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Bujingai: The Forsaken City is a deceptively cool game in that it hooks you almost immediately with its approachable controls and intuitive building-block combos, not to mention the sheer artistry of the graphics and animation. Then once you are entranced the game gets harder, but by then your skills are more than up for the task.
We may not call Bunjigai a classic, largely thanks to its less-than-refined story and level design, but as an action-packed hack and slash experience this game has it where it counts. It’s certainly not the most conventional of experiences but anyone who’s a fan of the other games mentioned in this review will likely be doing themselves a favour by giving it a try.
Voici un jeu qui n'a pas vraiment fait parler de lui jusque là et qui se révèle d'autant plus une agréable surprise. Beat'em all esthétique, très jouable et jouant sur les contes et légendes chinoises, Bujingai Swordmaster est un excellent contre-exemple pour qui se dirait que le beat'em all est un genre éculé qui n'a plus rien à raconter. Si vous voulez connaître l'histoire, vous n'aurez plus qu'à attendre le 17 septembre pour tourner les pages du livre.
Bujingai: The Forsaken City is a strange animal in the realm of hack-and-slash titles. Originally released a while back in Japan, Bujingai tells the story of Lau, an agile and androgynous martial arts hero whose visual design is actually based on famed Japanese glam rocker Gackt (a fact the game is more than proud to point out through multiple examples in the opening credits and its unlockable interviews featuring Gackt talking about his involvement in the game). Filled with flashy, colorful visuals and frenetic combat, Bujingai can be quite an enjoyable experience--provided you don't pay too much attention to the near nonexistent storyline and the linear-to-a-fault level design. It isn't an especially standout hack-and-slash action game, but Bujingai: The Forsaken City is still pretty good regardless.
If any action game aficionados out there ever wondered what it would be like to mix one part Otogi with one part Shinobi -- while simultaneously throwing it into an androgynous abyss based on Japanese Glam Rock, then Bujingai: The Forsaken City is probably what you'd get. Co-developed in a joint venture by Red Entertainment and Taito to celebrate the latter's 50th anniversary, Bujingai is in so many ways, the sword-slashing extravaganza that Kunoichi was supposed to be; But while both of these titles are fast, good-looking, and heavy on the combat, Bujingai is less about the mindless Rambo-style annihilation of Forest Gumpian enemies, and more about capturing the deep duelist aspects of classic Hong Kong action films.
Raisins are boring. But add a little bit of chocolate coating, and those shriveled little wads become one of our most delicious and celebrated snack foods. Though sadly inedible, Bujingai is essentially the same situation in game form; it has a mediocre action framework at its core, but the polish and flair that surround it makes for a surprisingly engaging and enjoyable play.
There are some things to like about Bujingai (like slick sword animations and cool-looking characters), but all in all this is strictly a mediocre title with illusions of making it in the big leagues. Despite its inherit flaws, this is solid action for those who don't crave anything more.
I like my straightforward Eastern swordplay as much as the next player, but just like my beat em ups, or FPS’s, I like at least a little bit of variety, especially given the vast array of options on the shelves and there really isn’t enough in Bujingai to elevate it out of the very, very ordinary. After a while it feels like you’ve been given the job of slicing carrots all day in someone’s kitchen and by the twentieth sack you’re just desperate for ever more elaborate and unusual ways to cut them in half. Ultimately I think some people will enjoy the title for a few hours, maybe get hooked on the Japanese-centric look and feel and then just switch off because they’ve either given up caring, or there’s a film on, or someone has suggested something they could actually do as a more worthwhile activity.
The third person action genre is one of those areas of gaming that is just so full of copycats, remakes, and sequels that it's hard to find a fresh and exciting title. With a blend of flashy animation, intuitive fighting, and unique platforming, Bujingai manages to carve out its own spot in this crowded area of the market.
As a 3D martial arts platformer, Bujingai will undoubtedly be compared to the very similar, Xbox-exclusive Ninja Gaiden. But although both titles are rich with demon fighting action and acrobatic maneuvering, Bujingai ultimately falls short of the mark with a barely there story, doggy camerawork, and a surprisingly short completion time.