Moero ! Justice Gakuen (燃えろ!ジャスティス学園)

Better known as Project Justice in the West, Moero! Justice Gakuen (Burn! Justice School) is Capcom's sequel to its comical Rival Schools fighting series and expands upon the original in many ways, proving to be a worthy successor and a highly original title.  


Moero pits students from a variety of schools up against each other, each with their own unique particular talent. Characters range from soccer players to tennis stars to violinists, not to mention the usual assortment of misfits and social outcasts. What makes these brawlers so special is how they interact with one another. Each battle sees two groups of three fighters squaring off against each other. While only one character can be used per round, it's possible to perform combination attacks utilizing the special abilities of your support crew.



One of the best things about Rival Schools on the Playstation was its team-up element. The best thing about Project Justice on the DC is after powering your attack meter to the requisite level (up to a maximum of five), an attack can be unleashed which sees all three fighters ganging up on your hapless opponent. Tactically play comes in with the realisation that letting the gauge fill to 5 allows all three of you to perform a hugely damaging attack but you must balance this against the fact that it is somewhat easier to dodge, repel or intercept supers and team up attacks than in previous games. Some characters when called individually won't attack the other player, instead they will fill up your power gauge and replenish some life. You may want to make sure you have at least one team mate who can do this as it can often make a huge difference to the outcome of a fight. You can also swap characters between rounds which helps keep your opponent on their toes and adds a bit of variety to the gameplay.

Ever wanted to start a punchup in a Japanese school?

The Story Mode makes up the bulk of the gameplay, with inter-school rivalries played out during matches. Still image cut scenes are used to further the character development, providing background information and explaining the driving force behind the fighters. Training, Versus, and Tournament round out the list of available options. A Network option was also present in the Japanese version, though this proves useless to anyone who is not in possession of a time machine.

Kyosuke takes a beat down from the rather freaky, Momo-chan

The graphics are done with a distinctive Japanese flair and are arcade perfect and the special attacks are fun to watch with brilliant colours. Fighters are detailed and animate fluidly and there is a crisp look about the whole game but overall,  Moero isn't really pushing the power of the Dreamcast. One thing to note, is that the character design is strange to say the least, but at the same time many will see familiar stereotypes from their own school experiences. You've got the quiet, reserved guys, the sports team, and the geeky, pocket-protector wearing bookworms. Pretty much every scholar stereotype in the book has been included, with a few new ones added for good measure. Personal faves are Kyo, the tough bookworm who made his way into Capcom vs SNK 2 and the hard-hitting gym teacher who is quite happy to give his students a good wack of his kendo stick rather than take any abuse. It's a bit of dissapointment to lose Sakura from the Street Fighter series but as she considering her similarity to Hinata, it's probably no wonder.

 Characters are typical Capcom stereotypical affairs, but still fun!

Exclusive to the Japanese version of the game is the Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki - a board game in the vein of the Mario Party series which was so popular at the time. Basically, you put together your very own character which can then be used in the standard fighting portion of the game. Throughout the game's 40 turns, players will be required to move around the game board, interact with other characters (CPU or human), and try to obtain cards and bonuses that will help increase their character's abilities. It's not as fun as the evolution disc released with previous version which featured a ton of enjoyable sports themed mini games but still a welcomed addition to the package. The game also sports a Training mode, League Battle Mode, Tournament mode, and an extra gallery and music mode.

 Moero features some of the best Capcom art ever!

While perhaps not as deep as it's more famous big brother, Street Fighter, Moero serves up plenty of good, clean fighting game fun, with a dash of offbeat humor and makes a good recess title for those who want a break from the more technical fighters. The graphics are pretty, the action is fast and furious, and combos are easy to perform and those who enjoy the style of play in titles like Marvel vs. Capcom or even the Street Fighter EX series will have fun with this game as well.

Comments

  1. Solid review! Been waiting for DCgaga to do one on this game. A true gem of a title for the Dreamcas system. True, the US version was devoid of the cutesy board game as a result of budgetary issues. But at least the USA branch fixed some of the issues and bugs that plagued its japanese release. Regardless of version though, Moero!/PJ is a marvelous game.

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  2. Yes, a largely underrated game that in my opinion while never really does anything revolutionary, is a solid game which has that magic ingredient, fun!

    Also, it gets bonus points for being another DC exclusive.

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