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Whether or not you can deal with the extended pause in the action will determine whether you're part of the small, dedicated fan base or an outsider looking in wondering how anyone can play with the flaws. It's either a case of trying to do too much with the hardware or an ambitious attempt to push it a little further. At the least, Bounty Hounds deserves recognition as a lost sleeper hit.
Infuriatingly, it's just the sort of thing that would have been exponentially more fun with other people involved.
Bounty Hounds is a classic example of shoddy execution derailing a slew of great ideas. With a better camera and improved controls, it could have been a real contender. Still, as frustrating as the game can get, it’s enjoyable in short bursts and presents a wealth of good ideas. Beyond that, the game looks great and runs extremely well for the amount of action that transpires at any given time. Multiplayer adds a bit of appeal, but it could benefit from a few more modes in addition to the included one-on-one deathmatch.
Bounty Hounds has a unique visual style and some appealing gameplay concepts, but the core action is too repetitive and shallow to sustain your interest for very long.
Bounty Hounds has all the right moves and a good story to boot but fails to rise above the hardware’s limitations or its repetitive combat. This is actually too bad, really, since the game does manage to bring many good ideas to this futuristic game that could have been a PSP classic much like Dynasty Warriors.
Not a single enemy proved to be a real challenge after a few seconds of observation. The boss fights are long, but with half a brain, most gamers could complete them with ease. As for the intuitive controls, these are counter-balanced by the ambiguous character development and equipment systems. The storyline itself is, again, best described as "murky," and has no real relevance to anyone but those with affection for generic sci-fi literature.
Bounty Hounds is a nice twist on the theme that makes the game more interesting to play than Koei's worn-out efforts, but you still can't help but feel more could have been done with enemy AI, camera adjustment, and multiplayer. I suppose that's food for thought for a sequel, as it'd be great to see something added to this game for a future release. Let's see Namco put some bounty on that.
All in all whilst looking great on the surface, scratching a little deeper reveals some flaws, with Bounty Hounds feeling more like a tech demo that has been turned into a game rather than a game in its own right. Whilst the genre it belongs to might be hard to define, with too many ingredients added into the mix and not enough forethought as to how the pieces fit together it is clear that the game firmly falls into the 'what could have been' category. Sometimes less really is more.
It's almost as though the developers focused everything they had on the art style and equippable items, but forgot to make sure the rest of the game worked as well. A tedious slog, this sort of project is a risky one to undertake since the potential for boredom to kill the experience is so high.
With insanely repetitive, mindless action and completely unengaging character progression, Bounty Hounds withers and dies within its first hour. If you're going to rip off another game, do it right... or at least give the player a fighting chance to stay awake. The title nails one thing dead-on, at least: Bounty Hounds is a dog.