Bloody Roar II – PlayStation
Publisher: Virgin Interactive, SCEA, Hudson Soft
Release Date (NA): April 30th, 1999
Nerd Rating: 6.0 / 10
Reviewed by Rhutsczar
Alright Bloody Roar II, you have gained my attention once again. I found Bloody Roar II hidden in a bin in my local flea market for a mere $3. Did I pick it up? Well of course! Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this review…duh. Anyway this convinced me to dig out my old PlayStation out of the closet and fire up this flea market gem. To my surprise, it worked.
We all know that when it comes to fighting games, the story is almost always rather flimsy and unnecessary. Well Bloody Roar II is no exception. Enter the Tylon Corporation, a major conglomerate that created the character/beast hybrids known as Zoanthropes. But Rhuts, weren’t they defeated in the original Bloody Roar? Why yes random reader, that is true, except not all of the Zoanthropes were defeated. The remaining Zoanthropes banded together and formed the “Zoanthrope Liberation Front” in order to have recognition and dignity of Zoanthropes everywhere. Someone has been taking notes from the X-Men franchise. What is the ZLF behind the scenes? Why obviously a terrorist group that is determined to kill all humans. Bender would be proud.
Now which Zoanthropes are playable in Bloody Roar II? Well the second entry sports eleven playable characters, which you can find below. Each of the characters have their own unique fighting styles with varying degrees of difficulty in their use. All of the Zoanthropes are actually decently designed even when changing into beast mode, making each character appear unique and not just color palette swaps (I’m looking at you Mortal Kombat). Due to this, each player can easily pick a favorite or two characters and will never touch the rest. My personal favorites are Bakuryu the Mole and Stun the Insects.
- Long the Tiger
- Yugo the Wolf
- Gado the Lion
- Alice the Rabbit
- Bakuryu the Mole
- Jenny the Bat
- Shina the Leopard
- Stun the Insects
- Shen-Long the Tiger
- Uriko the Half-Beast
- Busuzima the Chameleon
Are you tired of the normal and lame arcade and versus modes? Well this time around, Bloody Roar II brings you even more options than ever! Beyond the standard modes that can be found in any fighting game, Bloody Roar II offers a Story, Survival, Watch, and Custom mode. While the story isn’t anything special, the mode gives you something new to try in between arcades or bouts against your mates. The most surprising mode, Custom mode, allows you to manipulate your fighters however you like with a variety of custom appearance modifications. They feel in the same realm as cheats from other games (i.e Big Heads and Afterimages) but add a small amount of flair to your combat to the death.
Since fighting systems have been generally the same since the beginnings of Mortal Kombat and Virtua Fighter, Bloody Roar II doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. Super beast moves have been added to create another layer of depth to each match, but they are entirely too easy to perform. The standout trait is the improved side-stepping mechanic, allowing you to break out of most combos and adding another level to 3D fighting. Finally they brought Bloody Roar II into the modern era of 3D fighting. If I can say anything it’s that Bloody Roar II completely reinvents the game by adding more juggling! Now there is more juggling than anything before!
While not as important as the fighting mechanic, the graphics are a large part of any fighting game, let alone any game in general. Bloody Roar II‘s graphics are clean and crisp, which I thought would be the opposite case during transformations. To my surprise, the transformations performed without even dropping a single frame. The added special effects are a nice touch as well, not taking away or being distracting from the gameplay whatsoever. On the other hand, the arenas themselves were kind of bland in design, yet still fit into the general look and theme. I can easily say that Bloody Roar II is one of the best looking games for the PlayStation. Smooth sixty frames per second all the way.
Do to recent Twitch stream conversations, I feel obligated to mention the sound. The sound effects are nothing spectacular, just the standard punches/kicks/impacts. While it isn’t anything over the top, it does sound fine. Just fine though. This is one fighting game where I actually recommend you to turn off the music during battle. There is not a single notable track that stands out, and is mainly just generic rock/metal riffs. Turn some real music on and it will be a much more rewarding experience.
The voice acting is sub par, which is definitely nothing new for fighting games or the Bloody Roar series in general. All of the voices sound just too generic for my taste. This is not only limited to the voice actors of the characters but to the announcer as well. While some praise his dark and iconic voice, I feel that each individual battle would benefit without him. He is a third rate actor at best that gives an almost decent performance. ALMOST DECENT. Hire someone with actual voice acting skills, please?
Bloody Roar II, you have taken me back to my childhood for a spell and that nostalgia feeling has taken over. While you may not bring anything necessarily new to the fighting genre, everything you have brought to the table feels polished and well-finished. Presenting gamers with an extensive cast of characters with their own fighting styles, interesting character designs, and a fighting game that can just suck you in for hours, Bloody Roar II is my pick for the standout of the franchise. Can’t take my word for it? Be sure to check out D34DF0X’s review!
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