Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Review by zombified660
"Weird but enjoyable platform button-mashing."
I really enjoyed Bujingai. It goes out of it's way to be odd and quirky, and this may be something of a turn-off for some, especially since this quirkiness goes right down to the control system, but even if you don't enjoy the Japanese weirdness of the game as much as me, there's still a lot of solid gameplay to be had.
Bujingai is at it's roots a very basic platform game, crossed with the arcade adventuring of games like Devil May Cry and Prince of Persia. So expect to be running along walls and hopping from moving platform to moving platform, all the while frantically hacking away at evil demons. The platforming is very derivative (especially of Prince of Persia and Shinobi), but since it's only part of the package, this doesn't detract too much.
Fighting makes up the bulk of the game, and thankfully this is Bujingai's strongest suite. Not only is combat intuitive, easy to master and really intense, it also looks stunning. Graphically Bujingai is a strange beast, as the game's environments are, with a few exceptions, sparse and generic, but the character design and fight sequences are gorgeous, backing up the hyper-fast action with pyrotechnics to match. The combination of the speed, graphics and the sheer speed and acrobatic nature of combat mean that when you get it right in Bujingai you feel as cool as your character, much like in Devil May Cry.
Unfortunately, getting it right can come too few times. Bujingai not only has a complex but intuitive fighting system to get the hang of, it also has none-too-intuitive aerial moves that are vital to progress and very tricky to get consistently right, and a player controlled camera that it's all too easy to forget about during a pitched battle or while you're swinging from a pole 500ft up in the air. It's a lot of plates to keep in the air, and it will all too often mean that you'll agonise over one tiny jump that's just a little too tricky to figure out rather than getting stuck in to the sword-swinging and world-saving. Given that later levels have some rather extreme platform hopping to contend with, if you get past level 4, prepare a swear box.
As a final worry, the game only lasts about 7 levels. None of these are huge, and an experienced player will probably beat the game in 3 or 4 hours, depending on how much they care to go back through levels to gain experience or new secrets. In a way, it's nice to finally play a game that doesn't require a major commitment of free-time to see everything, but at the same time, 3 levels more or some extra characters wouldn't have gone unappreciated.
Still, while it lasts it's an exciting and pretty button masher that keeps the blood pumping and your finger on the trigger. It isn't quite up to the genius of Devil May Cry 3, and the less skillful or patient gamer is probably best looking elsewhere, lest they give themselves a hernia, but for arcade nuts and old-school gamers, this is well worth it.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/24/06
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