Cell

        I just realized we haven’t covered any fighting games, so now’s a good a time as any to fix that. However, I have to admit, I’m not very good at most of them. I mean, I could beat the arcade mode in them after a million tries, but… well, actually, that’s all that needs saying. I am, however, oddly good at most of the Dragonball fighting games I turned by hand to, in particular the Tenkaichi series.
        They are a bit different from other fighting games, seeing as the characters can fly, move in 3D, and in general works in a very different manner than most fighting games. When I see these three, they seem to be a progression in terms of what the developers knew would work. The first game was sort of a beta, since it was the first time such a game was made, though I did enjoy it, and I’d say the intro movie is definitely the best of the three. The second was a massive improvement, with more characters, a longer story mode, much better fighting mechanics, and amazing music.
        The third, which I’ll be focusing on, further refined the fighting mechanics, and added a lot of more obscure characters, which I have no problems with. Sadly, it had less and different music. It’s fine, just… not as good. The story mode is also considerably shorter than the previous games, though I do like that it lets you play as the villains in their particular winning moments, like Frieza vs. Vegeta and so forth. The previous games had you play as the protagonists, even if they were supposed to lose, which I gather got a few complaints. If they’re going to lose, why do I have to win the battle? The game also added dialogue if you do lose, so those sort of ‘what ifs’ are explored a bit.
        Anyway, if I had to pick one character to be my favorite in this game, I’d have to say Cell. Why? Well, for a start, he has a lot of transformations, which means he can get stronger and get a slight health boost if I need one. Secondly, I love his unique fighting style.
        In his Imperfect and Semi-Perfect forms, his throw has him stab the enemy with his tail, draining their health and energy to fill his own. This is obviously very useful, both because healing isn’t exactly common, and because removing the enemy’s energy prevents them from using a lot of long range or powerful moves. Plus, draining health is one my absolute favorite game mechanics. Now, #19 and Gero can also do this, and have the additional power to absorb enemy blasts, which would make them better, except they also need to do this in order to have energy at all- they can’t charge it like most other characters. Cell can, and the fact that he can take the enemy’s as well means he’s more versatile.
        Characters in this game have fairly similar combat, so I won’t get into that, but I will talk about Cell’s unique attacks. First there is ‘Blast 1’ moves, which support him, and use up Blast Stock, which increase as the fight goes on, then ‘Blast 2’, which are actual attacks and use up ki, which can be charged, or, for Cell, drained. In his first form he can pull off Solar Flare, which blinds enemies, allowing him to do a sneak attack(like his awesome throw!) or flee to charge up energy, since now they have to find him again.
        His other ability is Afterimage, which has Cell automatically dodge an attack that’s about to hit him- provided it’s not a ki blast. Both of these fit well with Cell in this form- he was all about sneaking around, taking energy from humans to grow stronger, biding his time and staying out of sight. A move that blinds enemies and one lets him dodge and get a grab on his enemy fits perfectly.
        As for the Blast 2s, First is Kamehameha, which can be charged up to do more damage, and Special Beam Cannon, which does the same. The first, however, is a conventional beam attack, whereas the Cannon acts more like a bullet- it pierces for a lot of damage, at the cost of more energy. Logically, you might think these would work perfectly with staying out of sight, but it doesn’t really- the CPU enemies tend to dash about all over the place, meaning getting a hit on them like that would be hard. Still possible, though, and they are good moves regardless.
        However, his Ultimate Attack fits with that perfectly. Drain Life Cell, like #19 and Gero before him, acts as a rushing move. Cell charges at the enemy, and if they don’t stop it with a Blast 2 or block, then the attack commences. In this case, Cell stabs the enemy with his tail, draining much more health than his throw would, then smashes them to the ground.
        Imperfect Cell does have his problems, though. Giant characters are immune to throws or rush attacks, meaning he can’t drain them. Robotic characters are also immune to life drain, so while the attacks will work, they will be far less effective. He also charges his energy slowly, which means you’ll be getting most of your ki through throws.
        When Cell transforms to his second form, he recovers some health, about half a health bar(You start with three, for reference.) and he charges ki more quickly now, meaning you may not have to drain your enemy as much… but why you stop now? He better in close range combat in general.
