Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage
|a game by||Yuke's Co. Ltd.|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Sword of the Berserk is a real mixed bag. This Final Fight-style game is fairly mindless and repetitive (as in, plow through level after level, destroying all who get in your way without strategy or skill). Most of the time, it really feels like you're just going through the motions. The enemies, although interesting and varied, are as stupid as the game's title. You can often shoot them from a distance, and they'll just sit there and take it like dummies (the crossbow-wielding mofos, on the other hand, have better Al as demonstrated by their unwillingness to fight in close quarters with you). The only things that break up the monotony are the painfully long real-time cutscenes and the occasional action/cinematic sequence where you have to tap the right button at the right time (a la Dynamite Cop). So why the good review score? The graphics are incredible. The music and sound FX (especially in Surround Sound) are grand. The camera work is some of the best I've ever seen in a 3D game. The cutscenes are excellent, even though there's too much of it. The voice acting is class A. The boss fights (especially the last two) kick serious booty. Add all those up, and you have a so-so game with such incredibly high production value, you can't help but enjoy it more than other games of this type. This is what Soul Fighter should've been.
Once upon a Christmas break, I spent a magical evening beating the import version of Berserk while my girlfriend cooked kalbi in the kitchen. It took her two hours to prepare dinner. By the time she was finished with the food, so was I with the game. It wasn't very long, and it wasn't very deep, but I loved it every bit as much as the BBQI had that evening. The U.S. version has surprisingly good voice acting and is a lot harder. Nice one, Eidos!
I played the Japanese version of this a lot and loved it, but now that Eidos has picked it up, it's reassuring to see that U.S. tastes have been catered for. For a start, the game is now much harder than the original release, making the whole thing much more of a challenge. Second, the production values are unusually high with some splendid voice acting and gorgeous visuals. This is what Soul Fighter should have been. Check it out.
With all of the Ps2 goodness in the office this month, we needed a Dreamcast game to restore our faith in Sega's machine. Eidos seems to have done it again. In licensing (and subsequently enhancing) Berserk, they have done us all a proud service. The graphics are spectacular throughout--and even get pretty trippy toward the end. Plus the English voice acting is considerably more professional than a lot of the translation jobs we've seen lately!
Download Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage
Based on a long-running manga series (Kentauro Miura's "Berserk"), Guts' Rage centers around the adventures of a man named Gatsu (Guts is his nickname), who, conspicuously, walks everywhere with a gargantuan sword strapped to his back.
Think Final Fight meets D&D, 3D-style, and you might accidentally conjure up images of Eidos's latest acquisition, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage. Cutting to the chase, Berserk is hi-octane, if repetitive, entertainment. It offers possibly the most insane amount of sword swinging this side of Soul Calibur on any home console to date. Sword of the Berserk, when released in Japan, produced fountains and geysers of blood everywhere Guts swung his sword. Apparently Eidos and Yukes (Evil Zone, WWF SmackDown! and Soukaigi) thought that too much was still not enough. The American version of Berserk will feature even more of the red stuff, for no other reason than to make the game more O.T.T. Beyond the regular staple of hacking and slashing your way through the game, Guts also has a small cache of other weapons and attacks at his disposal. Along with his fists and slide-kicks, he has a miniature rapid-fire crossbow, a powerful gun-shot (limited ammo though), grenades, throwing knives and health-recovery potions. Fortunately, for as many weapons as he has, there is an equal and greater number of monsters he must use them on. Bearing a tattoo on his neck that bleeds whenever any monsters lurk in hiding nearby, Guts finds himself in a beginning-to-end slash-fest that climaxes with him flying into a berserker's rage every so often. Giving the game and manga its namesake, when Guts suffers too much damage, the screen flashes red and he becomes virtually unstoppable. He moves nearly twice as fast and anything that gets in his way will find itself in numerous pieces within a matter of seconds.
Fans of Soul Reaver will be glad to know that the excellent voice-over team responsible for that game has returned to put the polish on Vuke's all-action adventure game. SotB also features some of the best sound effects you've ever heard. By the time you read this, Eidos may already have Berserk on the shelves. Whenever it does come out, you may want to give this one a close look.