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A.P.I Review: Brave Fencer Musashi
Developer: Square OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Square/EA 1 Player
Game Type: Action/RPG Memory Card
Review Date: December 1998 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

Okay, what do you get when you cross a pip-squeak hero, a valley girl
talking princess, an eccentric butler, a cast of creatures, misguided
townfolk and a wonderfully intertwined, engrossing story?  Why, you get
Brave Fencer Musashi of course!

In their continuing role as the high order of Playstation software guru's,
Square has come up with yet another in a series of awesome games for our
console of choice.  This time around you play as a legendary hero who is
brought into the kingdom of Allucaneet to restore its citizens to human form
(they have been entombed in crystals) and to defeat the evil wizard.  You
cannot return home until you fulfill your tasks and you die if the wizard
takes over the land.  Pretty standard fare, but along the way the princess
gets captured as well, so now you are pissed and have a mission in
life...rescue the fair maiden post haste!


Brave Fencer is primarily an RPG style game with a good dose of action
thrown in for good measure.


The character graphics are of the super-deformed variety...squat people, big
heads.  The design is done quite nicely though and the character color
pallet is rich and vibrant.

The game is all done in polygons and the 3D towns that you travel through
can all be rotated for optimum viewing.  I liked this, especially because a
lot of the signs are not visible unless you get them at a certain angle.  

The special effects used throughout the game are well realized like the
wonderful light-sourced swords and the particle effects for explosions and

While the graphics certainly do not compare with FFVII or Xenogears, they
are quite functional and elicit the occasional oh's and ah's.

Sounds and Effects

Brave Fencer has some really hilarious voice acting throughout the game.
The cast of characters is all well realized through their voices and
humorous quotes.  This alone knocks the sound portion of this game up a few

The musical score is what you have come to expect from Square...nice
sweeping melodies that fit in perfectly with the action at hand.

Sound effects are also nicely done, but nothing you really haven't already
heard before...still, the overall variety of effects is pretty darn


Brave Fencer is a legendary hero that is said to have defeated the evil
Wizard of Darkness and then with the help of his magical sword, Lumina,
sealed him within a magical territory for all of time.  Well now an empire
called the Thirstquencher has decided that they want to possess this
mighty...ultimately releasing the evil Wizard of Darkness from his prison.

BF is summoned to protect the Kingdom of Allucaneet, but must first get to
Lumina before the Thirstquener Empire does...and so the story begins....  

Movement over this strange land is accomplished by using either the
directional pad or the analog thumbstick with your view being from a ¾
overhead perspective.   Moving Musashi around is effortless and mastering
his many moves a breeze thanks to a rather logical button layout.  

The story is your basic RPG fare with you maneuvering Musashi through his
environment, visiting towns, talking to people and gathering up supplies for
those long treks through the forest and dungeons.  Musashi's growth is
realized in four key areas: Body, Mind, Lumina and Fusion with the game also
keeping track of his rank and experience points.  

The game tracks time in a very realistic manner with 24 hours days and seven
days to a week.  Being that, day turns into night and Musashi eventually
begins to tire.  If you are in a town you can choose to bed down for the
night, but sometimes you are nowhere near a town and need to rely on a tasty
little mint that sparks our puny little hero right up.  

In addition to the mints, there are all kinds of items that can be purchased
in towns that will help BF to recover his Bincho Bar (power level) and hit
points.  I strongly suggest stocking up on stuff early in the game until you
are able to get a feel for the environment.

Musashi starts the game off with a handy little weapon called Fusion.  With
this sword, BF is able to assimilate attributes from other characters in the
game buy pointing the sword at them and draining their life-force.  A very
short while into the game and you attain the legendary sword of Lumina.
This baby kicks some serious ass and will get you out of more then one tight
spot or two.

In addition to being an RPG game, there is also a fair amount of action
sequences thrown in as well.  These little additions blend in seamlessly
with the overall gameplay and provide a nice diversion from your standard
Role-Playing proceedings.

In typical Square fashion, a wonderful storyline unfolds right before your
eyes and sucks you into the world...edging ever further to see what the
overall outcome is going to be.  This is most definitely an enjoyable
experience, even though I found it to be a bit on the easy side...loads of
fun though non the less.       

Value for Money

A pretty sizeable RPG that should take average gamers a while to complete.
Nothing particularly noteworthy for a second shot around the block though
unfortunately, so once you finish the game you will probably not be going
back for it again anytime soon. 

Oh, there is also a playable Final Fantasy VIII demo disc included with the this game is going to totally rock! 
GRAPHICS: 17/20 Brave Fencer Musashi is yet another treat from Square. It manages to perfectly balance a unique blend of RPG and action all in the same game without losing its focus on exploration.

The graphics are your standard super-deformed RPG variety, but are very well designed and implemented. There is also a fine musical score and extremely humorous voice acting throughout the game.

Looks like another winner from Square...just don't go into the game expecting a Final Fantasy style epic.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 16/20


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