I have always loved watching Tom and Jerry the cartoon when I was young and it definitely translates well into a "Street Fighter" style game with a whole range of cool features.
Firstly, there are nine playable characters for you to unlock by playing the Tom and Jerry story mode with subsequent character's stories being unlocked as you progress the game. Characters include Spike, Nibbles and Butch. Other things to unlock are the different fighting arenas and special costumes characters will wear on particular levels such as swimming trunks on the beach level.
So what does the game itself involve? After choosing a character to play, you are paired with a series of opponents to beat. At the end of each story mode, there is also a boss- defeating them will finish that particular path and have characters unlocked.
The levels themselves are fully interactive with the environment destroyable (this is infact how you unlock clothes). There are also special weapon picks ups, some you can throw whilst some are permanent whacking weapons dealing heavy damage. There is also an environmental element that comes every so often, such as an avalanche that covers a majority of the arena and freezes you unless you seek a high spot. How you manouvre the level and what to pick up is key to winning.
There are quite a few different moves you can do so learning the controls at the beginning may be a bit difficult. Jump, Punch, Kick, Dodge, Pick Up, Throw, Berserk... with some of those buttons used also for catching thrown items, picking up your opponent and using weapons that you pick up. A bit of practice is definitely needed before facing anyone!
This game is also successful in that it was originally a cartoon and therefore the graphics don't need to be spectacular. Compared to a game like "Final Fantasy", the graphics are pretty rubbish but it doesn't matter. The attention to detail is what makes this game fun and quirky. The animations of the characters when they win and lose reflect well what you might see on the show, which is nice.
All the game mechanics can be adjusted in "Options Mode" and selecting EASY, you can unlock everything pretty easily, though if you want a real challenge, you'll want to try HARD mode which is pretty intense and expect some sore thumbs!
Apart from the story mode, there is tag team where you choose two characters to face two characters of the computer. Alternatively you can play with a friend and each have a character on the same side to face the computer's two opponents. This mode sounds good, but it is never fun to just sit and watch when it's not your go, so thankfully there's a full on two player mode- Just pick and character and FIGHT!
This is by far the best mode as it gives you total freedom and spontaneity as you don't know what your human opponent will do. After unlocking everything, there is very little replayability in terms of the story mode, but the two player Versus Mode is definitely one you can play again and again with a friend to see who will win the war of the whiskers!