A fighting game with 2 buttons, Eretzvaju, Part 1

Button counts

Street fighter, 6
Tekken, 4
Virtua Fighter, 3
Super Smash Brothers, 3 or 4 if you count the jump

You may be wondering why I’m counting buttons, the more astute of you may have realized that the game I’m going to talk about uses only 2 buttons. I’m willing to admit that it isn’t the greatest fighter ever made, but it does quite a few things very well, and only uses 2 buttons.

Welcome to Eretzuvaju (otherwise known as Evil Zone). It’s a 3D fighter that appeared on the PS1 in 1999 that pits 10 anime stereotypes against each other and finally a under dressed boss with angel wings.

Each character has a surprisingly big back story and the amount of story is quite impressive given that its a fighting game. Story mode is presented like a different anime TV series for each character, complete with previews about the next episode. All of them end up at the same spot, and it’s not very good or well dubbed, but it is quite a nice change from fight fight fight. But the story isn’t my main concern, it’s the battle design that grabs me.

The controls are simple, Triangle is attack, Square is block, everything else isn’t.
Just Triangle will let you perform a 3 hit combo
Up, left, right and triangle will perform a special move, double triangle will vary it slightly (projectiles will often spread)
Down performs throws
Double forwards Triangle is a dash attack
Double up triangle or square performs a jump or block.
Double backwards triangle will let use a ‘crystal’ to fire a bullet that will unleash a supermove.
There are a few other moves, but for the moment, we’ll leave it at that.

Doesn’t really sound all that hard does it. One of the first nice things that should be quite apparent from that list is that nothing there looks hard to do, no quarter circles or anything. Since all the moves are readily there and usable then most people can just play and look impressive. This is a surprisingly important aspect, players FEEL powerful.

One thing that is not apparent from that list however is that pretty much every attack is always useful. Most attacks are long range, or move you a distance across the screen, almost as if a long range attack. So however far away you are, you can always attack and have lots of options. Eretzvaju doesn’t feel deep at first, in fact it took me a long time to realize that there was more to the game then throws, which can seem over powered. Thanks to always having lots of options, the room for mind games is quite impressive, and lots of ways to punish an opponent for making the wrong move, although often the best way is a throw.

“Super moves”

Supers aren’t unique to Eretzvaju, but it’s way of managing them is clever. You can hold Triangle to charge up a yellow bar in your life gauge. When this bar hits the top of your life gauge you get a crystal, which can be used to either power up a normal move, or used to unleash a separate super move that not only looks impressive but deals lots of damage. Since when you are low on health you can charge up quicker you can output more damage the closer to death you are, this not only allows comebacks, but encourages them much more then other fighters. These moves aren’t over powered though, so losing won’t make you win, but it will make it so much easier then not having them.

Well, thats it for now.

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