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Power Stone 2 is the sequel to Power Stone, developed by Capcom for arcade and Sega Dreamcast. Like its predecessor, Power Stone 2 offers wild melee combat in interactive arenas, but there are several cool additions.

Four players can now duke it out in the arena, begging comparisons to the Nintendo 64 title Super Smash Brothers.

Like Smash Brothers, Power Stone 2 has tons of cool weapons available from the start. You can unlock additional weapons by mixing weapons in the Item Shop. Got an Ice Rod and a Fire Bottle? Combine 'em to make a Flame Rod. This method erases most of the tedium normally associated with unlocking in lesser games. Dedicated players will get awesome weapons like the Arm Gun (which most will recognize as Mega Man's Blaster, a powered Scooter for running down your opponents, and a Gigantic Hammer twice as big as any of the characters.

The arenas have also changed for the better. Taking a page from platformer games, Capcom has created huge multi-stage arenas to battle for Power Stone supremacy. Never before has a game empowered you to leap from submarine to submarine, nailing your opponent with a the sub's gun turret, until it collides with an iceberg. Or better yet, in an Indiana Jones-inspired sequence, smacking your opponent with a giant spoon while both of you race down a crumbling cave corridor, trying desperately to avoid that huge boulder rumbling just behind you? And I could go on. Each level is jam-packed exciting weapons, vehicles, and action sequences.

But there are a few problems. Since the arenas change so quickly, and the action is so dynamic, it can be more than a little difficult to keep track of your player on the screen, especially with four players battling it out. Also, there are only five arenas selectable from the start, and while they are tons of fun, a few more would have been well-even more fun.

And onto the issue of the power stones. Capcom wisely toned down the strength of the "powered-up" character from its godlike abilites in the original Power Stone. But they've created a new mess by including eight (instead of the original three) power stones in the arena at once. This makes it incredibly easy to get "powerful!" and stay that way for the whole match. In order to make it more reasonable, you have to unlock an option which allows you to change the amount of stones.

Power Stone 2 is a four-player extravaganza that makes for a great party game. It's got an innovative style that makes it easily one of the most underrated games for the Dreamcast. Rumor has it that it might be making an appearance on the Playstation 2 as well.

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