(random thoughts: How delightful that Westgarth sends me his admiration) Bloody Roar was the shit. Beast ass series, and fuck da pun! Replaying BR2 from PSN and Extreme on Wii, goddamn these games redefine “Primal craving”! What other game allows you to play such awesome characters like…

Teenage Werewolves!

Mutant Bunnies!

Simba’s Dad!

Hotsuma’s Pet Mole!

Kung fu Tigers!

Cloned…. Kung Fu Tigers!

Gex the Gecko!

Heracross from Pokemon!

Hipster Batman Cosplayers!

Aborted Cockroaches from MIB!

Overpowered kitties!

I’ve Got Nothing!

Kasumi cosplaying…. as Witchblade!?

Constipated Monks!

Happy Feet!

King Babar!

And an Egyptian God Card!

…..Ok, not the most appealing cast of characters. But for anyone living underground, Bloody Roar allowed you to turn into animals and whoop ass in more “fearsome” ways. Obviously, you did more damage, had more combo potential, access to more moves, could jump higher, moves took on different priorities, and could use super attacks. Even in human form, the characters could still do some damage. It was a pretty cool concept up until 3 where they started adding robots and demonic Power Rangers villains, not to mention trying to rip off other fighting games at the time.

Kanji behind the English lettering… like Tekken?

As you can tell in the screen shot, it’s made by the same folks behind Tatsunoko vs Capcom as well as MVC3. Neither of which are great fighters, but are pretty fun none the less.

 

Despite it’s… lagging sales and… universal irrelevancy, I always thought this was the best 3D fighters out there. The most prominent ones happen to the least fun games to date. Tekken and it’s stiff ass robotic movements, Soul Calibur and it’s non-existent balance, obsession with stances, and awkward commands between, DOA and it’s titillating focus on situational combat systems among other things, Rival Schools and……hmm… why didn’t they bring that shit back?

And bad… BAD fashion sense! Yugo looks like a skater punk with high heels.

When it comes to Eighting’s fighters, there’s a sense that you’re rewarded for however you choose to play with each character. Similar to Guilty Gear, the games reward ingenuity in combat without much risk. The only risk being to get mauled by the other player. And that cheating bitch Uriko.

Bunny hop

 

What I find most appealing about Bloody Roar, however, is how it is seemingly a perfect hybrid of 2D and 3D fighting games. Movement and specials are performed in a “2D fighter” kind of way while the 3D is mostly an environmental aesthetic. Sure there’s wall juggles and sidestepping, but movement actually feels natural and not entirely constrained or awkward compared to Namco’s fighters. Most Tekken fights have 2 crack addicts shuffling back and forward as though the junks kickin. But with Bloody Roar, movement is free form. “Organic” if you will. It controls much more smoothly than most 3D fighters, and it’s not restricted to ground combat. The timing for specific moves aren’t as strict, either.

Accessibility is something that fighting games… lack for the most part, though Bloody Roar works as a nice introductory tool to get people into the series. On the other hand, people would be quick to assume it’s lacking complexity means the games lack depth. With that, I would assume the punk mother fuckers didn’t bother to do anything but slam on random buttons. That shit only works in Soul Calibur (and maybe DOA), but I can tell you from experience that you would get ate up in this game thinking that way. The game’s mechanics are far too lenient to let anyone get punished by button mashers, not to mention that it only creates generic combos that a 2 year old could punish. If 100% of the cast have moves that generate super armor initially, you ain’t gonna get far. It’s strange how button mashing gets attached to games that are the least guilty of it. Even Tekken gets accused of this in spite of it’s wretchedly stiff control scheme.

Course, that would be assuming. The fighting system is simple and isn’t dependent on an over abundance of situational moves and counter attacks. There’s plenty of options the characters have so depth shouldn’t be called into question. Then again, because many of the characters are similar (6 of them are clones of each other, afterall), most matches would play out in the same way. It was rare to see anyone touch Ganesha aside from one youtuber (Giza, I believe?).

The aspect of transforming into animals mid-fight just didn’t catch on. Whether it was too weird or just plain silly, it didn’t draw people in. Characters aren’t that cool either, might even come off as bland and uninspired (except Bakuryu and Stun. They’re rad). Plus, #4 did a great disservice of being an obvious beta with worse voice overs than a 4kids dub and the most fucked up health system ever. And what the hell is a Spurious!? It seemed like Hudson… or Konami, lost focus of adding in unique animals and decided to try and add in strange demons for the games.

…….Ok yeah, BR4 had a Raven and a little… Kitsune or w/e… but why a Dragon? Why not a fucking Turtle so I can live out my fantasy of having Gamera in a fighting game!?

Would whoop Godzilla’s ass.

Certainly, the series had nothing to lose since they had no fandom large enough to deflect the “professional reviewers” who worshipped Namco like a bad habit. And there was supposedly a BR5 in the works, but got cancelled, sons of a bitches. W/E the case, for all the legitimate reasons it failed, I personally feel it’s a crime. It had a solid fighting system which blows other 3D fighters out of the ballpark, but it’s another example of content being too shit for it’s own good. It’s messed up Virtua Fighter gets more love as boring as that mess is.

Oh well. I suppose I’ll make due with the only entrees I’ll get in the series. Damn Shina is fine. Bet she fucks like a leopard.

How many people have even heard of this series?

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