Bloody Roar 4
How this unevolved beast continues to elude extinction is beyond me. Once again, Bloody Roar's call-of-the-wild concept-fighters become the animal kingdom’s most feared killers midbout—has been tamed by woeful execution. For this fourth installment, Bloody Roar's breeders tried introducing new genes to the game’s anemic bloodline, borrowing counters, three-dimensional movement, and the notion of a fleshed-out single-player mode from pedigree fighters like Soul Calibur II. Unfortunately, something went awry, and none of it works as it should. The abilities your stripped-down combatant earns in Career mode, for instance, are already available in the standard match types. Not that it matters. I blew through the entire section without equipping a single “bonus” item. Fighting friends is equally pointless, thanks to an abuse-prone combo system that rewards frantic scrubs while punishing strategic players. Some games manage to deliver a good time despite being utterly sloppy (see Backyard Wrestling), but simple fisticuffs of this sort have no excuse for playing like Hungry Hungry Hippos.
Each of BR4's praiseworthy features is offset by one (or more) missteps in the same category. The Tiger looks badass, but one character’s alter ego is—I am not making this up—"The Spurious,” who has a blade on one arm and lichen growing on her. The nice-looking stages don’t matter, because you fight within the same tiny force-field-bounded square on each one. And there’s nothing good to say about the gameplay, which ignores skill and encourages button-mashing. Stay away from this beast—it bites.
Usually, when a fighting series reaches its fourth installment, it’s doing something right. In Bloody Roar 4's case, however, the only truly positive thing I can say is that it lets me beat on other people as a six-foot-tall rabbit, and even that got old after a few minutes. Shawn and Paul called it—Roars just a shallow button masher, one that's not much fun whether you’re playing alone or with friends. And what’s the point of even having different stages if every last one is bordered by four invisible walls?
Download Bloody Roar 4
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP