|Brave Fencer Musashi
Review By: Joel Fajardo
find it humorous when I read about future "Zelda-killer" gamesgames
that will obliterate Zelda in every way. As everyone knows, there never has
been a true Zelda-killer, and in reality, there probably never will be. So
when Square announced Brave Fencer Musashi last year, and the Japanese press
was calling it a Zelda-killer even before they had played it, I laughed;
now I wish I hadnt.
In no way does Brave Fencer come near the awesomeness of Zelda; nevertheless,
its good. Rather, this game suffers from what I like to call "
Magic-Knight-Rayearth Syndrome", or MKRS, for short. MKRS is a rare disfunction
found in some action RPGs where the plot isnt all that great, but the
effects, action, and whatnots keep you into the game. Such is the case with
The game starts off with a kingdom. Two, actually. The Thirstquencer and
Allucaneet Kingdoms. The later of the two kingdoms is being attacked by the
former in order to gain power and control. In a desperate attempt to save
her kingdom, Princess Fillet uses a summon spell handed down from generations
upon generations that is to be used only in rare circumstances: Hero Summon.
Upon casting the spell, she calls for Brave Fencer Musashi, and is rather
disappointed when she sees how small and tiny he is. Giving him a sword,
she informs him of what he must do to save the kingdom; he does so. He saves
the kingdom, eventually the princess, and decides to stick around. That,
everyone, is the beginning of the story and a summary of the plot. Quick,
simple, and non-involving.
Honestly, I could have thought
up a better beginning, and surely one that was more interesting; however,
maybe it wasnt Squares intentions in spending a lot of time on
one action RPG, when they have many games hat they are working on. Thus,
I accepted it. I wasnt disappointed, though, as I played on. Sure,
the beginning was drab, somewhat dull, and okay, maybe a bit boring, but
the more that I played Musashi, the more I liked it. BFM is a hard game to
get into, but once you do get in to it, youll enjoy itno, love
it. The game is so involved in action, sword fighting, discovering new techniques
and solving puzzles that a weak plot doesnt affect the game too much,
although a stronger one would have made it great.
Somewhat like other action RPGs, BFM can jump, run, attack,
and use magic. What is different is the way that he uses and gains magic
abilities. At first a bit confusing, the magic system, or should I say
"assimilation system," is hard to get use to. For the most part, you dont
really "learn" magic. Instead, you use one of your two swords, Lumina, the
Sword of Luminance, to absorb enemies abilities. Once you absorb their
technique, you can use it until you absorb a different enemys technique,
and all it costs is a few magic points. Knowing which powers to absorb becomes
a vital key in the game. Some of them you need to survive, others you need
in order to make your way across puzzles, while some of them are just plain
fun to look at. Also, throughout your journey, youll be asked to save
and find people who were once part of the Allucaneet Kingodm. Theyre
hidden throughout various lands, entrapped in crystals. Once you find them,
youre able to be taught new sword techniques or be given special items.
Its almost stressful when you cant find one of them, because
you know exactly how many there are.
Action and exploration is
a main emphasis on the game. Although youre limited to a relatively
small area comapred to Alundra and Zelda, theres a lot to discover.
And every time that Musashi gets a new scroll, he can unlock even more of
the world than perviously. The graphics make it nice to travel, looking at
well-designed, almost beautiful scenarions, and the concept of "time" in
the game makes it all the more important to visit different places at different
times. When speaking of time, I mean, well
time. About every three
minutes of real-gameplay accounts for 15-minutes in Musashi time, hence,
in order to find certain enemies, items or events, you need to be at the
right place, at either morning, noon, or night.
The sound, too, is really
good, but nothing too special (like the graphics). Sounds are given accordingly
to enemies and Musashi, while, voice-overs in the game make it nice, for
during key events you hear the characters speak! The one downside of this
is that Musashi has a really annoying voice, as do some of the other characters,
so sometimes you really dont want to hear them speak.
Musashi is a simple game, hence, its simple to talk about. It has a
rather childish theme, but will provide many hours for hard-core gamers.
Theres no intro, and no little extras, but tons of gameplay. Definitely
not your Zelda-killer, Musashi is your