I'd like to express my gratitude to Way of the Warrior for introducing me to music which would later become some of my favorite. Just as Road Rash made good use of the music of Soundgarden, Way of the Warrior does the same thing with the band White Zombie.
But on to the game itself, back when Mortal Kombat was released gamers were thrilled to see those wonderful digitized human-like character sprites. Way of the Warrior took that formula one step further and features crisp sprites for your enjoyment. You even get a handful of fatalities to boot.
The gameplay here is a mixed bag. Though it's a bit unresponsive, the game can become quite addictive over time. You get to select from a wide range of characters, each with a distinct fighting personality. The character's animations aren't as smooth as in the Mortal Kombat series, but what do you expect, this game had only two, yes two, programmers working on it.
It must be said that, just as Mortal Kombat II, Way of the Warrior not only packs a lot of punch but has personality to spare. And as Quentin Tarantino wrote, personality goes a long way.
Speaking of personality, Way of the Warrior is blessed with a strange group of fighters. The Ninja, Konotori and Shaky Jake are certainly memorable characters. The Ninja has a wicked helicopter kick, Konotori makes excellent use of the fan, and Shaky Jane can do away with some of the toughest characters, such as the dragon. All of the characters feature interesting moves and they look fantastic running on the 3DO's hardware.
Graphically Way of the Warrior excels. The backdrops are nicely animated; you will be mesmerized by the dragons, statues and skeletons which populate the 3D foreground. Even today it's easy to be impressed with the way the characters look, the graphics are much sharper than what we saw in the 2D Mortal Kombat games.
This is, to say the least, one of 3DO's best games, along with titles like Shockwave and Twisted. This is one of the few fighting games worth playing on this system, a console not known for its strong 2D fighting support. It's not the smoothest fighting game of all time, and the controls are a little unresponsive, but there's quite a bit of enjoyment to be had with Naughty Dog's debut fighter. Go ahead, walk the Way of the Warrior.