Pros: Story and mission modes give this game some decent first player
Cons: A horrible fighting system, PS1 like graphics and horrible computer
controlled characters ruin this title.
Will Inuyasha fans ever get a break? The past Inuyasha PS2 RPG was so-so
and the PSX fighting game was at best second-rate. Itís reasonable for
fans to be a little reluctant about Inuyasha Ougi Ranbu (Inuyasha
Feudal Combat in the US) another fighting game set in the feudal fairy
tale Inuyasha universe. On the bright side the game is designed by
fighting experts Eighting known for making some 3D successes with the
Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen series and Gash Bell Tag Battle. Is this a
ticket to success?
Inuyasha Ougi Ranbu is a four player brawl not unlike the Gash Bell Tag
Battle and Full Metal Alchemist Dream Carnival. You control one
character and have a computer controlled partner against a team of AI
opponents. On the top of the screen, under the life bars, you may notice
an element symbol. This symbol determines how your partnerís action.
Wind positions your character in a favorable position for a special
attack and Fire concentrates your characterís damage. Earth is one of
the more useful tactics where you use your partner as a shield from
incoming attacks. The characters that you select make a sizeable
difference in how your team plays out. If you pick characters that get
along like Inuyasha and Kagome or Miroku and Sango youíll have a
friendship bond that dons more spirit points. Teams that donít really
have a definitive opinion of each other like Kikyou and Koga wonít get
any bonus to the spirit point meter. A team that doesnít get along at
all like Naraku and Inuyasha takes a huge hit in spirit meter growth.
You can alter the relationship during battle by protecting your partner
from attacks to increase the bond between them. So while it is possible
to play as a Sessoshrmaru / Shippo team and eventually gain spirit
points at the same rate as a favorable team, itís a huge disadvantage.
The amount you bond to a character doesnít carry over, which makes
unfavorable teams born underdogs. The idea of a bonded team is certainly
unique, but it probably isnít a good play mechanic since it throws the
fighting system off balance.
So whatís the deal with spirit points anyway? Spirit points let you use
a more powerful attack when you press the circle button. These attacks
are things like Mirokuís wind tunnel and Kagomeís charged up arrow. A
player that has a full spirit point meter can easily unleash spirit
attacks over and over just to chip away at a playerís life bar. By the
way, continuously using spirit attacks is an easy way to plow through
the computer. Outside of spirit attacks you have an elementary fighting
system with a heavy attack and a light attack. There are a couple of
different combos you can do by starting out with a light attack and
finishing with a heavy attack. Intuitive controls are a plus since this
game takes nearly no time to learn. On the other hand there is
absolutely no room for mastering a character either. Completing a combo
doesnít do much bonus damage than the same attacks not strung together.
Why even bother to master anything when you can just mash buttons to
victory? Thatís the mantra of Inuyasha Feudal Combat.
The opening video is shot with the in game graphics instead of an anime
sequence, which most anime titles get. There is nothing wrong with using
in game graphics, if they looked decent. The character models are a
distasteful use of cel-shading. Blurry and devoid of detail, theyíll
fail to impress fans of the series. This becomes apparent when
characters pull out their special moves. With only a few characters
actually in the game itís expected that they look good. Backgrounds are
pretty bland too and suffer the same unfinished cel shading look. There
are some interactive elements like rocks that can be slashed in half.
One level even has a wooded platform that can be broken at the legs so
it comes crashing down on players underneath it.
The overall feel of Inuyasha Ougi Ranbu is that it was rushed out of
the door. The game could have clearly been polished and more refined
like other Eighting titles. Regrettably this 3D fighter isnít much
better than the PSX 2D fighting game.
The mission mode can give importers some minor problems when you're
trying to understand the goal. Otherwise the gameplay is straightforward
enough to jump into.
Bandai has this game titled under "Inuyasha: Feudal Combat" and it's
set for a release in August.
There are so few redeeming qualities that even followers of the
series will regret purchasing this.