Brave Fencer Musashi - Reader Review

Square's version of Zelda throws its hat into the ring

By Loki Essex

Review Breakdown
   Battle System8.5
   Replay Value7.0
   Time to Complete10-15 hours 

   Okay, I must confess. I purchased this game only for the FF8 demo. There, I said it. I finished the demo in less than 30 minutes, which for my gameplay was a fairly decent amount of time. But then I wondered, "what now?" So I put in Brave Fencer. At first I laughed profusely. The game was just so hilarious. The graphics were reminiscent of the polygonal technology of so many RPGs of the past. The voices were childish to the extreme, and what they were saying was just too cliché for its own good. But I played through. I managed to get the sword and beat up the boss. Then the real fun began. The head came tumbling after me. Musashi's face was too funny. I nearly died laughing. I had flashbacks of Indiana Jones, but with him having blue hair, two swords and a really bad outfit on. But it was cool.

   Brave Fencer was, in my opinion, Square's way of making a Zelda for the Playstation. They didn't do half bad either. The battle system is unique, as is the gameplay. You have two separate swords. One is called Fusion, which is the nifty little sword you start out with. It has the ability to "assimilate" abilities from your enemies. These abilities can be integral to solving certain puzzles. The other sword that you get early in the game is called Lumina. This sword offers a whirling blade that is almost exactly like the one you get in Zelda: OoT. Kinda cool. Also, as you get further into the game you learn new abilities with it. There are even a couple of combos that use both swords.

   The music for the game leaves much to be desired. There was some cool music at the castle after you get the composer and musician, but other than that, the music just isn't that great. But this is coming from someone who's used to music from such games as FF7 and Breath of Fire 3. Not exactly games to be competed with in music.

   The graphics of the game are decent. They are, like I said, the same polygonal characters that are similar to those in FF7. But they have their good points. The backgrounds are cool, and the last base's look and feel was incredible. Overall, not too shabby, but once again, outshined by such games as the FF8 demo.

   The plot itself is the old rescue the princess from the forces of evil thing, but with an underlying plot to reunite all the scrolls with Lumina (donít ask, it's too complicated, plus I wouldn't want to spoil the entire plot :) ). I's a bit cliché, but definitely has its moments of originality. I can't see myself really replaying it that much only because there isn't much you can do differently a second, third or fourth time. There really are only 3 optional quests, one being to find all the Minkas in the game, two being to find all the people and third is to try and collect all the toys in the game. Not too enrapturing. The difficulty overall is easy, but the last dungeon is definitely difficult. The last boss can be difficult, if you don't know how to deal with him. It took me about 12-15 hours to finish this game. Not to bad, considering the competition.

   As a whole, Brave Fencer Musashi is definitely a game that I would recommend to those who are familiar with the Zelda genre. It's cliché, but not to a point that it is completely annoying. It has its moments, but overall it's a nice game.

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