aisins are boring. But add a little bit of chocolate coating, and those shriveled little wads become one of our most delicious and celebrated snack foods. Though sadly inedible, Bujingai is essentially the same situation in game form; it has a mediocre action framework at its core, but the polish and flair that surround it makes for a surprisingly engaging and enjoyable play.
A unique sense of style, reminiscent of Hong Kong cinema, permeates every aspect of this title, from the slick character design to the high-flying action sequences. Swinging your swords cuts an intricate multicolored swath through your foes. Gliding through the air looks like the wirework flight featured in kung fu movies. When you complete a level, one of the categories you’re graded in is "stylized action points." No matter what you do, you do it with flair.
You don’t do it for long, though. Bujingai is short, with only seven stages and a linear "kill the enemies, go through the door" progression. This leaves no opportunity to explore alternate or branching paths, and ultimately results in little incentive to play through a second time (unless you want to see an interview with Gackt, the Japanese pop star who the game’s main character is based on).
Though Bujingai will provide some great moments for hardcore action fans, it doesn’t make great strides forward in any department. It has a simple combat system, a weak story, and a lot of repetition. However, it is also a prime example of how a little bit of polish and style can go a long way. It doesn’t sport the same array of killer moves as Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry, but it looks gorgeous, and has that elusive fun factor that can make an otherwise standard game stand out in the crowd.