Bushido Blade 2
|Bushido Blade 2|
Bushido Blade 2 (ブシドーブレード弐 Bushidō Burēdo Tsu?) is a fighting game published by Square, released in both Japan and North America in 1998. It is the sequel to Bushido Blade, which had been released the previous year.
Due to disagreements between Square and the games' developer, Light Weight, the series ended abruptly with this game, despite the fact that this game's ending left open the possibility of a sequel. Light Weight would later use the same game engine in the Kengo series.
Bushido Blade 2 expands on some of the aspects of Bushido Blade, while limiting or removing others. The story mode is changed from one large connected level to a series of skirmishes, each set on a different map. Playable characters are chosen from groups which represent two opposing schools of assassins, and they are armed with swords or polearms of varying types.
The fights in Bushido Blade 2 mark the progress of the chosen character who—depending on the character—either fights to regain a legendary sword, or to destroy the opposing school. Levels involve a pattern of fighting several generic ninja followed by a boss, who is one of the playable characters from the opposing school.
Two characters in Bushido Blade 2 are exceptions to the typical opponent roster: the gun-wielding Tsubame and Katze. They have sworn loyalty to opposing schools, and battles involving them provide a different, arguably greater kind of challenge. With proper tactics, such as monitoring the opponent's remaining ammunition, however, the player can defend against the firearms with his melee weapons.
In the 13th century, on the island of Konoshima (in the Seto Naikai, Inland Sea, of Japan) there existed two feudal clans, the Kagami and the Sue, both aligned to the same Daimyo. They lived in peace until war on mainland Japan crushed the Daimyo. The Kagami swore fealty to the new Daimyo while the Sue were loyal to their master until the end. The conflict between the two began with the Kagami drawing the Sue off of the island and into battle. The Sue, having been defeated in battle, then lost their sacred sword the Yugiri. For centuries after, secretive battles were fought that were fierce, but not widespread.
Some 800 years later the Shainto school, composed of the remaining descendants from the Sue clan, attacked the Narukagami Shintoryu, the Kagami clan dojo, at their headquarters: the Meikyokan. To redeem their honor, they move to recover the Sacred Sword Yugiri and wipe out the last descendant of the Kagami family. That is the point from which the opening FMV begins, covering the assault which is later seen more fully in the story mode.
Description from the official Square Enix site:
Perhaps the most exciting but yet strategic part of the game is the selection of your character. The character you choose will determine the weapon and fighting style you will use. Not all styles are compatible with every character, for instance, Jo's lack of power would preclude her from using the heavier weapons whereas Gengoro can use any weapon with ease, though his speed isn't that high. How each character uses their weapon can also have an impact on your choices. It is up to you to find all of the unique techniques certain characters possess. An added bonus in this sequel, the number of characters is three times the original.
Most of the playable characters from the first game have returned, including Red Shadow, Mikado, Kannuki, Tatsumi, Utsusemi and Black Lotus (as Highwayman). With the exception of Highwayman, they all belong to the Narukagami clan. While Kannuki, Mikado and Tatsumi are in the starting roster and featured in the opening FMV along with Kaun, Gengoro and Jo of the Shainto, Red Shadow, Utsusemi and Highwayman are not and need to be unlocked. A few NPCs from the first game have returned as playables, namely Sazanka, Tsubame, Katze and Takeru.
The game also features an uncommon fighter unlocking system. During the Story Mode, each of the PCs will face two "bonus battles", when a player is temporarily given a new character to control for one stage. If that character dies in a level, then the main character jumps in and the story continues progressing normally. However, if the player manages to complete a level with a new character, he/she will be unlocked in the character roster. As in the first Bushido Blade, all of the main characters have two outfits, one for the Story mode and second for the other play modes, while unlockable fighters use a single costume for the entire game. Additionally, a gunman (Katze and Tsubame from Bushido Blade ) and a secret "clown character" for each clan are unlockable by satisfying certain requirements.
- Kannuki - a starting character, who returns from the first Bushido Blade game. His support characters are Matsumushi and Red Shadow.
