Brave Fencer Musashi

a game by Squaresoft
Platforms: Playstation, PSX
Editor Rating: 7.5/10, based on 5 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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Part platform game, part RPG, Brave Fencer Musashi successfully combines elements from classic titles like Crash Bandicoot and The Legend of Zclda to create an original and exciting role-playing experience. Everything from the story line to the sword-slashing gameplay is both fun and captivating, launching Musashi into the realm of outstanding PlayStation RPGs with Final Fantasy VII and Breath of Fire III.

I Need a Hero

You play as the legendary warrior, Musashi, who's been magically summoned from his world by Princess Fillet to restore peace to her kingdom. The catch is that you cannot return to your homeland unless you successfully complete your mission--which means solving puzzles, battling monsters, and collecting the powers of five mysterious scrolls.

Brave Fencer mixes traditional role-playing elements--like building your characters attributes through an involved quest, talking to townsfolk, and so on--with more unconventional button-twitching gameplay, including splashing your way down white-water rapids and racing a beast up die side of a mountain.The variety keeps the game fresh and fun diroughout the adventure.

Controlling Musashi is effortless as you slay enemies, free prisoners, and battle huge bosses to the death.The only flaw is that you need to constantly rotate the camera when you're in town to see your character, which totally throws off your bearings.

The Brave and the Beautiful

Brave Fencers graphics burst onto the screen with bright colors, wacky (but cool) enemies, and detailed levels. Each area is huge in scope and features hidden tive parts scattered throughout where you climb walls and even swing from fences.

While the graphics grab your eyes, the sound snatches your attention--Brave Fencer is one of the few PlayStation role-playing games where characters actually speak their parts.This not only adds personality to the game, but you also don't have to read i through thousands of lines of boring text.

Magnificent Musashi

Brave Fencer Musashi masters the art of mixing game genres in a way that will appeal to a wider range of PlayStation owners than most RPGs. If you're looking for a hero this holiday, Musashi s your man.

ProTips:

  • Cross the river on your way to the healing mountain by Jumping across the three poles.
  • After rescuing the dog In Chapter Two (you must carry him into the village-don't throw him!), talk to the mayor. From there, go fetch the prisoner In the stocks some bread and water.
  • Stock up on W-Gel before leaving town-K's a valuable medicine that will save your life many times throughout your journey.
  • When chasing the thief s dog to the graveyard, follow his barks to the key and protect him at all costs. If the dog dies, you'll have to start at the beginning of the forest again.
  • Before you reach the rapids, chop down four trees so the thief can build you a raft.
  • The Inn (the stone-colored structure in town) is the most important building In the game. Drop by there occasionally to rest, and be sure to save your game.

Graphics

The vibrant levels and funky characters showcase Brave Fencer's graphical heroics. Unfortunately, there are some collision detection problems that sometimes affect gameplay.

Control

As Musashi, you'll fight mightily, defend yourself, jump, climb walls, and learn new powers throughout your journey. The only downer is that you sometimes get lost when using the rotating camera.

Sound

The characters actually speak a majority of their dialogue, while the music sets the perfect mood for the game. A little more variety in the songs would have been sweeter on the ears, though.

Fun Factor

Once again. Square EA delivers a fun and challenging action RPG for the PlayStation. Brave Fencer Musashi's awesome gameplay and unique features make it a must-own title for closet-fencers in search of a noble adventure.

Download Brave Fencer Musashi

Playstation

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

PSX

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

People say:

8

Although not a particularly radical product, BFM really is something of a departure from the usual sprawling, lengthy and linear efforts that we have seen from Square recently. Having more in common with Goemon than Final Fantasy (right down to a cast with silly hair), the action is a hybrid of exploration and simple puzzle-solving with old-school arcade action. By throwing a mixture of game styles at you with some regularity the game rarely gets staid, and like all Square games there are frequent 'set piece' scenes that show off both the imagination and the graphical talents of the Square team. Some spectacular boss fights see you throwing creatures through walls and smashing up scenery, while a white-water rafting scene typifies the kind of welcome arcade action that follows the often plodding and dull periods of exploration. Like all Square games, you are expected to stick with the story--and in this case it's something targeted at a younger audience. Voice acting is used throughout the more important scenes, and the talent has been given some rope to be more humorous than you'd normally expect; a valley-girl princess and a gay librarian add some chuckles to the proceedings. Not Square's greatest creation ever, but definitely a welcome change from the norm.

