Bushido Blade 2
If you've ever dreamed of getting into a swordfight where a small mistake can lead to death or the flick of the wrist at the right moment clinches victory, then enter the world of Bushido Blade 2, one of the most realistic fighting games on the market. The game boasts six main characters interacting in an entertaining storyline of the bitter battle between the Kagami and Sue family as seen from their point of views.
The original Bushido Blade was heavy in depth and had a strong following, which included web sites dedicated to the game, but was unfortunately light on characters. SquareSoft's second offering has vastly improved the game play, created sharper graphics, increased single player option settings and has many more characters to choose from. If the idea of swordfighting has ever intrigued you or you tire of unrealistic characters, then this game is for you.
Like its predecessor, instead of fireballs, lightning bolts or impossibly quick feet/hands, Bushido Blade 2 tries to create a true fighting simulation. The only time SquareSoft strayed from this formula was for the Kagami clan leader, who has some magic powers. I found this a real disappointment and felt they shouldn't have cheapened the realism and uniqueness of this game by including it, but is easily forgiven since this was the only exception. The character and weapon combinations that are available also sets this game apart from the other fighting simulations on the market. In most other games you're stuck with whatever weapon the character comes with, but with BB2 you're able to use any of the weapons, which can completely change how a character fights.
Just as in a real sword fight, there are one-hit kills, which might be a bit too real for some gamers, and instead of life meters there is a body damage system. Arms can still be rendered unusable, leg wounds result in slower movement and hits to the torso cause attack speed to slow down quite a bit. This is a welcome break from the hobbled legs that occurred in BB1, more annoying than fun, especially if both of you ended up hobbled.
Each character also gets a sub-weapon, some deadlier than others. For example the iron fan is a slow moving object that can score a one-hit kill, the Kozuka are throwing knives that can be thrown consecutively and are very fast, while the Kodachi is a secondary sword. There are also some gun-toting enemies that can improve your running skills as you try to hack them down before eating some steel. Each family has a member where the gun is clearly their weapon of choice, but I was shocked when one of the ninja's pulled out a gun as their sub-weapon and drilled a bullet between my eyes.
The controls have been changed and simplified. There are now two attack buttons and no parry button. This is a great change because in BB1 the parry button was too effective and a bit cheesy because you could block with ease. To block attacks now, you simply have to use the opposite attack of your opponent which then parries their weapon. For example, if the opponent attacks with a frontal attack, you have to attack with a reverse attack for a "perfect" defense; otherwise, you lose your balance for a split second. This counter attack/defense system is ultra easy to learn, fair and arguably the best out there. There is also a stance button that rotates between high, middle and low stances and changes the fighting techniques and strategy of every character depending on which stance you're currently in. Unfortunately they took out a lot of the side-step attacks, which is a real disappointment because there are times when you wish you had them at your disposal.
While the six characters are going through the story, they encounter supporting characters that become available to select from the main menu if they survive. When you complete a stage as the support character without dying he'll be unlocked for play in all modes, which can be a lot of fun to then take them through the story mode.
Single player mode got revamped and now includes a first-person perspective view that includes a-like green wire frame. Also the story revolves around two feuding families where in each stage you duke it out with a few ninjas before fighting the boss from the opposing family. This is a lot more entertaining than BB1 where you just fought a couple of other characters and a boss or two.
All the characters have been given a makeover and they look a lot sharper. During the cinema cut scenes you can see each character's mouth move, and they were given realistic-looking body movements. What is really cool is that the supporting characters were given their own cinemas, voices and story point of views. Unfortunately, the background doesn't look quite as clean as it did in BB1, but the loss is well worth the better character animations. The sound is pretty good and includes weapon clashes, grunts, screams, strikes and parries. The voice work isn't the greatest I've ever heard, but it isn't hideously terrible either.
This game is a definite winner and will make your blood pressure soar in excitement if you're a gamer who enjoys fighting. The realistic fighting, great graphics and entertaining story line deliver value for its price. This title would make a great Christmas gift for just about anyone.
Download Bushido Blade 2
While the original Bushido Blade has only been out for a couple of months here in the U.S., Square is already hard at work on the sequel in Japan. Bushido Blade 2 is well under way, and judging from what we've seen of it so far, it's going to be a nice improvement to the unique samurai brawler that took traditional fighting games to an entirely new level.
So far, 14 characters have been revealed, seven of which are new, while the other three are returning from the first Bushido Blade (Tatsumi, Mikado and Kannuki). There will be a Story Mode where you can choose to fight for one of two clans, and there are numerous game-play enhancements planned, including faster, smoother play, better defensive tactics, two-sword fighting and more. In addition, there are more unique fighting stances for each character, there are only two attack buttons now and there's a heavier emphasis on the story in the Story Mode (now known as the "Top Mode"). This one's still early, but already it's looking hot. We'll have more on BB2 as it develops. In the meantime, start sharpening your Nodachi...
- MANUFACTURER - Square Co., Ltd.
- THEME - Fighting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
When Bushido Blade 2 hit Japan in late March, it took more than a few fans of the original by surprise. Instead of packing it with enhanced graphics, new moves and all the other bells and whistles we usually see in sequels, developer Light Weight simplified the game's fighting engine and overhauled its one-player Story Mode.
Now, the one-player takes you through various stages that require you to defeat several generic ninjas (in a throwback to BBi's Slash Mode) before facing a major character from the opposing clan. You'll also run into support characters who you can control in the following stage. If you die, you simply revert to your main character and proceed as before. Complete the stage as the support character, however, and he/she will be unlocked for play in all modes (including a new Wooden-blade Mode that's modeled after a real-life martial arts tournament). You start the game with six selectable characters, but you'll have as many as 18 once you open the other fighters.
Control is simplified. Only one button is used to cycle through the three attack stances, and there are now two Attack buttons and no Block button (you block by slashing your weapon the same time the enemy does). The damage system has been revamped, too. Arms can still be rendered useless, but leg wounds result in slower motion, instead of BBi's hobbled stance.
Square has yet to reveal whether it will bring this sequel to the United States. We expect that announcement at E3, followed by a stateside release this fail.
- MANUFACTURER - Light Weight
- THEME - Fighting
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2