| paleface [sys=NGPC; cat=Fighting; loc=NA] |
|This game misfires on just about every cylinder. It isn't a really bad game, certainly, but it's lost just about everything that made the prequel special (see entry 417) while only gaining a bunch of baggage.|
They've keyed up the music, so moody and subtle in the first, and made it quite irritating. Most of the character animations from the earlier game are here but of course some have little colorful sparkles on them now, which look pretty but ultimately distract and detract from what used to be a dignified samurai theme.
The so very surprisingly deep AB moves of the first game are gone. Just gone. You can do some kind of lengthy chain combo off a super, or something, but supers in these games are annoyingly unintuitive, and besides chaining off a super seems a bit gratuitous. I haven't done it though so I can't really say.
The B button is all but useless. Where you had a variety of sneaky kick attacks in the first game, you now have like one kick, if you can find it, and mostly dodges or the new "repel" parry-like technique, which usually leaves you sticking your face out ridiculously, waiting for the opponent to smack you just as the repelling phase wears off. Nothing suck worse than going to kick someone and just ending up sticking your face out. ARGH!
Whereas the first has quite a bit of unique, character-specific, story-driven bubble speech between rounds, this game has little more than generic and hackneyed win quotes. So easy to discard character development and dramatic tension! Gad, but it's a shame.
The character roster is pretty much the same with one or two new faces--oh there's Basra, who isn't very compelling as a person but has a neat energy drain thing, and then this ridiculous fellow wielding a giant calligraphy brush. Bad.
The artistic style of character portraits and backgrounds (not sprites, those are just recycled) goes more in for the thick, pseudo-calligraphic cartoon style of the later console SS games rather than the nuanced, more realistic style of the earlier game.
To top off the disgrace, they throw in a card-collecting mode. But not only do you collect these cards, you can also equip them before battle to... drumroll... throw character balance out the window! Yay! Can't defend your sorry butt? Defense Up! Can't hit enough 'cause the bad mens are too fast? Attack Up! Getting additional super moves is neat, I guess, but the rest is just a recipe for fighting game disaster.
Oh! My load.