One of the strongest characters in the game - he is proficient with heavy weapons, although he can wield the other ones with no difficulty; starts in high stance with every weapon. As all strong characters, his running overhead swing is faster. Can also throw an enemy with any weapon equipped (some characters have throws dependent on a weapon), uses a yellow iron fan, which has only mediocre range and damage (but is highly noticeable on the ground) as a throwing sidearm. Other than that, has no unique attacks.
- Mikado - starting character. Returns from Bushido Blade as well. Her supports are Sazanka and Suminagashi.
She is proficient with the naginata, and can perform a grab on enemy if equipped with it. Throws two knives; she's a lightweight, so she has trouble with heavy weapons (naginata aside), but is balanced between speed and strength when using the lighter ones. Can use special dash attacks when equipped with light swords or polearm... The only character to have unique moves (aside from throws) with the naginata poleaxe.
- Tatsumi Takeshina - starting character. The purple-eyed boy - a little bit matured version of him from the first game. In story mode is supported by Utsusemi and Nightstalker.
Uses Daishō. His kodachi sidearm can also be thrown, dealing lethal damage and allowing fast run-up attack. Has unique attacks with any sword in the game, including the sword-dances for katana and nodachi, with the nodachi one being unique to him... Physically fast, but lacks in strength.
- Utsusemi - unlockable character. Old man in brown kimono... Comes from original Bushido Blade slightly aged. His support character is Tatsumi.
Proficient with Japanese swords - katana and nodachi. His strength allows for good performance with broadsword as well. Similar to Tatsumi, but can use the hundred stabs move in Daishō stance, and throws with the other ones. Also, his sword-dance with Nodachi is the same as with Katana, compared to Tatsumi's unique one.
- Red Shadow (Hotarubi) - unlockable character. A female ninja from the first Bushido Blade, who appears to be a student of Utsusemi. She is from Russia, and remains the only fair-haired female in the game. Her support characters are Kannuki and Night Stalker.
Very quick and agile. Runs faster than most characters and has an improved running attack. Can dual-wield with the long sword, with second arm being kodachi - as in other cases, it remains a one-hit-kill throwable sidearm with fast follow-up strike. Proficient with European weapons - long sword and broadsword, having unique leg swipes using both. Can perform a throw on the opponent when equipped with long sword, as well as extra dash attacks, similarly to Mikado equipped with katana.
- Matsumushi - unlockable character. Man in purple kimono with pipe. Proficiencies are mostly the same as with Utsusemi, but cannot perform a throw on the opponent. Neither he can do a "million stabs" maneuver. Instead, Matsumushi is faster. His support characters are Suminagashi and Kannuki.
- Suminagashi - unlockable character. Throws small bombs. Very slow, yet strong. Can throw enemy with any weapon, aside katana. Sumanagashi, being an American, speaks broken Japanese in the original Japanese release of the game. In the western release of the game, despite Sumanagashi still retaining his broken Japanese according to the script, the meaning was lost due to all of the characters having been dubbed into English. His support characters are Matsumushi and Mikado.
- Night Stalker - unlockable character. A male ninja, he is notable for being very fast both for running and striking, as well as having the biggest sidearms count. Throws shurikens. Proficient with lighter weapons, such as katana and long sword. His support characters are Tatsumi and Red Shadow.
- Sazanka - unlockable character. Similar to a kabuki actor, made his debut in the first Bushido Blade as a sub-boss. Proficient with a naginata. Throws knives. His support character is Mikado.
- Tsubame - special character in a bikini who wields an M-16 rifle. Fires faster when standing. Also appeared as a sub-boss in the first game, only there she used a sword.
- "Clown" - special character. This is the "clown character" for the Narukagami clan.
- Gengoro Narazu - a starting character. Supported by Chihiro and Isohachi.
This man is strong (albeit not as much as Kannuki), making him better with heavy weapons, but he is also proficient with the katana and has both the back-up sheathe maneuver (which he can also do with a nodachi) and the separate sheathed stance. His sidearms are knives and he can perform a grab with katana, nodachi or yari equipped. Lacks speed.
- Kaun Narazu - starting character. A young white-haired man... Highwayman and Utamaru are his support characters, both labeled as "Unknown" in the name field on official site. Kaun is the adopted son of Gengoro.
