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Bloody Roar II – PS1

Bloody Roar II – PS1

bloody roar 2

Platform:  PlayStation

Developer: Eighting / Raizing

Publisher: Virgin Interactive, SCEA, Hudson Soft

Release Date (NA):  April 1999

Genre: Fighting

Nerd Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Reviewed by D34DF0X

So unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire life, (Nerd Bacon does not discriminate against rock-dwellers, if this is the case) you have certainly heard of were-wolves. In a lot of folk-lore this concept lends itself to practically EVERY kind of animal. These shape-shifters present themselves as were-bears, were-leopards, were-tigers, were-gators and practically every form of animal you could think of. So what if you gathered these feral warriors and threw them into the ring against one another? You would get the wonderfully gory Bloody Roar 2!

hutch10

Allow me to be frank and say I played the crap out of this game as a kid. I’ve always had a fascination with the supernatural and growing up in a native-american household, I had a particular predilection towards animal based mythology. When I saw this game on the shelf I knew we were meant to be together and boy, was it a beautiful courtship.

“I’m not crying, there’s just something in my eye.”

Before I get too far let me say there is no need to play the first installment to appreciate this sequel. The cast is more diverse, the mechanics are more refined, the graphics are well surpassed and the story has no problem filling in the blanks for you. To wrap it up in a nutshell for you, there is a genetics corporation called Tylon (bad) experimenting on these shape-shifters, unlocking their genetic code for their own nefarious agenda. While rising to stop these baddies is a rogue group of Zoanthropes, (technical name for the animal/human hybrids), all working alone but intertwining none the less.   Now let’s get into what Bloody Roar 2 really offers, the chance to bite your friends face off!

If Hannibal Lecter has taught us anything, It's that meat from the face region is the tastiest.

If Hannibal Lecter has taught us anything, it’s that meat from the face region is the tastiest.

The main attraction in this 3-D fighter is obviously the ability to transform into powerful animal/human hybrids and you should be pleased to know that this isn’t just for show. At the start of every match you will begin in your human form.  As you inflict and sustain damage your Beast Bar will fill up allowing you to transform into your furry (sometimes scaly) alter-ego. Upon this transformation your attacks and subsequent combos will be completely altered. Not only are they faster and stonger, they are also much more bloody! Also while in Beast Mode you will regenerate health to a certain extent, which can turn the fight in your favor or establish a stronger dominance. Last but not least you will be granted the ability to perform your “Beast Drive” which is your ultimate attack. Trust me when I say these are spectacularly kick-ass in flair and devastating to your opponents health gauge. Sadly though upon completion you will exhaust your Beast Mode and transform back to your human state.

The most important asset to any fighting game to me, next to mechanics, is the character selection. So here’s the rundown:

Yugo – The Wolf (boxer)

Bakuryu – The Mole (ninja assassin)

Alice – The Rabbit ( will make you her personal soccer ball)

Jenny – The Bat (kicks for days/lack of clothes)

Busuzima – The Chameleon (creepy scientist)

Gado – The Lion (the big bad)

Long – The Tiger (martial arts)

Shen-long – The Tiger (see long basically)

Shina – The Leopard (the army brawler)

Stun – The Insect (creepy bug guy)

Uriko – The Half-Beast (cat-girl)

These characters are all very distinct in play-style, mannerisms, and voice acting. It’s very easy to play favorites and feel a personal gravity towards a character, my all-time favorite being Bakuryu.  With his ninja fighting style mixed with those giant claws, what’s not to love?! Beyond that there are practical reasons to pick characters like Alice being able to jump the highest, Busuzima turning invisible, and Shina, well Shina just kind of pounces on you and rips your throat out.

Some might say that the best revenge is living well, I prefer good ole’ evisceration.

The graphics for Bloody Roar 2 were some of the best of its time and it’s not hard to see why. They put a lot of work into making these characters stand out from the crowd. It bears saying though that the animals look far better than their human counterparts. The stages and arenas are  diverse and also lend themselves to the story mode quite nicely. Another small touch of the environments is that if you hit your opponent hard enough with a killing blow and manage to knock them directly into a wall, they will break right through and jettison into whatever lies outside the rings boundaries. This doesn’t have any perks beside the personal satisfaction that you just knocked the shit out of your friend/the computer. Which has always been more than enough for me.

ePSXe 2014-10-02 19-29-49-51

Nothing brings closure to a rivalry quite like being kicked through a wall.

The sound is well executed from the humans grunts and cries to the animals howls and roars. The soundtrack is a bunch of heavy guitar “squibbles” reminiscent of DBZ  which feel right at home in a game that has you flying head-on towards your opponent. The announcer in my opinion is very iconic. He’s got a deep, dark, and sinister timbre which lends itself to the games overall “dark” feel.  I can honestly say it wouldn’t feel the same without him.

Replay-ability? It’s got that! Bloody Roar 2 offers more modes than its peers at the time with your standard arcade and vs. mode, but didn’t stop there. It also boasts an impressive story mode that can be played with any character and offers some nice backstory through art renderings and text that give you more of a feel for your favorite characters. It isn’t spectacularly deep but it does have a nice vibe of bad-assery. There is a survival mode that tests how long you can last against multiple opponents with same amount of health. Lastly, there is a “watch” mode which allows you to watch the computer go at it, nothing too special but just the fact that it’s there is a nice touch.

Bloody Roar 2 also doubles as guide to 90's fashion.

Bloody Roar 2 also doubles as guide to 90’s fashion.

The Verdict

It doesn’t matter if you just love the supernatural or you just love beating the snot out of your friends, this game will leave you howling for more. Its dark atmosphere and theme of transformations make it a great fit for your playlist this October.  So sharpen your claws and bear your teeth, it’s time to rip into your friends’ throat! (Full-moons not necessary.)

ePSXe 2014-10-01 10-11-27-57

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon

 
 

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One Comment

  1. Awesome review! I loved this game as a kid, and Mole Ninja was always my favorite as well. Completely forgot how boss the announcer sounds. He’s definitely up there with the Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat announcer in the hall of fame.

     

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