25 May 2005 | solarisdeschain
A worthy side-project from Square, but could have been so much more...
Now I'm reviewing The Bouncer for the PlayStation 2. This is an early PS2 title from Square. The game is also a fighter. Yeah, I know, that's some odd territory for Square, but
well, just read the review. The gameplay in The Bouncer is nothing really new. It's basically a button-mashing fighter. It's short too. It's so short. It's the shortest game for any console since the NES in the time it took for me to beat. 1:26. That's right. An hour and a half. A lot of that were cutscenes, as well. The Bouncer isn't a game so much as it is an interactive movie. I almost think that it was going to be Square Film's second project if Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within didn't throw their money down the drain. I think they lost somewhere around 65 million dollars on that boring movie. It may have been the original idea for Final Fantasy X, but was thrown out when that terribly simplistic Tidus plot line came along (Final Fantasy X reminds me of Final Fantasy I, only not so much fun). Whatever the story behind this game, the story is very good. Play the Action Movie is the tagline to the game, and that is exactly what you're doing. The reason I beat the game in one sitting is because I kept playing the levels, wanting to see what would happen in this surprisingly complex story. Anyway, if you have a couple hours to kill, just beat this game, its fun, and while the gameplay isn't anything original, it doesn't detract from the experience. The graphics in this game are very, very impressive. This thing is a graphical showpiece for ANY console this gen. It really shows off the PlayStation 2. Of course, part of that might be the fact that Tetsuya Nomura had a thing or two to do with this game. Tetsuya Nomura is one of the most talented people at Square. Tetsuya joined the group after the completion of the Final Fantasy VI project. His first project was Final Fantasy VII. Tetsuya Nomura was one of the most important people on the project, as he and Hironobu Sakaguchi CONCEIVED the STORY to Final Fantasy VII. He also designed the characters for battles. His next project was Final Fantasy VIII. On Final Fantasy VIII he was the lead character designer for the project, and conceived the story to that as well. He also worked as a supporting character designer on Final Fantasies IX and X, as well as this project, and the movie Advent Children, which is coming out soon. Anyway, the character designs are wonderful and so are the graphics. This is the perfect graphical showpiece for your console, and it's worth buying (if you can find it cheap) just to show it off. The sound is also some awesome greatness. Great voice acting from all sides, especially the character Kou Leifou, voiced by Steven Blum (the inimitable Spike Spiegel). That's right, Steven Blum. David Lucas is not his real name. The music is cool, the sound effects work great, and the announcer has a real movie feel even if he only says, "THE BOUNCER!!!" at the beginning the game. He also says, "GAME OVER!!!!" You don't hear that very often though. At least you shouldn't. Overall, the sound is as good as the graphics, which is why I really say this is a showpiece. Replay value in this game, however, is not so good. It has a multi-player and a survival mode, but who cares? For you to really play the game with other people it has to have great gameplay, not just stuff good enough to get you through the story. Honestly, I'm glad I only paid 10 bucks for it. The story might be good, but that alone isn't worth 50 bucks or some large amounts. Of course, there is the multi-player mode, which you may fall in love with, so, I say go ahead, have fun. Overall, this really isn't an ambitious project for Square, and with a little fleshing out, could have been a second project for Square's now defunct film department. With a LOT of fleshing out, maybe 50 hours worth of fleshing out, it could have been Final Fantasy X. But whatever, it's got a good story, and its worth a rental or a cheap buy.
Overall Score: 7.3/10