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Review: The Con – PSP

by Nick Haywood on 1 May 2007, 10:06

Tags: The Con (PSP), Beat 'em up

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qailu

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Paul Newman would be proud

At a basic level, The Con is pretty much a standard fighting game. In fact, it almost feels like a generic fighter at times, as the actual fighting part of the game is a tad limited compared to what we’re used to but the ‘con’ part of the fighting, being able to convincingly take a dive, is what gives The Con that much needed extra depth.

So let’s have a look at the game itself. You’ve got a variety of modes here, with Quick Play allowing you to just dive into the action in arcade mode, where you face off against a succession of fighters until you either lose or choose to something else. Time Attack pits you against your opponent and the clock whilst Survival mode gives you one health bar and a stream of fighters to see how long you last. All these quick play modes are fine for getting into the mechanics of the game and for picking a fighting style, but Story Mode is where the real game is at.

In Story Mode you create a character from scratch, choosing their appearance and outfit as you see fit, not that how they’re dressed has any of that has an impact on the game itself. But what does make a difference is your choice of body shape as these impact your fighters starting stats. Go for a muscular fighter and he or she will have plenty of power in their attacks but suffer from slower speed and less skill. Pick a fatter body stricture and your fighter will be tougher and have more health but suffer from lack of speed, skill and power. A lean fighter will be quicker than a ferret down a rabbit hole but have less health and power... the choice is yours.

Next up is to pick a fighting style and with five styles to choose from, it’s important you spend some time in Quick Play getting trying them all out. You can pick from Street Boxing, Wrestling, Jeet Kune Do, Kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do, each with pros and cons to the style. For example, a Street Boxer has no kicks whatsoever but does have some very powerful bunch combos. A Wrestler will have a few kicks and punches but will excel in grapples and throws, so you need to choose carefully as you’ll be locked into that style from then on. And finally, you can create custom combos with the combo editor, so if the default combos seem bewildering or useless, just make your own...