Review By: Joe Rolfe
Roar series has always been a great alternative to the
mainstream, hardcore fighters such as Virtua Fighter and Tekken.
Both Bloody Roar and itís sequel, while not terribly
deep in gameplay, provided a lighthearted and fun change of
pace. With both BR1 and BR2ís prosperity on the PSOne as a
sign of proven success, Bloody Roar 3 (BR3) was put
through itís PS2 stages hoping to retain the same achievement.
Yet despite the new flashy visuals and easy to pick up controls,
the replay value and depth havenít gotten any better. Thatís
not to say the game canít still be enjoyed.
BR3 has a
minimal set of modes by todayís standards, featuring the usual
Arcade, Vs., Time Attack and Practice. The game features a
healthy amount of characters, each one highlighted by their
alternate "beast" form. You can transform into this
substitute appearance by building up your power bar, although
going back to human form can be done by performing your super
move or being beaten severely enough by the opponent.
in-game fighting presents the largest problem with the game.
Though the fighting itself is fast, fun and easy to play, my biggest
dilemma is that there isnít enough of it. Each fighter
is given a very limited arsenal of moves to the point where
combos are so inadequate and boring that simple jamming of
repeated kicks and punches usually hands out better results. The
strategy goes from learning the ins and outs of a certain
fighter and using them to your advantage, as seen in most other
fighters of today, to who can corner your opponent into a wall
and mash on the buttons, as BR3 does so well. For a short time,
this quandary didnít affect me too much, but after multiple
hours of play and realizing that the tactics and approach to
enemies is as simple as even some 16-bit fighters, I was
thoroughly discouraged. No matter the difficulty levels, the
game can be swept through without a total effort by just button
mashing and hoping that youíre quicker than the AI, a
technique that I had thought (or wished) died out with the last
generation of consoles.
hand, BR3 sports some pretty nice visuals. While not detailed
and realistic as Virtua Fighter 4, BR3 isnít exactly a
slouch in the graphics department. Character models, while
somewhat plain, are cleanly drawn. The animation is solid,
backed up by a constantly smooth 60 FPS. Each special attack has
a bit of flash and pretty lights fuming after every attack, so
the fighting can seem hectic at times. Arenas themselves,
however, are pretty archaic in design. They are fairly plain in
color and architecture, excluding the few that have action in
the background or continually breaking barriers and walls.
is average. The kicks, punches and character voices are all
pretty stereotypical stuff here. The music and background score
is god awful though, containing videogame metal tracks that
sound like theyíre straight out of an 80ís action flick or
an early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show.
In the end,
BR3 really doesnít change much for its namesake. Although the
first Bloody Roarsí seemed fresh, the third time isnít
exactly a charm. Itís basic and rudimentary gameplay hold it
back from being a real top-caliber experience. BR3 may seem like
a flashy and simple game to play at first, but after a while youíll
realize thatís exactly what it is: a simple and flashy game.
- Smooth, exciting
- Controls are easy
to pick up
- Gameplay hasn't
evolved much from the first two games
- Music is nasty
- Characters don't
portray much originality
3 is an enjoyable (but forgettable) experience. I advise to rent
this one first, but only buy if you must have something to hold
you over until Tekken 4 and Virtua Fighter 4 come