8

More proof that Square is on a roll and still full of surprises, BFM is a superb-looking, superb-playing action/RPG that actually involves a lot more action than RPG elements. At nearly every turn in its extremely linear adventure, you'll be confronted with platform-style bits, clever puzzles, bizarre minigames and some really cool Bosses. The game's tone is on the light side, so don't expect Xenogears-style drama.

8

BFM is a nice change of pace from the typically serious, "traditional-style" RPGs that we're used to from Square. As an action/RPG it's definitely solid, but it never really achieves the level of depth of say, Zelda or Secret of Mana. Still, it's no: afraid to poke fun of itself (the humor in the game is great), and even though it's relatively short, it is fun to play. The whole passing of time thing is well-done, and the music is great.

8

I agree with john D. to some extent--Brave Fencer has a fairly unique feel to it...but it's also somewhat childish. I like the action and exploration, but the voices and overall feel, though funny at times, is kind of like a Disney movie or something. Still, there's nothing like a good Square game, and Brave Fencer is one of those--it's made really well. Overall, if you want an entertaining and interesting action/RPG, BFM is a solid buy.

Although it has hit points and all the usual RPG associated stuff, for the first five minutes or so, it has more in common with Pandemonium! than it does with Final Fantasy VII. Later on, things pan out into a Crash Bandicoot-style action sequence--a real-time Boss fight where you pick up the bad guy and hurl him through buildings. Then you quickly move into a simple puzzle sequence before settling to a Zelda-esque top-down, explorathon. From here on, the gameplay continues to hop about all over the place. Once you've played for a while though, you learn that the eclectic nature of the gameplay is BF's most important feature. Like all Square games it has a charming and forgivable linearity that is born out by a suitably well-crafted story line (and unlike all previous efforts the story is presented using speech throughout as opposed to text boxes.) This aside, the story itself takes something of a back seat to the relentless action. Nothing is turn-based here--this is a proper, real-time action game with swords, magical spells and bad guys running around desperate to rip your guts out.

Musashi (the hero) is armed to the teeth with a number of abilities. He has a pair of swords, a katana and a dirty great big broadsword, both of which can effectively dispatch all but the most irksome of foes, but the really clever bit is his magical ability. We've all played games where you can steal objects and stuff from the bad guys, but BF takes things further by allowing you to steal specific abilities. For example, in the very first section of the game Musashi needs to cross a river; there's the makings of a bridge on the other side in the shape of some trees, but he needs to knock them down somehow. Nearby is a bad guy with a machine gun. By activating the magic system and building up a spell Musashi can draw the machine gun from the bad guy and use it to mow down the trees. Many of the puzzles throughout require this kind of action and you'll soon find yourself stealing clubs that knock guards out (without killing them), spells that shrink people to a couple of inches high and even ultra-destructive laser bolts.

With character design by Tetsuya Nomura (Parasite Eve) and lead by Executive Producer Hironobu Sakagachi (FFVII) Brave Fencer Musashi is shaping up to be extremely impressive.

Overview

The Allucaneet Kingdom is under a surprise attack by the Thirstquencher Empire. The attack started while the king and queen were away and the Allucaneet army was not prepared; thus, there were heavy casualties. The senior members realized there was only one hope—to summon a hero. That hero is you, the Brave Fencer, Musashi. This action adventure RPG is packed with side-scrolling style action, three-dimensional action, lots of challenging puzzles, tons of characters, and scads of enemies' abilities that you can acquire and use yourself.

