Pray for Death
The average pc gamesplayer is somewhat spoilt for choice at the moment as far as beat 'em ups are concerned. You've got yer hardy perennials (Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat), yer rather top whizzy 3D arcade conversions (Virtun Fighter Remix, and the forthcoming Tekken), yer home-grown pc fight-o-ramas (FX Fighter, Warriors), and even a couple of wouldn't-touch-it-with-a-bargepole travesties (Rise Of The Robots I and 2). What we haven't got, however, is a conversion of the SGI-rendered arcade orgy of pugilism: Nintendo's Killer Instinct.
Aha! But here's something that looks fairly similar. Cue Pray For Death, Virgin's forthcoming 2D beat 'em up. Your task, of course, is to kick the shit out of the various characters, but there's also a two-player mode, in which you and a friend can try to thrash the living daylights out of each other.
Each of the characters is formed from an impressive pre-rendered sprite with bags of animation. The first thing that strikes you is how large they are - some of the fighters reach around two-thirds of the total screen height. You would have to be an insane, babbling imbecile to express any surprise whatsoever at the revelation that each character has access to a multitude of over-the-rop 'special moves' and devastating combos. Furthermore, seasoned gameplayers will scarcely raise an eyebrow upon learning that Pray For Death also features a very healthy dose of blood and gore.
Fist of fun
There are 12 fighters in all. and in the grand tradition of fighting games, they are a pretty weird bunch who wouldn't look out of place at a high society fancy dress do. There's robots. Bruce Lee look-alikes, swamp creatures... something for everybody, in fact (unless you've always harboured a secret desire to lead Thora Hird into battle, that is).
Each character has its own strengths and weaknesses (the traditional formula for which runs something like this: Strength equals Size divided by Agility, multiplied by three if the character in question is a 'boss'), and a silly name. I mean, really, who would christen their offspring 'Painbringer'?
Gameplay-wise, the action is fairly fast and furious, with the giant sprites apparently untroubled by the usual problems that pc processors encounter while trying to chuck them around.
Pray for the finished product
The work-in-progress version we fiddled about with still had a fair way to go before completion: the computer ai had yet to be added, and there was a distinct lack of any kind of sound effect (though we added our own grunts, groans and moans, which proved quite amusing). Nonetheless, if the missing elements are to be as polished as the in-game visuals, this could well be a welcome entry into the beat 'em up league. Fret ye not, for as soon as we get a finished copy, we'll tell you all about it. Stay on this channel for future developments.
Download Pray for Death
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2019-01-08 Pray for Death game added.
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