Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kamen Rider Battride War - Review

This is late. This game came out a couple years ago now, right? Surely you'd think I'd be reviewing Battride War 2. Well, I haven't actually played that yet. But I have played this and thought perhaps I should give my thoughts on in the same way I did the Climax Heroes games. So, let's get into it shall we?

Kamen Rider Battride War was released for the PS3 on May 23rd, 2013 during the run of Kamen Rider Wizard. Ergo, it's obviously going to be a Wizard centric game...

It's no secret that Wizard is my least favorite Kamen Rider series of recent times. It had some good things, but mostly bad things. I won't go into that in this review obviously and I'll keep my Wizard bias out of this. The main problem this game suffers from is that it is just like Wizard. Very "Meh".

The game follows a simple plot; Riders have lost their memories and need to reclaim them to beat the bigbad. Along the way'll fight various monsters and other Riders. I don't want to go too much into this because 1. My memories on it are a bit fuzzy and 2. It's very simple and isn't particularly important. It's what you'd expect from this sort of game. The story is probably better then what you'd find in the Climax Heroes or All Rider Generation games at the very least. But lets get into what you're here for. The gameplay.

That's right folks, it's a musou clone.
After spending years perfecting your fighting game formula after a very rocky first few attempts and creating very fun beat em ups that could easily be expanded on, what do you do? Obviously make a Musou clone! For those of you who don't know, Musou is the Japanese name of the "Warriors" Franchise. The Warriors Franchise includes games such as Dynasty, Samurai, Gundam and even Zelda these days. These games are most well known for the their gameplay, which is a very basic, mindless hack and slash. I say mindless because the enemy AI is truly horrendous in these games and enemies come at you in swarms. Your job? To hack and slash your way through these massive armies by mashing a few buttons.

The thing is, the Musou games are fun. Mindless, but fun. Mostly thanks to perfecting the gameplay over the years to make it enjoyable. Clones barely ever have this (Need we point at you, Super Sentai Battle Cross?). In a miracle, Battride War actually comes out as a decent clone. There isn't much to say for the gameplay other then you're given a mission to complete and must slash through hordes of mooks to get there. You have your basic attacks, special attacks and of course form changes.

The form changes are what definitely make the gameplay fun. Playing as Kamen Rider W and going through hordes of enemies with your Rider Kick, to instantly switch into HeatMetal form, to go into LunaTrigger is just plain fun. It varies up the gameplay as your attacks will change with each form, meaning your character will always feel fresh. Although the number of Riders playable may be a bit iffy almost all of their forms make an appearance (Even forms such as Accel Booster, Kabuto Masked or Den-O Liner) meaning it feels like you have a lot more options when choosing when to play. A bit more disappointing if you're a secondary Rider fan, with very little being playable. The only secondary Riders that are playable are the Post-Decade secondaries; Accel, Birth, Meteor and Beast. With the rest only appearing as supporting characters in the game.

The gameplay does have its downsides though, most notably how repetitive it can get thanks to their being very little stage and mission variety, with most missions coming down to "Break the red hourglasses now beat a guy". This gets old quick. Another problem is the bike controls, which are very stiff and just feel "weird". It's hard to explain. But its your fastest way of getting around and you'll need to use it. But you'll be crashing a lot. Despite the problems however it is a fun Musou clone, definitely not one of the worst and on the better end of the spectrum for sure.

Look! Our favorite Undead!

So now you might be wondering just why I've posted a picture of Random Japanese man. Well I'm using him as an example. This is Ryoji Morimoto, the actor who played Kamen Rider Chalice/Joker Undead in Kamen Rider Blade. He along with many other past actors returned to voice their respective roles again in this game.

One word. Fanservice. That's what this game does right. If you like Kamen Rider, you'll like this game. It is still of it. From little details like the way Kuuga uses his Rising Forms, To Medals flying out of enemies for OOO, etc, this game is full of what we love. Both Riders and Villains alike are played by their original actors (Of course, there are exceptions.) and the game feels like you're truly playing as that Rider. The attention to detail and the way you'll be beating through all of these mooks to get to the bigger monster is just the same as in the series. Again, if you like Kamen Rider you'll like this game.

So what next? Music. It doesn't matter. You'll never hear the BGM's aside from the menus because the game has a Custom Soundtrack feature, meaning you can use all of your COSMIC MINDS and ELEMENTS. The sounds all sound as they should, the form changes and belts sound good and the voice actors all do a great job, even the stand-ins for the guys who don't reprize their roles sound rather on point.

One of the main problems is that the game is short; It won't take you long to beat. The replay value is there in getting higher scores and ranks of course and it has a few extra game modes, such as Survival Mode, Or Resetting you to level 1 for certain missions, as well as collecting all of the trophies that give your Rider stat boosts or other effects will give you some extra re playability, but not a whole lot. The trophies are very easy to get as well save for one ridiculous biking one.

So what's the verdict. Do you buy it or not? Well no obviously. Battride War 2 is out and although I've yet to play it I imagine it improves on this game completely. Is it a fun game though? Yes. And hell, if you're stingy like me and don't want to shill out the dollars for the second game, maybe you can pick this up if it's cheap enough. If you like Kamen Rider and own a PS3 you'll appreciate this game. Or should I say the Battride War series, which unfortunately is only two games.

Maybe one day I'll be back with a review for the second game, but for now this is the last Kamen Rider game I've played. Perhaps I'll try that new iOS game out sometime and let you guys know what thats like.

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