Gameplay

When you first start the game, you'll get to sit through a somewhat lengthy, but entertaining dialog between the senior members of Allucaneet and Princess Fillet. The Princess will summon you, insult your height, give you a sword called Fusion, and tell you to go obtain Lumina, the sword of luminescence, before the Thirstquencher Empire can get to it. Then, all of a sudden, you're off on this adventure. While traveling, you will get to a point where something you haven't done before needs to be done, Musashi will give you hints as to how to do it (by thinking to himself out loud) and you'll learn some new move or ability in the game. Once Lumina is obtained, you'll find that the Princess and most of the townspeople have been kidnapped, and now it's up to you to save everyone and find five scrolls depicting the symbols of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Sky to help you in this quest.

The controls consist of moving Musashi, jumping, lifting, using two different swords simultaneously, powering up your weapon, assimilating enemies' powers, changing camera viewpoints, buying items, selling items, using items, talking with people, climbing cliffs, falling asleep, and last, but certainly not least, playing with action figures. For a game as complex as this, the controls certainly aren't that hard to handle, which was a pleasant surprise. There are times when the gameplay is linear, and other times when you're free to travel the world (or what parts of it you can get to) freely. Regardless of which mode you're in, you'll need to build up your attributes to keep yourself strong. These attributes are Body (strength), Mind (defense), Fusion (attack level with Fusion), and Lumina (attack level with Lumina). In addition to these, you must also watch Musashi's hit points, Bincho power (used for performing assimilated moves), and tiredness level. If Musashi gets too tired or his Bincho power falls to zero, he will become sluggish and his attacks won't be as strong. To regain hit points and Bincho power, or to wake up more, you can either kill some enemies which drop items to increase these or visit Grillin' Village at the base of Allucaneet Castle.

Grillin' Village has everything you need: basic items such as bread and milk from the bakery, lodging at the inn (used for saving your game), not-so-fine dining at the restaurant, and action figures at the toy store, just to name a few. Just make sure you have enough Drans (the currency of Allucaneet) first. The various food items will increase hit points, Bincho power, or wake you up if you have no time to sleep. If you are poisoned, visit the church for healing. The action figures are fun to collect and play with in your room at the castle. You can (and will need to) chat with everyone in the village at various times to find out what to do next and/or get information. The shops open and close at specified times on certain days, so if you need anything, make sure you time it accordingly. Time in Allucaneet's world is just like ours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Skyday, Saturday, Sunday). It never stops or slows. It will speed up by eight times if you sleep, though (because would you really want to sit there and watch Musashi sleep for hours?). Fortunately, there is a map of Grillin' Village in a manual, which you will need as it's easy to confuse yourself when the buildings look a lot alike and you need to constantly change the camera angle to see where you're going.

Not sure what to do next? If you press Start on the controller, it will bring up a sub-menu that shows Musashi reminding himself (and you) of his current objective. You can also view your current attributes, the rescue list (showing who has and hasn't been saved yet), and real amount of time spent playing along with what scrolls, armor, and techniques have been obtained. Settings for the game's visual effects, vibration function, and sound can be adjusted here too.

When in battle, Musashi has both the Fusion sword and Lumina sword at his disposal. Fusion is weak but quick, whereas Lumina is slow and powerful (due to its weight). Each has other abilities too. Fusion can be thrown like a boomerang and has the power of assimilating enemies' special attributes, which comes in very useful in certain areas. Using these attributes will cost you Bincho power, so make sure you have enough. Lumina has a couple of special attacks to start with, and even more once you obtain the scrolls and attach them. Later in the game, you can use both swords together to climb certain walls. Most enemies that are sliced and diced will regenerate when you walk a short distance away from where they originated. If you are trying to increase your skills, this can be to your advantage, whereas if you're actually trying to accomplish something useful, it becomes downright annoying. That's all part of the challenge, though.

