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Review Bujingai a.k.a. Bujingai:Swordmaster aka Bujingai: The Forsaken City (ps2)

genre: hack and slash

For a low budget title Bujingai delivers more than enough. But compared to superior titles like Devil May Cry it falls a little short. Combat is kept simple but it's made possible to pull of some hard hitting combo's provided you would want to. Since it is pretty easy to get through the game just by using square and triangle. Although one might try out different combo's for the sake of diversity and avoiding repetition. And I must say that the creators have done their best to make each stage different from the other. Similar to other titles it is possible to upgrade your character. Health, magic, attack power and more are definitely useful when maximized. And with the last bosses absolutely necessary. Of course for challenge sakes you could choose not to upgrade and force yourself to improve your skill. Although for that I thought it lacked the controls needed to really do that in a satisfying way. Blocking for example is done automatically when facing your enemy. So if your back is turned you will get hit. And with the camera with a life of it's own it's not so easy to see if you are facing the enemy right. The R2 button does make this happen but too often too late. Would it really have hurt to add a block button? Speaking of the camera. That will be probably the biggest enemy you face. Especially in combat with the stronger and faster enemies. Then in later levels it is required of you to do some platforming. Not overly difficult if only for the camera. You can't see where you have to go and are going once you jump off a wall and glide. Would not be such an issue if you could steer your character while gliding. Which isn't the case. Still, Bujingai is fun to play. Once you get used to the jumping mechanics and camera you really feel like a wuxia fighter like you see in Hong Kong movies. The graphics in most parts are really beautiful. Some of the CGI scenes had me craving for more but sadly are used sparingly. Brings me to Lau Wong our main character voiced and motion captured by the one and only Gackt. Who?A lot of Westerners might not know who he is. But he is a hugely popular singer in Japan with very unique androgynous looks. I got introduced to Gackt through a little movie called Moonchild. Which is one I can recommend if you are into vampires and Hong Kong style action. Gackt also stars in Bunraku. In the game you can collect these gold coins that unlock movies,costumes and more. But most of these unlockables  seem to be focused on  Gackt. Providing the extra incentive for fans to replay this game.

Overall Bujingai is a very decent hack and slash game especially compared to other budget titles in the same genre like for example Swords of Destiny. (I tried playing that game and got bored because of it's repetitiveness and lack of fun.) It provides fun as long as it lasts. It's a short game (between 6 and 12 hours depending on whether you want to collect spells and coins or take the time to farm orbs to upgrade your character. Could be it takes much more time to collect the coins or certain spells since some of them are located in places where you have to use the faulty glide mechanism. I personally would recommend upgrading your character to the maximum since then you are able to use high leveled spells which are useful and nice to look at. The short length in this case is just right I think since it avoids the chance of getting bored with the game. 

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