Monday, 24 March 2014

Raging Blades (PS2)

Raging Blades is a beat em up that, though it never saw an arcade release really feels like it should have had one (there is the possibility that is was made from the remains of a cancelled arcade game, but this is purely speculation).
In it, you pick one of four generic fantasy characters (Gray the Knight, Bud the Warrior, Raybrandt the Wizard, and Tina the Monk), go to various generic fantasy locations, including the much loved RPG staple, the "ancient lost civilisation with guard robots and big glowing crystals" and fight lots of generic fantasy
monsters. There's also two secret characters, Iria the Valkyrie and Alicia the Fallen Angel, who have to be unloacked with a cheat, though it you save after doing the cheat, they stay unlocked permanently. They're both a lot stronger than all the other characters. Alicia can't be selected in Story Mode, though Iria can.
Doing said cheat also unlocks an extra mode, called "Full Attack", which allows players to change characters when they continue, and more importantly, removes the boring story narration between stages.
As for how the game actually plays, it's pretty good. Like the setting, the mechanics won't win any prizes for originality, but it's fun enough, and the stages, though cliched, do have a lot of atmosphere to them. You don't get any lives in the game, just  single health bar, though continues are limited, so if you wanted, you could treat them as a stock of lives, without letting it weigh too heavily upon
your conscience.
You progress through stages in the traditional beat em up manner: walk along, stop to fight a group of enemies, carry on walking until you get to the next area. The stages themsleves are easy (other than the last stage), but the miserly distribution of healing items means you often won't have a lot of health left by the time you reach the bosses, and the bosses are significantly harder than the stages.
There's also a Duel Mode, which unfortunately isn't a reprise of the Duel Mode found in the first two Mega Drive Goolden Axe games, but rather a versus mode, in which up to four players (which means it's not really a duel then, surely?) pick either one of the main cast or one of the enemies and fight each other. I think it has all the enemies in the game, I didn't actually check. Sorry!
Like I've said throughout the review, there's definitely nothing original about Raging Blades, but it's fun and
it's atmospheric and it looks nice, so it wouldn't be a totally terrible idea to get it. Especially since it doesn't fetch particularly high prices online: my copy (like a lot of the non-import PS2 games I write about here) only cost me a penny plus postage from amazon. There are definitely better PS2 beat em ups you should get first, though. Like God Hand. You should definitely have God Hand.
This game is also known as Raging Bless


  1. It's interesting how many games there are out there that feel like part of the Simple 2000 series, even though they aren't. I'm not sure whether developers were deliberately aping the unifying style of that series, or if it was just because they couldn't make anything better. Was this a budget title?

    1. it was a budget release when it came to europe, but i don't know about japan.
      yeah, i have a few other not-simple 2000 series low budget ps2 games to post about in the future

    2. I still can't believe that the Xbox 360 Oneechanbara went for full price in Japan. Even by Simple 2000 standards, that game utterly fails.

  2. whoa, this reminds me of sega's slashout a little. wonder if it even has the funky beats of that game?

    also this game appears to have NINA except without wings :<