Graphics

Like Japanimation? All the characters are comical, which I think adds a lot of life to the game. The various environments you run, jump, and slash around are rendered very nicely and will also change lighting depending on the time of day. The graphical high point in this game is the special effects. Both Fusion and Lumina have an interesting glow to them when used. When assimilating an enemy's powers you will get a great little effects show (provided it's turned on in the options, which it is by default) that I found impressive.

Audio

The sounds are fairly detailed. When running down a path, you can hear Musashi's feet. If you swing a sword near a wall, you can hear the "swoosh" of the sword and the clank of it hitting the wall. The music has many varied tracks and fits the scenario you happen to be in at that particular moment—friendly music in town, ominous in a dark forest, or regal at the castle. The most interesting part of the audio is the voices. Like real people, all the characters have different demeanors and voices. When they speak, there is an interesting combination of old English and modern slang between the characters.

System Features Supported

One-Player only, Memory Card (1 block), Analog Control Compatible, Vibration Function Compatible.

While the game itself will tell you how to do many, if not all, of Musashi's moves, reading the manual first may show you something useful before you ever start the game. You should also read the docs, as you'll learn other important things you need to know to keep yourself alive and healthy. The manual also explains the various icons you'll see on screen, some of the characters, the legend of Musashi, and basic controls for the Final Fantasy demo CD that is included.

Bottom Line

This is a fast-paced, fairly simple-to-learn action/adventure RPG. Some puzzles are easy, whereas others can be difficult, which adds a great variety of challenges. The characters and storyline are interesting and entertaining, and all the different voices are a nice touch. This game is guaranteed to keep you challenged and busy for many hours, and I would recommend it to anyone who is into this type of game. When done with this game, you can open the other half of the jewel case and pop in the Final Fantasy VIII demo included for even more fun. Hats off to Square for another winner. I give Brave Fencer Musashi a score of 88.

Overview

The Allucaneet Kingdom is under a surprise attack by the Thirstquencher Empire. The attack started while the king and queen were away and the Allucaneet army was not prepared; thus, there were heavy casualties. The senior members realized there was only one hope'to summon a hero. That hero is you, the Brave Fencer, Musashi. This action adventure RPG is packed with side-scrolling style action, three-dimensional action, lots of challenging puzzles, tons of characters, and scads of enemies' abilities that you can acquire and use yourself.

Gameplay

When you first start the game, you'll get to sit through a somewhat lengthy, but entertaining dialog between the senior members of Allucaneet and Princess Fillet. The Princess will summon you, insult your height, give you a sword called Fusion, and tell you to go obtain Lumina, the sword of luminescence, before the Thirstquencher Empire can get to it. Then, all of a sudden, you're off on this adventure. While traveling, you will get to a point where something you haven't done before needs to be done, Musashi will give you hints as to how to do it (by thinking to himself out loud) and you'll learn some new move or ability in the game. Once Lumina is obtained, you'll find that the Princess and most of the townspeople have been kidnapped, and now it's up to you to save everyone and find five scrolls depicting the symbols of Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Sky to help you in this quest.

The controls consist of moving Musashi, jumping, lifting, using two different swords simultaneously, powering up your weapon, assimilating enemies' powers, changing camera viewpoints, buying items, selling items, using items, talking with people, climbing cliffs, falling asleep, and last, but certainly not least, playing with action figures. For a game as complex as this, the controls certainly aren't that hard to handle, which was a pleasant surprise. There are times when the gameplay is linear, and other times when you're free to travel the world (or what parts of it you can get to) freely. Regardless of which mode you're in, you'll need to build up your attributes to keep yourself strong. These attributes are Body (strength), Mind (defense), Fusion (attack level with Fusion), and Lumina (attack level with Lumina). In addition to these, you must also watch Musashi's hit points, Bincho power (used for performing assimilated moves), and tiredness level. If Musashi gets too tired or his Bincho power falls to zero, he will become sluggish and his attacks won't be as strong. To regain hit points and Bincho power, or to wake up more, you can either kill some enemies which drop items to increase these or visit Grillin' Village at the base of Allucaneet Castle.

