Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mizuki Shigeru no Yokai Butoden (Playstation)

A fighting game where all the characters are Japanese folk monsters is a pretty nice idea, in theory. Unfortunately, the act of putting that theory into practice has, in this case, been done with more enthusiasm than talent.
Some of the monsters in this game I'm familiar with from comics and cartoons like Urusei Yatsura, Ushio and Tora and Usagi Yojimbo. These include oni, karasutengu, sickle weasel, snow princess. There's also a few I'm not familiar with, like the weird lumpy-headed dwarf thing and the old woman who is very aggressive with her kisses. There's also two boss characters who are (as far as I can tell) unplayable. They're both also western-style monsters: a female demon who might be some kind of succubus, and a cloaked grim reaper type.
As for how it plays, it's kind of terrible. The controls are stiff and unresponsive, and everything feels very awkward. The clunky controls even make something as fundamental as special move inputs unreliable, and possibly in reaction to this, the shoulder buttons serve as macros, each one having a special move assigned to it. This in turn leads to the game's one interesting mechanic (which I strongly suspect wan't even intentional): these macros cancel the animations of normal attacks, meaning you can do some super-fast (and ridiculous looking) 1-2 combos. Against an AI opponent who isn't expecting these kind of tactics, this completely breaks the game, since it gives them very little hope of fighting back. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to play against a human opponent, but I'd be really interested in seeing some high-skilled fighitng game players totally break the game.
Oh, and I didn't know until I looked it up for this review, but Mizuki Shigeru is the creator of the popular GeGeGe no Kitaro comic/cartoon/movie franchise.
(Sorry about the weird layout of this post, but blogger is being stupid and uncooperative again)


  1. I take it that none of the Kitaro characters are in this? Weird.

    1. that's right, just generic youkai characters! it is a bit strange