[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 07/22/02 ] = The Art Of Plasma Sword

Over time, Capcom's staff has turned out some amazing artwork. From Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Street Fighter II, to Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Vampire Savior 2, Capcom's designers have captured the very essence of Capcom's great games through their wonderful art. In fact, some of Capcom's best artwork sometimes comes from games that haven't been welcomed by the masses (and even some fans); a key example of this would be Plasma Sword, the sequel to Star Gladiator. Capcom's ZNG-1 3-D fighter Star Gladiator was a fantastic game, but didn't really catch on, and similarly the ZNG-2 powered Plasma Sword suffered the same fate. Plasma Sword, regardless of its great character design, great presentation, and great story, had the blessing of being still-born. Plasma Sword has some of the best artwork Capcom's staff has ever came up with. It's amazing. Just look at it. Plasma Sword keeps the same anime style that most Capcom fighters have, and the illustrations brilliantly show it. Of all fighters 2-D and 3-D, Plasma Sword's artwork ranks high - really high. The unique characters and beautiful style they were drawn in makes the artwork of Plasma Sword among the best artwork of Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vampire Savior 2, and Marvel Super Heroes VS Street Fighter. Look at the character's beautifully crafted faces, their unique dress, and their nice shading. Though the art of Plasma Sword is ultimately in the anime style that we've seen before, the amount of detail and feeling in every character's illustration is stunning.

My favorite character illustration for Plasma Sword is by far, Eagle. Eagle is such an awesome character, and the way he is drawn enriches the already great design. I also like the uniform and weapon Eagle has in the illustration, as well as the nice looking armor he has on. The designs on Eagle's uniform and armor are also a good part of the presentation of this character. Kick ass. No other fighitng game has characters that the features Eagle and Zelkin have. The design for Eagle and Zelkin is brilliant; half bird half human warriors. Sure, it may sound like a joke to some, but this character design is so great because there are so many things within the game that you can do with this type of charater. Absolute greatness. Second on my list is June. June is another great character from the minds of Capcom's designers. Such a good design, in fact, that june even has her own cult following among fan artists (of the best being Yuri Ai). June's attire is outstanding, as is her hairstyle and awesome boots. An amazing female character design indeed. I especially like how well they shaded not only her whole body, but also how they made her facial features light, creating a soft look to her. Of course, Ele also looks good, clearly resembling her mother June in more ways than one. Also worth mentioning, I like how Capcom's artsits made Blood resemble the battle torn Akuma in his overall rough tone and presentation; even in the game his fierce fighting is like that of Akuma's. Blood's evil demeanor always reminds me of Akuma's persona.

Although I am not really a big fan of the boss characters in most fighting games, I have to say that the opposition in Plasma Sword look very good. Rain, Bilstein's daughter and new threat, looks fantastic, and both Vector and Omega were drawn very detailed. One of Bilstein's minions, Shaker, looks just plain rotten, and symbolizes everything a villian should be: dirty. Gore, as always, looks pretty sick, and you realize just how nasty this guy really looks when you get a glimpse of how good they drew his curvy little daugter Luca. Seeing her, I guess with the exception of the pointed ears, you ask "how the hell did something like that come from an ugle bastard like Gore? Oh well, just act like it never happened. gerelt looks like he should - just like the asshole that he is. Gerelt's dauther looks good too, but you can't help but to think why she is on the side of a loser like Gerelt (even if he is her father). Anyway, moving on to the man himself, Bilstein. In Plasma Sword, Bilstein is truly a villian, a demon of sorts (if you will); his two froms look absolutely amazing (below), and again I have no choice but to praise Capcom's artwork. Just look at Bilstein! He's a great villian; he's big, he's a jerk, he's glowing, he's got a big sword, and best of all...he's got some killer knee pads. Anyway, a cool boss.

As for the large and in charge characters, Gamof looks cool, Byakko looks good, and Gantetsu is a good character as well. The shoulder guard, the transparent blade of his axe, and the shading in Gamof's fur looks great; he looks a bit pissed of in this illustration, but that's to be expected when Bilstein is in the picture. Byakko looks good, and he looks ragged (especially with that insect he caught in his claws), but there is some good effects put into his skin and the glare on his claws. Gantetsu, on the other hand, was drawn well, with good shading on his pants, and good armor design.

Plasma Sword has some of the best artwork to come from Capcom's design room. Hopefully, we'll see Capcom bring out another Star Gladiator game with some contribution from those who took part in the great artwork of Plasma Sword. The artwork of Plasma Sword, to me, is considered a masterpiece. Enjoy.