Grillin' Village has everything you need: basic items such as bread and milk from the bakery, lodging at the inn (used for saving your game), not-so-fine dining at the restaurant, and action figures at the toy store, just to name a few. Just make sure you have enough Drans (the currency of Allucaneet) first. The various food items will increase hit points, Bincho power, or wake you up if you have no time to sleep. If you are poisoned, visit the church for healing. The action figures are fun to collect and play with in your room at the castle. You can (and will need to) chat with everyone in the village at various times to find out what to do next and/or get information. The shops open and close at specified times on certain days, so if you need anything, make sure you time it accordingly. Time in Allucaneet's world is just like ours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Skyday, Saturday, Sunday). It never stops or slows. It will speed up by eight times if you sleep, though (because would you really want to sit there and watch Musashi sleep for hours?). Fortunately, there is a map of Grillin' Village in a manual, which you will need as it's easy to confuse yourself when the buildings look a lot alike and you need to constantly change the camera angle to see where you're going.

Not sure what to do next? If you press Start on the controller, it will bring up a sub-menu that shows Musashi reminding himself (and you) of his current objective. You can also view your current attributes, the rescue list (showing who has and hasn't been saved yet), and real amount of time spent playing along with what scrolls, armor, and techniques have been obtained. Settings for the game's visual effects, vibration function, and sound can be adjusted here too.

When in battle, Musashi has both the Fusion sword and Lumina sword at his disposal. Fusion is weak but quick, whereas Lumina is slow and powerful (due to its weight). Each has other abilities too. Fusion can be thrown like a boomerang and has the power of assimilating enemies' special attributes, which comes in very useful in certain areas. Using these attributes will cost you Bincho power, so make sure you have enough. Lumina has a couple of special attacks to start with, and even more once you obtain the scrolls and attach them. Later in the game, you can use both swords together to climb certain walls. Most enemies that are sliced and diced will regenerate when you walk a short distance away from where they originated. If you are trying to increase your skills, this can be to your advantage, whereas if you're actually trying to accomplish something useful, it becomes downright annoying. That's all part of the challenge, though.

Graphics

Like Japanimation? All the characters are comical, which I think adds a lot of life to the game. The various environments you run, jump, and slash around are rendered very nicely and will also change lighting depending on the time of day. The graphical high point in this game is the special effects. Both Fusion and Lumina have an interesting glow to them when used. When assimilating an enemy's powers you will get a great little effects show (provided it's turned on in the options, which it is by default) that I found impressive.

Audio

The sounds are fairly detailed. When running down a path, you can hear Musashi's feet. If you swing a sword near a wall, you can hear the "swoosh" of the sword and the clank of it hitting the wall. The music has many varied tracks and fits the scenario you happen to be in at that particular moment'friendly music in town, ominous in a dark forest, or regal at the castle. The most interesting part of the audio is the voices. Like real people, all the characters have different demeanors and voices. When they speak, there is an interesting combination of old English and modern slang between the characters.

System Features Supported

One-Player only, Memory Card (1 block), Analog Control Compatible, Vibration Function Compatible.

Documentation

While the game itself will tell you how to do many, if not all, of Musashi's moves, reading the manual first may show you something useful before you ever start the game. You should also read the docs, as you'll learn other important things you need to know to keep yourself alive and healthy. The manual also explains the various icons you'll see on screen, some of the characters, the legend of Musashi, and basic controls for the Final Fantasy demo CD that is included.

Bottom Line

This is a fast-paced, fairly simple-to-learn action/adventure RPG. Some puzzles are easy, whereas others can be difficult, which adds a great variety of challenges. The characters and storyline are interesting and entertaining, and all the different voices are a nice touch. This game is guaranteed to keep you challenged and busy for many hours, and I would recommend it to anyone who is into this type of game. When donne with this game, you can open the other half of the jewel case and pop in the Final Fantasy VIII demo included for even more fun. Hats off to Square for another winner. I give Brave Fencer Musashi a score of 88.