Pros: Fans will appreciate being able to play 24 different characters.
Cons: An iffy fighting system that has one button combos with the other
button dealing random attacks.
Games based on movies, TV shows or anime usually don't have the best
conversion to a video game. Although, there are a few games like Dragon
Ball Z: Budokai 3, Naruto: Narutimett Hero and Astro Boy: Omega Factor
that have pushed the limits of what people expect from licensed titles.
Bandai previously released Kamen Rider 555 with mixed results did they
fix their mistakes with Kamen Rider Blade?
Kamen Rider Blade is the
latest entry in the never ending Kamen Rider series. America had a brief
chance to check out Kamen Rider when it was released under the title of
Masked Rider back in 1995. After one season of dubbed Kamen Rider Black
the series was cancelled. Back in Asia Kamen Rider is still growing
strong. This is where Kamen Rider Blade comes in.
Fans of the Kamen Rider series were disappointed with Kamen Rider 555
for a number of reasons. One of them was the lack of characters in the
game. This time around Bandai has included 24 characters, with four
different riders to play as. Also included are a bunch of undead
villains like Joker and Lotus that you can fight as after beating them
in story mode. There are three riders to pick from in story mode when
you first get the game. After selecting your character you'll engage on
a few one on one battles. Win a battle against the undead and you'll
seal the enemy in a card. Best of all you will unlock an extra character
to play as in versus mode. All of the story modes can be completed in
one sitting. Mainly because the AI or lack there of in this game
provides no challenge. The one round battles also make beating the story
mode really quick too.
Kamen Rider 555 had a bad fighting system, at the very least you
would expect an improvement. Instead this game has an even worse system,
maybe even the worse fighting system ever.
There aren't any complex combos to learn in the game because all of the
basic attacks are done with a single button. With only one button you
don't really have that many different attacks. Of course this is one of
the problems with the game. With out a bunch of useful kicks and punches
the game is reduced to a button masher. Besides button mashing you
can do special attacks by pressing the card attack button. Some of these
card attacks involve using a bow and arrow or slashing your sword. These
attacks vary from character to character, but you don't have complete
control over what attack you do. The problem is you can't select the
card you're going to use. As soon as you use the card it circles back in
your pile so you can't select it for awhile. So even if you come up with
a combo and plan to finish with a card you're not guaranteed to be able
to actually the combo. You also lose the card attack when you get
attacked, which also messes up any flow that the game could have. If
your life is lower than 50% and the enemy has an advantage over you the
motorcycle card combination might come up. Activate this and you'll do a
little extra damage, but this system isn't balanced enough to make this
a comeback move. The other super attack you have is when your opponent
is almost finished. You can perform a super combo move like a fire kick
or finish an enemy off with a slash of a sword. When a super move comes
up there is an opportunity for both players to press a button. If the
attacker presses the correct button first, the attack goes through. If
the defender hits it first, the attack will miss. In any event the
system is really simplistic, even simpler than the system set up in
Kamen Rider 555.
Besides the story mode and the obligatory versus mode there is a
trivia section in the game. You will need to complete the trivia
questions to unlock the final character. This could be a potential
problem for importers who can't read Japanese, but you can also complete
the questions just by using trial and error. Even though that might take
a long time, it can still be done.
Bandai didn't spend any extra time in making Kamen Rider Blade look
presentable. It easily passes as a PS1 game with it's flat, uninspired
backgrounds. The character models are also incredibly blocky. On top of
that they have rigid movement, which makes the entire game rough on the
eyes. The in game music is pretty bland fare except for the theme song,
which plays when you use a super attack.
I'm sure that there are going to be Kamen Rider fans that will like
the game just for the characters. However, the game has so little
gameplay and it's so easy to beat it's not worth a purchase. Maybe if
the fans stopped buying bad Kamen Rider games Bandai will step up to the
plate and make a good game with the license.
The game is really easy to learn because there aren't any complex
combos. What will frustrate gamers are the trivia questions that need to
be completed to unlock the final character. These are all in Japanese,
just like the menus.
Almost zero chance for this to come over to the US.
Kamen Rider: Blade is extremely easy to complete and since there is
no fighting system to master this game is entertaining for a very
limited amount of time.