the combinations are not hard
to learn. On higher difficulties, AI is not as challanging as in other fighing
games, which I consider to be a big plus for the game, since I don't like being
beaten by a maniac CPU.
Sound effects are standard for this genre. All of the characters have different
voices and the announcer sounds fair enough.
You can choose between 1 Player and VS mode. Once you're finished playing 1 Player
mode, you're rewarded with and artwork of your character and a very strange and
In conclusion, if you're looking for an old fighting game with gloomy atmoshpere,
stop looking, because Theatre of Pain is right thing for you.
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