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PS2 / Review / Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
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Publisher: bam! Entertainment
Developer: Taito
Release Date: Available Now
ESRB Rating: Teen
Graphics: 4.0
Sound:4.0
Control: 3.5
3.5
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Review by: Bones
Posted: 05/26/04 [view screens]

As a 3D martial arts platformer, Bujingai will undoubtedly be compared to the very similar, Xbox-exclusive Ninja Gaiden. But although both titles are rich with demon fighting action and acrobatic maneuvering, Bujingai ultimately falls short of the mark with a barely there story, doggy camerawork, and a surprisingly short completion time.

Set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Asia, you play as the super-femme, dual sword--wielding Lau King Feather (voiced by Japanese rock star Gackt), who must fight his way through eight stages of uninspired enemies to save his long-time pal-turned-bad-guy. The plot (a haphazard jumble of Chinese fantasy nonsense) is unfortunately intelligible and incoherent, making your quest seem like a meaningless and repetitive exercise in button pressing (which it is for the most part).

Lau is capable of some truly amazing aerial stunts, such as wall running and gliding, though the inconsistent camerawork tends to leave you with awkward angles that can cause a fair amount of accidental (but thankfully nonlethal) falls. The combat system is both surprisingly deep and unfortunately simple: deep because you can block, parry, and counterattack enemies with relative ease, and simple because almost all of these special moves are executed with a single, overworked X button, and most opponents (including most bosses) are total pushovers.

Despite the four difficulty settings and the host of unlockable extras and secrets, Bujingai just feels too easy as experienced gamers will breeze through it in roughly 10 hours or less. Rent if you wish---buy if you must.


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