Bloody Roar II
Review by THayes
"Fast and memorable 3D fighter"
On playing Bloody Roar 2 for the first time, players may wonder what makes this so different from many of the other fighting games that are currently out. Graphically it's similar, the controls are fine but nothing special, so what's different? The answer is that all characters in the game have two sides to them: A normal side and their animal side, which enables them to do far more powerful moves and combinations than with their normal side. Animals in the game vary from a bat, wolf, tiger, even a rabbit, and the way the characters moves represent their animal side: Rabbit is nimble and quick for example, tiger is powerful, and so on. This original fighting idea works extremely well here.
The characters are animated smoothly, and are also very well drawn. There are literally hundreds of special moves, punches, kicks and throws, and each move is animated well. Of course, with so much detail on the characters, this does mean that everything else drops in detail. The playing area has little detail on it, and usually consists of just a pattern of squares. The backgrounds are boring and are dull to look at, and they should have had a lot more attention paid to them. But then again, it is the characters that are the most important part of the game, and each one is drawn well. There are some nice special effects to the graphics, such as when you do the main special move of a character, the playing area turns into a grid, and this highlights the impact of a characters special move.
The graphics in Bloody Roar 2 are good, but they could have done with just a little more work, as it seems the characters have had so much work done on them, but other things have been left out. The sound in this game is good, with some of the sound effects sounding extremely painful. The speech effects however are only reasonable, and most of the time, they don't seem to suit the characters well. The music is also reasonable, as it doesn't seem to provide any atmosphere with the game.
The game play in the game is great. There are eleven characters in the game, each character having their own punches, kicks and throws. At first, pressing any of the buttons on the controller is enough to win a match, but in order to progress on to the harder levels in the game you need to be able to control the character well. You'll need to be able to know which buttons do what, and so you can build up a cunning attack on the opponent. If your special bar goes up enough, your character can change into an animal, which makes them a lot stronger and enables them to do more moves. Once your character has changed into an animal, you can do some amazing special moves. By simply pressing L1, your character will do some crazy combos, sometimes up to 20 hits!
The problem with the special combos is that you don't actually feel in control of them, and so although they are fun to watch, they will soon get repetitive. There are still lots of other combos that you can do however, and providing you learn the right buttons you will be able to easily win a match. There are also many modes in Bloody Roar 2. VS being the obvious 2 player match. Survival mode where you try and get as far as you can with whatever energy you have left over from previous fights. And story mode, where you can play any of the characters in a kind of story. Story mode basically tells you all about the fighters, and lets you play in the fights that are told in the story. With all these different modes and character moves, it's very difficult for this not be a fun game!
This game is great fun because there are so many modes of play. VS mode is the obvious 2 player mode. Arcade mode is the normal game, where the aim is to get through the game. Story mode is where you learn all about the characters. Survival mode where you try and get as far as you can with whatever energy you have left over from previous fights. Watch mode is where you can pick two computer characters to fight against each other, and then you can watch them battle it out from different camera angles, which you can choose. There are always new combinations of attacks and combos to try out, and you can always add a few extra spins, jumps and kicks to these attacks to make them look even better. All the attacks, characters and modes of play make Bloody Roar 2 a long lasting and memorable game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/22/00, Updated 07/15/05
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