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Bushido Blade 2 (PlayStation) artwork

Bushido Blade 2 (PlayStation) review


"In this fighting game from Square(!?), you'll go from one area to another, defeating opponents with one of a few weapons you can pick from. Now, from the sound of that description alone, this sounds like a typical 3D fighting game, like Soul Blade or Tekken, but it's actually quite unique. Neither fighter has a life bar that can be drained away, and both fighters are vulnerable to any attack, so every swing of a weapon can result in instant death. A fight can start, and within seconds, one fight..."



In this fighting game from Square(!?), you'll go from one area to another, defeating opponents with one of a few weapons you can pick from. Now, from the sound of that description alone, this sounds like a typical 3D fighting game, like Soul Blade or Tekken, but it's actually quite unique. Neither fighter has a life bar that can be drained away, and both fighters are vulnerable to any attack, so every swing of a weapon can result in instant death. A fight can start, and within seconds, one fighter can be on the ground due to a quick and lucky stab. Of course, things won't be that easy all the time, because you'll have to work at getting to their flesh, since the weapons they're brandishing will normally be in the way.

Thankfully, you'll be able to run around these small areas, ranging from a docking bay to a broken bridge, which you can use to your advantage in defeating your foe. A favorite thing I like to do when goofing around is pushing an enemy off a cliff instead of fighting them to the death. It's tough to do, since the AI detects that it's near the edge and will attempt to move away, but when you actually pull it off, it's funny to watch, especially in the quick replay. Another "tactic" you can do is force the other fighter to climb up to the ledge above him, where you're waiting. While he's in the process of getting up, you can run right over and slice him, then watch him fall back down to the ground below.

With all these possible quick deaths you can easily perform in Bushido Blade 2, it does end up being a pretty short game at times. The developers, Light Weight, probably realized this, and attempted to add several things to the title in an effort to prolong the experience. Like ninjas! Thousands of them! Well, not exactly thousands, but it'll feel like that in the story mode. Before you have the opportunity to fight your actual opponent, you'll have to slice and stab your way through at least four or five ninjas first. This would have been fine if every ninja encounter was different, but they're not. Instead, you'll end up fighting probably some of the dumbest ninjas to grace a video game. They'll do silly things like jump through the air or swing their weapons when you're not even close. However, the stupidest thing they'll do is back away from you, and when they're a considerable distance away, they'll charge you. Because of this, they're wide open to a frontal attack, leaving you to just stand where you are and then impale them when they get close enough.

Now, you think, with this game having a story mode, that Light Weight would use that to their advantage to make the game longer through cutscenes and such. I mean, surely Square, kings of dragging out stories for as much as possible, wouldn't allow this game to be released without a decent story, right? Nah, you get crap. The only type of plot you get is at the start, when some voice explains that two families have been feuding with each other for ages. You get a little bit more at the end of the game with a cutscene, but even then, it's just a few sentences. Every other cutscene in the game involves your character greeting/wondering who they're fighting next, with the opponent introducing themselves... You'll get the chance to play as all of the characters you face once they get unlocked, giving you more stupid ninjas to kill and one-sentence plots to endure, but... yeah, you'll have to force yourself into killing stupid ninjas and endure one-sentence plots again.

Granted, BB2 has all these flaws that make the game repetitive, but it still has a certain appeal to it. With the one-hit kill type fights, you'll find a lot of goofy ways to kill or be killed in this title. One thing I always like to do is to jump towards my opponent, and when I land, attack with the sword in hopes of killing them. Doesn't always work out well, especially if the person kills me while I'm still in the air. Attempting to kill someone by throwing your secondary weapon is always difficult to pull off, but when you do, it's always cool to see that weapon get stuck in them with blood splattering everywhere. It's even more hilarious if you manage to strike them in the face. Still, even with the absurd ways you can kill, you'll eventually grow tired of Bushido Blade 2, only taking it out once in a while for more stupid deaths. This could have been great if Light Weight worked on it a little more, like improving the AI, or putting you in more diverse circumstances. I wonder how things would have turned out if a second sequel ever came out...

Rating: 6/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (June 22, 2008)

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