        He retains Solar Flare, but has replaced Afterimage with Pump Up, which boosts his strength temporarily in exchange for slower ki charging. Given he’s better at melee now and you probably should stay close to the enemy, this could be a good idea. Plus, given he can drain ki anyway, charging slower isn’t much of a setback.
        As for Blast 2s, Big Bang Crash fires out a large energy ball- it shoots off instantly, no charging needed, which is nice. He’s replaced Special Beam Cannon with Drain Life Cell. Formerly it was an Ultimate Attack, which meant you couldn’t use it very often due to it costing a blast stock and some time charging to use. Now you can use it much more frequently, even if it is a weaker effect.
        Finally, we have his Ultimate, called ‘Unforgivable!’ It’s a rush attack wherein Cell sets himself up to self destruct, doing massive damage to the enemy and reducing himself to one health. Since it’s a rush attack, if it works at all, the enemy will get hit, so no worries there. I personally dislike suicide attacks like this, but if that’s what you want to go for, I certainly won’t blame you. Useful is useful.
        Perfect Cell, the next form, is a mixed bag. On the one hand, Cell is now much stronger in pretty much every respect. On the other, no more energy drain. Sad. Still the trade off is, of course, absolutely worth it. His ki charging is even faster now, his attacks all hit harder, and though he can’t drain energy, he no longer needs it to pull off his bigger moves.
        His Blast 1s are Explosive Wave and Afterimage. Explosive Wave is a common and very useful skill that sends out a short-lived energy burst to knock enemies away. It’s primarily useful for knocking enemies away to keep them from completing combos and give yourself some breathing room, which gives you a chance to retaliate.
        As for his Blast 2, he has Super Kamehameha, which… is exactly what you might think, a better variation of the non-super iteration. His second is Barrage Death Beam, an interesting attack wherein he fires several Death Beams at the enemy. It fires out very quickly, has a low ki cost, and even if you dodge the first one, Cell re-aims with every shot, meaning it’s good for keeping the enemy on the move and hitting an otherwise untouchable annoyance.
        Finally, his Ultimate is Perfect Barrier. It works pretty much exactly like the other Super Explosive Wave attacks throughout the game- that is, it makes a giant wave of energy around him, severely damaging any enemy in the radius. It also stops any incoming energy blasts too.
        So at last we have his final transformation into Super Perfect Cell. At this point he has much more useful moves all around, and his melee has improved even more. Plus, by now he’s strong enough to contend with pretty much any character in the game. I briefly mentioned giant characters are immune to throws. They’re also immune to hitstun for the most part, except from charged up hits and Blast 2/Ultimates, meaning most characters have to resort to a long range battle to stand a chance. However, if a character is strong enough, they can stun them normally again, leveling the playing field. Super Perfect Cell falls in that category.
        As for his Blast 1 techniques, this time we have Instantaneous Transmission, which lets Cell teleport behind his enemy, and they lose sight of him as well, giving you the element of surprise. It uses up three of his maximum six Blast Stock, however, so it certainly cannot be used often. Wild Sense, on the other hand, uses two and works similar to Afterimage. It lets him dodge an attack, and he’ll automatically counter-attack by knocking them to the ground. Though this uses less stock, they both use a fair amount, and should be saved for moments of need.
        As for Blast 2, he has Full Power Death Beam, which, unlike the regular Death Beam, works similar to other beam attacks in that it hit’s the enemy multiple times rather than once. It costs no more to use than the Barrage variant, and has a more satisfying destructive quality, though logically speaking I don’t think it’s really an improvement. Next is Perfect Combination, a rush move. His is unique in appearance, so it looks cool, but there’s not much to recommend between rush moves- they all act the same. Still, a good move regardless.
        Finally we have his Ultimate move, the Solar Kamehameha. Unlike the other versions he uses, this one has no charge time, and fires off immediately, Which of course means it’s perfect to finish off an enemy in one move. There’s not much to say about it, but it is an excellent finisher, especially if you have your enemy off guard.
        All in all, Cell is my favorite because while his first two forms are weaker than his Perfect state, they have the energy draining skill to compensate, which is absolutely great to play. And when he does reach that form, he becomes a force to be reckoned with, able to face any other fighter with a chance of coming out on top.

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