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"1000 years on and humankind seems to be making the same mistakes... it's time to set them right." Image Loading...
Developer: Omega Force
Distributor: Sony
Game Type: Fighting
Review Date: Jan 00
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Setting the Scene:
      Unlike any other fighting game on the market today, Destrega allows characters to move freely within its 3D environments, thus allowing for both close and long range fighting.

The usual physical attacks are accompanied by a multitude of sensational, long-range magical attacks and contribute to a very fast-paced action/fighting title.

Two players can battle it out in a true 3D environment. Players are free to move anywhere within stages. It's a new system for people who are tired of 2D or semi 3D fighting games.

Destrega was conceived, designed, and developed by Omega Force, the same in-house development team responsible for last year's immensely popular Dynasty Warriors.

The Story Begins...
      .... over a 1000 years ago when the Strega suddenly appeared in Zamu'el, a small country located on the edge of the continent. These Strega possessed mysterious powers, and so they were revered and respected by the men and women of Zamu'el.

Image Loading...Aside from their mysterious powers, the Strega also possessed knowledge far more advanced than that of Zamu'el, in such fields as metallurgy and agriculture. The Strega gladly passed this knowledge on to the inhabitants of Zamu'el, transforming the once poor country into a prosperous nation. Furthermore, the Strega, in their kindness, created objects that would allow normal humans to control powers similar to their own and bestowed them upon the people.

Many of these objects, called Jeno at the time, were made and presented to the populace of Zamu'el. As the people learned to use the Jeno, they began to extend their borders into neighboring lands. With their new powers, they felt invincible, and failed to listen to the warning of the Strega whom they had once revered as gods. In just a short 10 years, Zamu'el had conquered the entire continent.

Image Loading...However, even as they destroyed the last of their enemies, their mighty Empire began to crumble. Greedy, ambitious men rebelled throughout the land - each rebellion fought by Jeno bearers. The Jeno War, as it was eventually called, unleashed unimaginable destruction upon the land and its people. The very continent they had fought to win, was nothing more than a wasteland of disease and death by the time the fighting ended. In addition, the devastating power of the Jeno vanished, making the objects nothing more than fancy trinkets.

Through the following millennium, the continent struggled desperately to return to the golden age of prosperity it enjoyed before the Jeno War. The bitter memories of destruction and death slowly faded from the minds of men; until in the small country of Ipsen, the objects (called Relics now) hereunto only mentioned in ancient tomes, were uncovered at site of ruins from the Zamu'el period. After learning from his scholars that the owner of these objects could weld great power, Emperor Olysis began secret excavations at all the known ruins of the Zamu'el period. In addition, he ordered Sir Zauber, the man who uncovered the first Relic, to begin training a corps of Relic bearers.

Image Loading...Upon learning that the devastating power of the Relics had been restored, the descendants of the Strega visited the Emperor and pleaded with him not to use the Relics. The Emperor responded by declaring war on the Strega. In the ensuing battle, most of the Imperial family, a great number of high-ranking ministers, and many Strega were killed.

Almost immediately, the other lords and barons began vying for power, but the contest was a short one. Using the recently restored power of the Relics, Zauber easily crushed any opposition. Having seized control, he appointed himself Prime Minister and began eliminating anyone who posed a potential threat. Fearing that the Strega would try once again to seal off the power of the Relics, Zauber began to systematically hunt down any survivors...
Sound and Vision:
Image Loading...      Before describing the visual appearance of Destrega it's worth pointing out that this isn't your usual 3D Beat-em-up. In the Tekken's, Bio Freak's and Bloody Roar's of this world the two selected characters may have the ability to twist and turn a full 360° during battle, but you couldn't exactly say that they get up and roam around the entire level. They may be able to back-off and block, but they certainly couldn't run away. Nor can they jump up to higher platforms to dodge an incoming attack. Destrega fighters can!

Take a bunch of characters who bare many similarities to those seen in Soul Blade. Up the resolution to the dizzy heights only previously seen in Koei's Dynasty Warriors. Now drop these scrumptious fighters into a small themed level (somewhere between the size of Bushido Blade and Cardinal Syn), arm them to the teeth with a selection of magical forces, and... Wham!.. This game smacks you right between the eyes.

Image Loading...As soon as the first battle loads up that you will become momentarily stunned. Not because your opponent has immediately zapped you with a miniature nuclear explosion, but by the stunning quality of the high resolution graphics. Each fighters facial features are clearly defined giving you the impression that you are controlling a person rather than a blob of colored polygons. Each character has their own style of battle-dress and it's amazing how elaborately detailed their garments appear, although quite tasteless in some cases.

Of course the effects from the wide range of weapons play a major role in Destrega's visual content. Each character has their own personalized firepower, and boy do these contests get heated. There's so much energy flying around when a battle get's into full flow it could easily be confused with a laser light show.

Image Loading...The camera angle always manages to capture the action perfectly. When the fighters are near each other the view zooms in up close. When they spread wide apart it retreats quickly, always keeping both contestants visible on the screen. The sound and music, however, are strictly average.

The themed levels have been constructed entirely from polygons with only the occasional joint being visible. They have obviously been designed to compliment the gameplay as there are many obstacles to shelter behind, ditches to jump into and higher platforms to scale. Themes include out on a open hillside, around a canyon, in a cave, around castles and even within a small hamlet. It's all very tidy and pleasing to the eye.

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