Dark Side Gaming Rant: Ehrgeiz

Of all the games Squaresoft made, the with the most ignominious history must surely be Ehrgeiz, an arcade fighting game that made its way onto PSOne with the addition of a dungeon quest and some mini-games. It had different game modes and cameos from Final Fantasy VII characters, but the one thing it didn’t have was much in the way of quality.

Arcade Mode
To be fair, even though I don’t particularly crave it when I’m not playing, despite its flaws, the arcade beat-‘em-up aspect of the game is the best part, and I do occasionally have bouts of trying my luck at it. Even so, this isn’t to say that it is particularly good- because if it was, why would I even be ranting about it?

Like most beat-‘em-ups, Ehrgeiz can be played in one of two ways; if you happen to be a multi-limbed creature with incredible reflexes and a photographic, you can pull off a number of advanced button combinations designed to generate special attacks, or, if you are merely human, you can just button bash and chain basic combos- an approach which admits serves well about 90% of the time anyway. In this way, you can battle your way through around eight consecutive battles in back alleys and other fascinating locales, before facing Red Scorpion during the credits in the hopes of winning and getting the game’s good ending. Then, when you’re done, you can battle through identical story modes for all the other characters, each of them uglier and less appealing than the last. What fun, eh?

Dungeon Quest
Had enough of one-on-one battle? Fancy something a little more ambitious? Well, if you’re feeling particularly masochistic, you can always indulge in Ehrgeiz’s dungeon crawler section, a quest which sees generic looking characters Koji and Claire attempt to penetrate to the lowest level of a poorly designed dungeon. Armed with swords and axes, you must hack and slash through hordes of ugly enemies, in a game that is as tedious as it is uninspiring. Even saving is a hassle- in principle, you can save any time, but each time you do so, it costs an increasing amount of money to do so, forcing to play long after you want to quit just so that you have the funds to save.

As if to add insult to injury, not only does the game treat the player badly, it shows so little regard for the characters that one of the healing items is a bowl of dog food. There is something rather soul destroying about having to feed your character dog food, even if it is to replenish their HP.

Mini-Games: why, God, why?
Thought it couldn’t get any worse? Sadly, some bright spark over at the then Squaresoft thought it would be a great idea to include a mini-game section for people to while away their hours on. I’ve yet to meet anyone who thinks running endless laps around a track whilst trying to beat a computer controlled character is fun, but if you happen to be that person, you may have just found the game for you. You’ll be even more ecstatic to learn that your reward for getting an impossible record on these games is nothing less than…an extra outfit for some of the characters! Knock yourself out.

Final Thoughts
Whilst it has value as a collector’s item, Ehrgeiz is the sort of game that tries to do everything, and ends up not doing any of it very well. If you want beat-’em-up, try Soul Calibur; if you fancy some dungeon crawling, go for Diablo- just don’t expect this game to deliver in any way.

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4 Responses to Dark Side Gaming Rant: Ehrgeiz

  1. manga says:

    Never played Ehrgeiz, but combos are meant to be practiced and learned 🙂

    I remember spending time with Tekken 3 and King to learn all his combos… which took some time, but now it´s up in my head quite easily and I can if I grab my opponent then I can start some nice combos 🙂

    Street Figher has their own set of combos that work wonders. Shin Akuma = Love.

    So from experience, it all comes down to the camera wether beat em ups are good or bad. I hated the free roaming minigame in Tekken 3, just because of the camera…

  2. Karura says:

    It’s probably just me, but I don’t particularly care for “rotate analog stick 270 degrees precisely then press Square+X+Triangle all at the same time” when the enemy is pummelling me into the ground, and when you have an entire Word document of such things to memorise, my brain simply refuses to do it.

  3. eric johnson says:

    I owned Ehrgeiz when it first came out, and it struck me as Square trying to smash tekken into powerstone. I sorta kinda liked it, i mean it was a bit unbalanced for the none projectile folks but usually they were the ones that trapped you in a corners or lower portion of the map and rape you. Some of the moves required way to complicated commands for the speed you needed to preform them, and a lot of then offered a big time shot for you to get mashed with your back turn. I think if square really wanted to follow up with a 3 They could probably fix these issues and revive the free roam fighter sub genre.

  4. manga says:

    Zangief has a 360 motion on the SNES Street Fighter 2, I can pull it of 🙂

    I almost succeded in doing the 360×10 motion in Tekken Tag Tournament with one of the robots…

    But alas, never played Ehrgeiz so I don´t know how it works. If it is a free roaming beat em up then I can understand frustration since those tend to be hard to learn yes, but alas the camera as mentioned before :p

    @eric johson: Square has to much to work on with bringing remakes of old games to heldhand systems to get to work on new games :p so probably, no Ehrgeiz for a long long time…

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