is a 3D fighting game made with a joint effort from Squaresoft and DreamFactory,
a subdivision of Namco. It was first released in arcades in 1998 and later
ported to the Sony Playstation in 1999. One of the game's most notable aspects
is the inclusion of many characters from Final Fantasy VII, including:
Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, Tifa Lockheart, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie, and Zack.
Ehrgeiz offers a very unique 3D fighting game experience, with characters
that can move freely in 3D inside of various closed-in environments. Many stages
vary in elevation, with multi-level platforms that characters can jump onto, and
also various interactive elements. Instead of the camera being "fixed"
on the characters like in most fighting games, the camera in Ehrgeiz
zooms in and out with the action. Ehrgeiz's free-roaming 3D engine
borrows concepts from wrestling games and Dream Factory's own Tobal
series, giving the game a unique look and feel among other 3D fighters of
Godhand... the forgotten
3D gameplay engine gives
players the option of circling their opponent in 3D, or freely running in any
direction. While some "traditional" fighting game players might scoff
at the game's lack of depth, Ehrgeiz's
unorthodox gameplay engine offers a very unique experience to
players able to open their minds to it. Characters have a variety of attack
options at their disposal, including: high
attacks, mid attacks, low attacks, special attacks, projectiles, jumping
attacks, and ground attacks. There's also a targeting
button, a jump button, and combined
button commands for other special move variations. Along with the token priority
attacks, throws, and special moves, fighters can also pick up weapons from the
ground and use them.
Graphically, Ehrgeiz is a decent looking PS1 game. Character models and environments are on the blocky
side, but they were considerably better rendered than some other well known
PS1 character models of the time. The game's frame-rate, resolution, and textures
were also fairly impressive when compared to other PS1 titles. The animation of Ehrgeiz
is one of the game's strong points, with many cool-looking attacks and
hard-hitting throws to check out. The animation style also resembles that of the
Tekken series... which clearly demonstrates some of Namco's influence
(not to mention a few of the character designs).
was a halfway decent arcade
fighting game in 1998. It certainly managed to stand out at any arcade it
appeared at (it was pretty rare in North America). However, it also felt like it was missing
something, and couldn't really compete with the top competitive arcade fighting
games. Thus, the
version added new characters, tweaked gameplay, and also packed an interesting
"RPG style" Quest Mode (similar to Tobal 1 & Tobal2's).
Ehrgeiz's Quest Mode was one of the most ambitious and interesting bonus modes seen in a fighting game to date, and featured a
respectable amount of depth. Quest Mode is basically a "Hack and Slash" style action-RPG which begins in a dungeon
in a parallel universe, and later moves to a nearby inn. The player can explore
the town and enter the dungeon, which contains randomly generated maps, in
search of artifacts and power-ups. It's pretty addicting the first time
through, though it lacks any real storyline. Ehrgeiz also features an
entertaining (but random) Mini Game Mode, including track & field events, as well as
a version of the
board game, Othello. These extra modes added a lot of personality and replayability
to the home version of Ehrgeiz.
Ehrgeiz was an unorthodox and interesting fighting game project from Namco &
Squaresoft. While the free-roaming gameplay didn't appeal to everyone, it was
respectably ambitious and innovative. The diverse character roster, the stylish
and the entertaining bonus modes made the console version of Ehrgeiz a
quality fighting game package.
Of course, the fact that Final Fantasy VII characters were playable definitely added hype to the game. For
any sort of FFVII fan, it was surely epic at the time to see FFVII's
well-known characters in an actual fighting game. The Ehrgeiz exclusive
character designs aren't
half bad themselves, but some are a bit underdeveloped. In
retrospect, Ehrgeiz was a pretty innovative title that stood on its own, and no doubt a good
game to have in your fighting game collection. By the way, "Ehrgeiz"
means "ambition" in German. ~TFG