He is most proficient with the yari, and can choke-grab opponents with it... One of the two characters to have unique strikes with it. His sidearm is a double-edged knife, which can be thrown, following a fast follow-up strike. Lethal. As a Shainto parallel to Mikado, Kaun is proficient with light swords, possessing above-average power and decent speed.
- Jo Kotomura - starting character. A young short-haired girl. Her supports are Tony Umeda and Takeru Hongou.
She is proficient in acrobatics (around which most of her unique strikes circuit) and the use of light weapons, mainly the long sword. Can back-up sheathe both the katana and the sword. Her sidearm is a Jutte with a fast follow-up attack after the throw. Very fast and agile with small trade-off in power. Very lightweight.
- Chihiro - unlockable character. The young heir of the Shainto. She has a pet frog instead of a sub-weapon, that can temporarily scare other female characters (with the exception of Tsubame), that can be immediately struck afterwards. If left on floor, the frog will wander around the stage, until picked up. Her support character is Gengoro. Despite being a female character, Tatsumi continually refers to Chihiro as "brother" in the American version
- Isohachi - unlockable character. An aged soldier. Has a special "yell" attack, which stuns his enemies and causes them to drop their weapons, instead of a sub-weapon, but he can still pick up and throw their weapons. If overused, he will cough instead, making him vulnerable for a moment. Can throw enemies with the long sword, broadsword, or yari, but has unique strikes with the nodachi. Isohachi's uniform mimics that of the Imperial Army of Japan, which makes Isohachi a war veteran of World War II. His support characters are Tekeru Hongou and Gengoro.
- Utamaru - unlockable character. Uses the long sword in the sheathed stance, the fastest stance in the game. He can also throw with the lightest sword, making him most effective with long sword. His support character is Kaun. He seams to have a rivalry of sorts with Kaun, despite them both being on the same side, and as such will often compare himself to Kaun and express anyoyance when ever Kaun ends up "out doing" him.
- Hongou - unlockable character. A bare-chested man with tattoos on his arm. Uses a throwing axe, which kills enemies in one hit, as a sub-weapon. He is very strong, and can throw opponents with any weapon. Appeared in the original game as a hidden enemy. His support characters are Isohachi and Jo.
- Tony Umeda - unlockable character. A fighter who dances. Throws a katana. Very fast. Also proficient with long sword and nodachi. Tony is of mixed ancestry, being both half-Japanese and half-African. His support characters are Jo and Highway Man.
- Highway Man - unlockable character. Is actually Black Lotus from the first game, who has changed his identity after his betrayal of the Narukagami in the first game. Has a rapier as a sidearm, which can be thrown lethally and can be used in cojunction with the long sword. Aside, can do a back-up maneuver with it and a million strikes combo. Also has some unique strikes with a yari and a broadsword. His support characters are Kaun and Tony Umeda.
- Katze - special character. A blonde man, who wields a revolver. Fires faster when crouching. Was also a secret character in the first game, as well as an important character in story mode.
- "Clown" - special character. This is the "clown character" for the Shainto clan.
Most of the weapons are straight from the first game, excluding the yari and the M16. The Yugiri (a sword which is quite similar to the Nodachi but wielded like the katana), which was used by the original Bushido Blade's final boss Hanzaki is now a selectable weapon, but is only accessible in the final battle versus the unarmed "last member of the Kagami clan". Some of the original Bushido Blade's selectable weapons — rapier (which doesn't appear as a selectable weapon, but only in Highwayman's 2-sword stance when he has the long sword equipped), sledgehammer and ninjato) — as well as the boss-specific "Double-Bladed Sword-Staff" and "Special Sabre", have been eliminated. Is worth noting that the weapons usable by both schools (such as the katana) have a slightly different design for each school. The only new weapon available is the yari, so Bushido Blade 2 is less diverse when it comes to weapon and fighting style selection.
The available weapons in the game are:
- Long sword
- Broad sword
- Naginata (Narukagami school only)
- Yari (Shainto school only)
- M16 rifle
In Japan, Bushido Blade 2 was the top-selling PlayStation game the week of its release as well as the week after. During the week of April 3, 1998, the game was the third best-selling game including games from other consoles. In North America, Bushido Blade 2 was the ninth best-selling game during the week of November 13, 1998.
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