Hudson/Eighting
Konami
Fighting
1-2
05.28.03

Bloody Roar Extreme


The Xbox has had its fair share of good fighting games, not to mention plenty more on the way. Is Bloody Roar Extreme one of those ground-breaking must have fighters? Well not exactly, but fighting fans should not rule this one out either. This is about the sixth Bloody Roar title to be released, so it's been around for quite some time. The series has finally arrived on the Xbox, and it's the best-looking version of any Bloody Roar game to date.

Graphics

Running at 60fps, the graphics give your eyes something nice to feast on. There are lots of flashy effects during fights. The final deadly blow is shown in slowed-down blurred graphics, which adds to this style of fighting.

The stage backgrounds are phenomenally beautiful. The aircraft taking off, huge skyscrapers, and water effects all look very fine. All the graphic features are greatly detailed, but not as detailed as they could have been. It still shows that time and effort went into making this game though. The character models are a lot better then you would expect, and the animations are even better.

Just like in DOA3, there are different level environments to fight on. When hit the right way, the match can drop down a few stories. The barriers surrounding the ring can also be damaged. There also is glass that can be damaged. The glass or ice starts to break, and then shatters when one of the fighters gets slammed into it.

Gameplay

In a land where humans turn into beasts, each character has his or her own origin and story. The opening cinematics help a little in understanding where these people/beasts come from. You are able to choose from 14 different fighters that can morph into different beasts. Each character has their own set of unique moves, and there is a move list included.

All of the elements that make up a great fighting game are included in Bloody Roar Extreme, and all the options are here as well. Arcade, Versus, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Vs Team Battle, and Training, are all here.

As each match begins, there is a beast gauge at the bottom of the screen. When that's ready to go, you can then morph into a beast. There are two types of beast changing that can happen. The B button is just for the regular beast mode. In this mode, your life gauge will slowly refill, and your opponent will take more damage from your attacks. In hyper-beast mode, you're able to morph at anytime. There are drawbacks, however. If the beast gauge is not flashing, you'll lose close to 1/3 of your power. Other then that, while in hyper-beast form, the time stops, and your life gauge recovers slightly faster then in normal beast form.

The gameplay adds an extra option where you can "take a chance" and risk it all using the hyper-beast form. Sometimes you'll lose because it takes away so much of your own life bar, but other times you'll kick butt and win. The developer threw in some extras, so there is always a chance something else will make you lose energy. On one stage if the ring barriers break, a car can hit you. This only happened after the match was over, during the replay, but it may be possible during gameplay.

The controls are responsive for the most part. There definitely not sluggish. The controls can be best described as simple and easy. There is no complex move that you haven't seen before, and the combos are easy to learn.

Sound

The audio in Bloody Roar Extreme isn't all that bad, but it isn't that great either. It suits the game well enough to play it without it being a problem. The sound effects are what you would expect. There is no support for custom soundtracks, however that isn't a major drawback in a fighter like this.

Replay Value

Anyone can pick up and play this. There's one punch button, and one kick button. If you are not into complex fighting games, then Bloody Roar Extreme is perfect. Even with no fighting genre experience, anyone can pick this up and play it. You might be smashing buttons, but you'll still have fun with it. Everytime you beat the game, you unlock the extras that are within the game. One thing to unlock is new playable characters.

Bottom Line:

At first, I was shocked that I got beat up by a bunny rabbit. Nevertheless, even with some of the weirdest characters, Bloody Roar Extreme is nearly up to par with today's Xbox fighters. The single player mode may have you asking for more, but if you play with a friend it can get pretty intense. Other then that, for $30 it's a worthy fighter.

-Steve Melanson




8.0
7.0
7.9
7.5
7.5