Theatre of Pain is a Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game featuring characters and settings drawn from Roman history and mythology. It features high-resolution SVGA rendered sprites and backgrounds, as did Mirage's previous fighting game, Rise Of The Robots. It uses a six-button layout, with weak, medium, and strong punches/slashes and kicks. There are both single and two-player modes.
Back in the 90's, my favourite fighting game was Mortal Kombat, not only theoriginal, but its second and third sequel as well. But, after a while, I justhad 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 theyjust 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 gorgeousRise of the Robbots with lousy gameplay, and its pretty good sequel Rise 2: Resurrection) and released in 1997. It was published by GT Interactive.
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 chooselanguage, 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 highscores.
Theatre of Pain features beautiful SVGA graphics, with excellent 3D effects andsmooth 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 knowwhat 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 dark epilogue...
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.
Theater of Pain is a pretty bad 2D fighting game. Not as bad as Rise of the Robot, but bad enough to make you notice the obvious emphasis of form (i.e. graphics) over content (i.e. gameplay). Your task is to punch, kick, and hack your way through 7 other combatants consisting of both god and man. As in similar games, you can perform special moves, the ferocity of which depends on how well your are doing according to a meter at the bottom of the screen.
The game is similar to Savage Warriors in that it features some nice 3D effects and animations of the fighters. Beyond that, though, it doesn't have much to make it stand out from similar games. After admiring some creative fighter designs that are inspired by Greek myths (with names like Styx and Vulcan), you will be busy cursing the horrible control scheme and very easy computer-controlled opponents that you can dispose of in minutes. Fortunately the ability to play with a friend makes the game less boring. Not good enough to warrant anyone's attention at all, despite nice graphics. A pity.
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Time Slaughter, Tom and Jerry in Fists of Furry, Turrican 2, Time Warriors, Thexder 95, Terrorist Takedown, Tintin: Prisoners of The Sun, Th3 Plan
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