I remember playing Bloody Roar when it first came out on Playstation. It was a good game, but it simply could not stand up to the greats (Soul Calibur, Street Fighter, etc.). What it did have going for it is that is was a pretty fun little fighting game and you could change into more powerful monsters and wreck havoc on your opponent.
Now the Xbox sees a version of Bloody Roar and it is certainly a pretty game, but can it stand up to the best fighting games the Xbox has (Dead or Alive 3 and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance)? This game is nicely priced at $29.99 new, so let’s take a look at it.
This game is very pretty and has no slowdown at all. Hudson claims 60fps and it’s either that or 30fps. Whichever one it is it runs without a hiccup. Most of the characters look pretty good (especially the women and non-humans), but their range of animations is very small. The great graphics come out when the characters turn into beast mode and you see tons of pyrotechnics, particle animations and the like.
The stages are pretty, but they certainly are not as detailed or big as other 3D fighting games. You are able to do ring outs, but it is quite a bit to work at. First you have to break a wall and then push your enemy through that hole. It is not as easy as it sounds. There are also a few levels where you can fall through the floors as well, although they are nothing special.Standard fighting sounds here. The characters grunt when hit and scream when changing into their monster form. Nothing too special. What is kind of cool is a Guilty Gear-type music selection. A lot of edgy songs that actually sound quite good.
Where are all the attack buttons? What?!?! There are only 2 attack buttons? Let’s see…that makes a total of 8 moves you can do with punches and kicks with the Y button letting you do a couple throws. When you are in monster form you can do a special attack, but once you do you revert to human form. That negates the temporary power advantage you have.
Basically this can be seen as a button masher. Many people call the Tekken series a button masher, but I don’t agree with them. This game is a button masher. As long as you can block and mash at the controls you can beat everyone but the final boss in Arcade mode (get to that more later).
It’s not that the control is bad, it is just that it is too simple for a 3D fighting game. There should be more possibilities of moves.
As said above, this game is pretty much a button mashing game. The good part of this game is that there are lots of things you can do. You can go through Aracade mode, team modes and survival modes. I played a bit in each, but Arcade is where I spent most of my time trying to get to everyone’s ending. Arcade mode is way too easy until you get to the final boss for your character (each one has a different final boss). After whipping through the rest of your opponents you suddenly are faced with an opponent with impeccable blocking technique and the ability to pound your ass into the ground. If you’re going to make a final boss this hard at least make the rest or the fights somewhat difficult. It’s silly to breeze through the mode and then face an impossible boss. Many fighting games suffer from this, but many can be overlooked because the other fights are difficult as well.
As for story, this one skimps on that. You are given a backstory at the beginning that talks about the Zoanthropes (people who can turn into monsters). The kingdom decides to have a tournament for the Zoanthropes where the winner gets the title “Zoanthrope Champion” and will also be awarded a cash prize and find out the true nature of the tournament. Of corse none of that is true. Even after beating the Arcade mode a few times with different characters I never got the title, money or found out the true nature of the tournament. Instead I was presented with an ending akin to the Tekken series, but with text on the screen when people spoke. Nothing is really explained though and much like the Tekken endings, you are left trying to understand the inane endings. Oh well, at least you can watch them through Movie Player mode ala the Tekken series (do you see a pattern between the two here?).
This game is fun, it’s just that you fly through the first 7 battles and then get to the final battle and have to spend a good amount of time beating the final boss. Then it becomes frustrating and you want to throw the controller at the television.With the cheap bosses it will take you a bit to go through with all characters to unlock everything. This game is fun and at a $29.99 price point it fits perfectly into the “play it for a bit, then play something else” category. It’s a straight ahead fighter with little to no strategy in it. It is a pickup game for friends though as it is a game you do not have to be a master at to win (ala Soul Calibur where the best have a clear advantage over normal players).
Bloody Roar Extreme is fun, but is a little too simplistic in the quagmire of 3D fighters out there. The biggest plus for this game is the $29.99 price point. At that price it could sell quite well for an easy to get into fighting game. People interested in fighting games, but not interested in the intricacies of special moves (ala Virtua Fighter, Tekken, etc.) would do well to pick this game up. It is quite fun even with the difficult final boss battles.
A good game at a cheap price, but you may want to get a more complex fighting game.