This is one of the strangest games I have played, but it's not as bad as some people say. I like the original concept (a fighting game with characters modeled on Kabuki actors), the art style and some of the wacky theatrical character designs. The animation and detail for the character models are actually pretty good for an Xbox launch title. The modestly paced swordfights which climax in dramatic sprays of blood makes the game feel kind of like a 3-D SAMURAI SHOWDOWN. Thus, at first glance, it might seem rather appealing.
After that though, one begins to notice the crippling fault of the game...there's just not much to do. Fighting is extremely limited with only one attack button being used for everything offensive (minus the special move). So even though there are like 10 different characters, they all play fairly the same with the main distinguishing factors being the size of their swords and special moves.
Tour Mode is the main attraction of the game. Basically Tour Mode is your general arcade mode with a twist, you can use the money you earn during fights to skip levels and get closer to the final battle in less time. But Tour Mode can be beaten in about 30 minutes, is the same for every playthrough, and awards the player with absolutely NOTHING (no ending cutscene, no character endings, no unlockables, etc.). The other features are Time Attack Mode and Vs, which function just as you would expect them to. That's it. There's not even a difficulty level setting!! And given how incredibly simple the AI is in this game, you'll be wishing there was. Likewise, in terms of value, it's impossible to recommend. It's strange because it feels so blatantly unfinished...why did it get released as a full priced product?
The only way this game could be any value is if it had been packaged with the original Xbox for free (like ALTERED BEAST or something). Indeed, it feels more like a tech demo rather than a real game. But given that more Xbox's were being packaged with HALO, one realizes how pointless it was to seek this title out.
It's sad...it could have been a lot better. Only for the morbidly curious.
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"Then blockishly mumbling with a set on countenance a piece of scurvy grace, he washed his hands in fresh wine, picked his teeth with the foot of a hog, and talked jovially with his attendants. … more
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