SummaryClaws, fur and Naked bats!!
The GoodBloody Roar 2 joins the already gigantic pantheon of psx 3D fighting games, rehashing yet again the typically arcade Tekken-cloned gameplay (without it's shitty chain-combo system) and bringing back the non-escapable rings from games like Fighting Vipers or Last Bronx and adding such 2D features as super moves, power bars, etc... Right. But what does it have that sets it appart, uh??
Well besides the fact that good action games with outlandish characters, challenging gameplay and lots of moves and features are always worth a look, Bloody Roar 2 adds to the mix the cheesy yet cool-looking premise of fighters being able to morph into animalistic versions of themselves and become faster, stronger and also unlocking new moves and combos. This "beast mode" feature is actually a general enhancer coupled with a spiffy model morph that is kept in check by a power bar that requires you to land enough hits and generally fight a bit on your own before being able to switch into it. You can't remain a half-beast forever though, and you can be knocked back into human mode if you let your power bar drop to low, so regular fighting techniques still apply regardless of the outlandish effects resulting from the morphing.
The game puts the emphasis on regular fistcuffs, combo chaining and combo supers, without any such thing as projectile/energy attacks, so when you add to that the ability to switch into a half-wolf or half-lion monster you get a savage and really brutal arcade fighter where every hit almost always elicits a "Ohhh maaan!! That had to hurt!" from anyone playing it as the characters lunge at each other's throats and slash and beat each other to a pulp. The added depth that comes with the momentarily expanded move lists and new skills doesn't hurt either, so you have an immensely enjoyable fighting game fit for even the most demanding fighting aficionado.
Graphics are surprisingly good for a psx game, with lots of colorful particle effects, translucent shockwaves (such as the ones caused by the morphings) and all sorts of Tekken-like hit effects. The models and animations are incredibly smooth, with the models specially coming of as some of the best in a psx game with only slightly shoddy textures to object to. The characters in the game are all super-cool comic booky stereotypes with bitchingly designed costumes and it's a nice thing to see them come alive with such quality. Which, by the way, complements the edgy and detailed original art used for the character profiles and the illustrations in the other game modes.
This brings me to the other nice addition to Bloody Roar which is it's variety of game modes which includes the usual Vs, arcade and practice, plus an engaging story mode which uses the previously mentioned original art to move the story along as the relationships between the characters are explained and the typically bland "beat the big bad guy at the end" plot gets extra development.
Oh and Jenny, the scantily-clad "bat" babe is worth the price of admission alone. I mean, a leather-clad dominatrix that switches to a practically naked winged and bat-eared version of herself?? You can't go wrong there!
The BadPretty dull sounds and backgrounds (regardless of the fact that you can break the rings a la Fighting Vipers) and pretty shitty pre-rendered cutscenes.
You also have to take into account the fact that it's an outlandish and extremely arcadey game both in premise and gameplay, so if that's not your thing then this game has little to offer to you.
Oh, and did we really need the "kawaii" characters like Uriko and that Rabbit nurse?? I think not.
The Bottom LineI have never touched the original BR or the PS2 BR3, but if this one is any indication, Hudson's Bloody Roar series is well worth a look for fighting fans, action gamers and anyone who wants to see a naked bat-babe beat up a giant beetle.