Completion time: 1:05:40
I have very vague memories of Tech Romancer from way back in the day. I somewhat remember playing this on a friends console using his arcade stick, but nothing beyond that, or even in-depth with how I thought about it at the time. This is an interesting mix of King of the Monsters and Virtual On. It’s also a ton of fun to play as well!
There’s two attack buttons, a guard button and a jump button as your ABXY line up. It feels like you can do some Street Fighter motions, though half the time I wonder if it’s just happening due to a direction I am holding, rather than the motion going on. There are other tidbits here and there, like using weapons, specials and stuff like that. We started with the Story mode, but I wasn’t feeling the fact that losing once sent you back to the very first chapter, so we did Hero mode instead (basically arcade mode). There were a few moments of frustration from the CPU being cheap as hell, but for the most part, the difficulty is very fair, pushing you to think more often than out.
I chalk up Tech Romancer with the likes of Rival Schools/Project Justice and Star Gladiator, where I can see that the fighting engine has layers of complexity to it that, given more time, I could come to appreciate and understand even more. It’s a blast to play, and I think anyone that enjoys Capcom fighting games will find a lot to love here. Sadly though, this, along with Project Justice are two of the most expensive games to come by on the Dreamcast, and as fun as it is, I can’t recommend spending that much money if you’re someone that owns a Dreamcast. If you have an ODE console, then have at it, otherwise the exuberant price tag is pretty gross.