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A.P.I Review: Bloody Roar 2
Developer: Hudsonsoft OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony 1-2 Player
Game Type: Beat-em-up Memory Card
Review Date: May 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

It is slightly over a year since Hudsonsoft first introduced us to zoanthroapes, a race of creatures who unique characteristics allow them to transform from human state into animals. This rare condition meant that these individuals were naturally suited to the martial arts and one-on-one combat, since their animal incarnations could tear through human opponents in a matter of seconds.

Such was the success of Bloody Roar that the Eighting/Raizing development team set about creating the sequel which promises to be bigger, brighter and brasher than the original.


Prepare for some intense fighting action as once again a selection of fearsome fighters and vicious beasts wage war against each other in a beat-em-up with multiple fast and furious moves - including brutal combos, hits, blocks, kicks, throws, grappling moves and much more.


Each battle once again takes place in a themed arena. First you have the inner ring in which the fighters are contained by collapsible fencing. This is surrounded by a 3D landing area that relates to the particular levels background theme. These range from an Aquarium, City scope, Laboratory, Beach, Dome or within a confined building. Finally you have a flat backdrop which ties the whole picture together.

The fully 3D characters are incredibly well animated and fluid in their movements and actually improve on those witnessed in the first game. Every connecting blow is treated to a series of over the top effects as the screen comes alive with fireballs, explosions, shock waves and blinding flashes of lightning. Another option worth mentioning is the blood effects which may be switched on for a truly blood splattering encounter or left off, should you be a little squeamish.

Sounds and Effects

The sound effects are awesome. Every movement is exaggerated to the umpteenth degree - a mis-timed punch can be heard swishing through the air like a twister coming to town, while a connecting combo is represented by the sound of an almighty WHACK, crunching bones and an ear splitting scream of pain from the victim. Transformation into beast is accompanied by a mini earthquake and visible tremors that knock your opponent across the ring as if struck by a bolt of lightening.


Popular opinion of the masses was that the first game was brilliant, but it was all over far too quickly. Bloody Roar 2 stays loyal to the gameplay format of the original while expanding on the game options and lastability.

A simple set up menu allows you to quickly select the desired mode of play. There is Arcade mode where the player chooses one from eight initially available characters. Versus mode makes a welcome return and you may now sit back and view the action by using the Watch option.

How long can you ride out a seemingly never ending flow of fierce creatures who enter the cage for Survival mode? Select one character and battle your way through successive opponents until you eventually top the charts.

A major improvement has to be the inclusion of a brand new Story mode. Here the player must guide a chosen game character through a series of raging battles against all comers. The further you advance... the greater the difficulty.

Expect a few changes with selectable personnel as there are a host of terrifying new beasts up for grabs. Bloody Roar 2 remains faithful to original characters Yugo the snarling Wolf, ShenLong the fearsome Tiger, Bakuryu the mole with razor sharp claws and Alice, the cuddly... but deadly Rabbit.

The remaining cast have been replaced by Stun who transforms himself into a killer Insect (actually, this guy wouldn't look misplaced as a stand-in for the Fly movie). Busuzima is one ugly son-of-a-bitch... even before he transforms into a luminous green Chameleon. Marvel has the look of a female fitness instructor, which is possibly more frightening than her alter ego... a Leopard with lightening paws. Urilo is the customary cute little schoolgirl character that the Japanese love to include in all of their games. She's quick off the mark, even more so when she transforms into her Half Beast form.

Finally... what do all fighting games have in common these days? Breasts! No beat-em-up would be complete without an ample share of bouncing bosoms and for this Bloody Roar 2 introduces Jenny. Legs up to her neck, tits like ripe peaches and all wrapped up (or not, as may be the case) is the shortest, revealing costume imaginable. Her beast character is a Bat who just so happens to have a severe lack of body hair, leaving little to cover her hour glass figure. Each character must defeat all of the others before facing the terrifying final Boss.

Controlling your fighter is a relatively simple affair utilizing only the face buttons on the control pad, although grabbing and throwing moves may be configured onto one of the shoulder buttons. At first you feel that Bloody Roar 2 is a little short on moves but combining buttons and direction brings forth a wonderful array of combos.

The gameplay follows the tried and trusted formula. When fighting in human form you must take care not to activate beast mode until you feel you will gain most advantage. A flick of the circle button unleashes the beast from within and your strength is increased ten fold. Different and more powerful moves become available with each character having numerous special moves that diminishes your opponents health rapidly.

Value for Money

The original Bloody Roar was high in quality but low in content. However, the inclusion of a Story mode certainly prolongs the life of this sequel.

GRAPHICS: 18/20 I enjoyed the first Bloody Roar game, but more as a novelty act than a great fighter. As with most novelties though, the game wore thin rather quickly.

Now along comes Bloody Roar II and all I can say is "wow"! There is actually a pretty darn good fighter buried in this game and enough options to keep you playing for a good long time. The fact that there are primarily two buttons to press (kick & punch) made it easy for my brain to comprehend, but when you really want to test those motor skills, get that directional button flying and you'll be pulling off moves that would embarrass Jet Li.

Graphically, the game is playing out in the Playstation Hi-Res mode and cruising along at 60 FPS! The character models are stunning with a nice beefy polygon count and great use of textures. The sound effects are great with lots of creative noises to go along with the action.

Definitely another superb fighter to add to that bursting Playstation library of titles.
SOUND: 8/10
VALUE: 16/20


GRAPHICS: 17/20 I was a big fan of the original Bloody Roar and eagerly awaited the arrival of this follow up.

There's a host of new characters taking on both human and beast form. Arcade, Vs, Survival and Story game modes. Also included is a Custom menu which allows you to adjust the appearance of each character into Big Heads, Big Arm and Kids.

Compared to other beat-em-ups Bloody Roar 2 stands comfortably alongside the likes of Dead or Alive, but doesn't quite reach the heights of Tekken 3.
SOUND: 7/10
VALUE: 17/20


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