One Must Fall 2097 review
OMF2097 is one of the best fighting games ever made. It was published by Epic Games (when was called Epic MegaGames).
This game is themed around japanese sci-fi mechas (giant robots) called HARs (Human Assisted Robots). You must not just select a character, to fight with, but also a robot. The skills you can use depend on the robot. The pilot only adds stats (speed, …).
The game has a tournament mode in which you evolve both your pilot and robot by spending cash. You can switch your robot, depending on the current tournament position, considering new robot value against old selling value.
The truly strong points are the tournament and the robots, but I’ll try to describe every relevant game characteristic:
- There is a single player mode. It’s a story mode, were you fight continuous fights against the other pilots to see the pilot ending, like in Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat.
- There is a two player mode (player vs player), to just practice and for a quick fight with a friend.
- In both single and two player modes, you’re allowed to choose a pilot (from a preset of 10 rivals) and a robot.
- Tournament mode is like a career mode, where you freely fight for a profit to advance tiers (to upper tournaments). You get a big prize if you win the tournament (reach 1st). The tournament incorporates RPG elements to the game. You can customize your pilot and
mechaHAR to reach upper tier tournaments: read more.
- There are 5 regular arenas (combat scenarios). Every one (but Stadium) has it’s own hazards to damage players.
11 robots (HARs) to choose from (10 outside tournament mode but Nova could be chosen by using a trick). Every robot has it’s own feel and skills, it’s unique and doesn’t look a uninspired copy.
- Various skills depending on the robot. There are combos and also finishing moves called scrap and destruction.
- Various AI levels (difficulty levels), some are selectable on settings, others hidden (the most difficult). The difficulty level also may unlock few things (there is a FAQ which I’ll mention later). I consider the AI is fine, well scripted.
- Game has many secrets, which is not unusual on fighting games, but this has many things to play with. You can check the OMF2097 fandom wiki for a quick look. For more detail and information, refer to the FAQ online, which contains a lot of information regarding the game.
If all that content is not enough, don’t worry, as there are some fan made content ready to expand more the game. There are many custom tournaments on the wiki, which may be worth the time.
After a short thinking, I just concluded this is a flawless gem. The game is fun and it’s almost perfect as is, with good 2D fighting gameplay. I don’t miss anything from other similar games.
Content wise, the game would benefit from more tournaments and maybe another robot thrown or two. Yet there are fan made custom tournaments and 11 robots to choose from, so it seems not so bad if you compare it with SF2 (arcade) which had only 8 selectable fighters and still was awesome.
Some robot skills could be tweaked to improve them, maybe, but IMO overall design is not bad.
Why to play?
If you like fighting games or arcade games in general, I can only recommend this. And not only in that case.
I don’t enjoy playing fighting games too much lately… I like them but I don’t feel engaged enough to play them more than a little bit. In the end, I just avoid them and focus on other genres. But, regarding One Must Fall 2097, I still go back and play it again from time to time. That’s how good it is.
Here is a video that discusses about the pilot stats and some other deep game stuff:
How to acquire + extra stuff
OMF2097 was released free by the developer (thank you Diversions Entertainment). The original binaries can be downloaded legally from any abandonware website. You can also download a rar file (compressed file) containing the game from OMF2097 forum: OMF2097 public file. There is a fan website with various OMF versions to download (and OMF2097 2.1 in a zip file), music and lots of utility programs that are worth to check if you like the game and are curious.
Someone made an open source remake, called OpenOMF, but is not complete and seems not being updated lately. Still, could be worthy to keep a look at its progress.
Version / Platform
The game was released only for MS-DOS (PC). The reviewed game is the retail full version, 2.1 (there was also a shareware version). It can be played perfectly by using DOSBox. The game is freeware, play it and enjoy to your heart content.
I’m afraid I don’t think there is nothing new coming for this IP in the future. They made a 3D remake called One Must Fall: Battlegrounds which, as far as I know, was bad and just died there. RIP.
So we’ll have to stick to the original by now.
Games like OMF2019
There are many other 2D fighting games worth a try, but I’m going to select few I know well:
- Street Fighter 2. Another flawless 2D fighting game, this one well know, focused on melee and skill use.
- Mortal Kombat 2. Fighting adult game, with some gore and special finishing moves.
- Killer Instinct. Another popular game, this one focused on combos and finishers.
- Super Smash Bros. Fun fighting Nintendo game, a must have on Nintendo consoles.
There are some 3D fighting games that allow you to side step, so they’re worth noting:
- Tekken 3. Great 3D fighting game.
- Soul Calibur 2. In this one most of the characters are weapon wielding and also you can change costumes.
- Virtua Fighter. Another acclaimed 3D fighting game, this one developed by Sega.
- Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate. This fighting game is known widely because of it’s eye candy (some costumes and scenes are hot).
- One Must Fall: Battlegrounds. Well… this one shares the name but I just added here for the record. Is not good like other games listed.
This is for sure an good game, worth your time. It’s not widely known but still there is some fanbase and love for it in internet.
It would be so nice to have a remastered version in any modern consoles or Windows 10…
I actually wonder what, fighting game hardcore players/enthusiasts, think about it. I’d welcome feedback. 😉
- You can train stats (buy) to enhance your pilot (power, agility and endurance). The improvements are permanent and apply to all robots.
- You can also buy/sell improvements for robot components (leg/arm power/speed, stun resistance, armor). Selling value is lower than buy value. The improvements are sold when you buy a new bot, which comes with zero improvements from stock (you pay the value difference).
- The robot component improvements increase overall value of the robot, which affects to repair pricing. Repair cost depends on amount of suffered damage and robot value. Heavy damage could actually net you a cash loss even if you won the battle.
- There are 4 tournaments. The prizes by won battle and won tournament are higher on harder tournaments. You must pay a fee to enter a new tournament.
- There are many pilots in tournament (more than the 10 single player AI pilots).
- You can also play single battles within your tournament game (it’s called Simulation):
- against an AI pilot from current tournament.
- against other player pilot (2 player game between distinct savegame pilots).