|Square Electronic Arts
| The Good
Beautiful FMV and in-game graphics
Good use of the analog controls
| The Bad
Way too short
Seriously needs a continue option
Fight segments are not that much of the game
Square's The Bouncer is a case of great visuals but
flawed gameplay. Touted as an "Action Movie", the intention
of the Bouncer is to be a fighter/brawler like Streets of
Rage. Telling the story of three Bouncers (Sion, Kou and Volt)
who go to rescue a captured girlfriend from the evil corporation
Mikado. A lot of the backstory of the characters is hinted
at and more is revealed each time the player goes through.
The Bouncer has probably the best in-game visuals to date.
Most of the game is down with in-game graphics instead of
CG-rendered FMV, but telling the difference between the two
is sometimes hard to do. Characters express emotions with
their bodies and facial expressions. They move and act like
real people would. The game interface is laid-out beautifully
and the character design is great. Visually, the Bouncer is
a stunning tour de force.
Square has managed to utilize Dolby Surround Sound to
add a fine soundtrack and decent, yet sometimes cheesy, voice-acting
to fuel this game. Also, if you want, the player can switch
between English and Japanese voice-overs and subtitles.
The gameplay of the Bouncer is a tale of two extremes.
On one side, there's a fairly well-developed fighting skill
(like Ergheiz and Tobal)
which makes great utilization of the analog buttons of the
PS2 DualShock controller. With a light tap on the Triangle
button, you can throw a jab or with a hard tap, you can do
a roundhouse kick. On the other side, though, is the extreme
shortness of almost every battle. Most fights are three on
four or five, meaning battles last no more than a minute.
Another problem with The Bouncer is that the game
is so short that it's often over before you know it. Most
players will finish the game the first time through in around
2 hours. And since most of that will be spent in cut scenes
or FMV, dedicated gamers will probably feel cheated.
While the main gameplay of the story mode seems relatively
short, additional endings, a Survival Mode and Versus Mode
have been added to give more playability to this game. But,
that in itself has issues. While the Versus Mode is great
with a couple of friends, there in no real interface for one
player to fight a series of enemies (like in your standard
fighters). So, once you beat one enemy, it's back to the Title
This also raises another problem. Never has a game so needed
a continue option. Lose a fight - back to the Title Screen.
From that point, you have to endure a series of load screens
and previously viewed cinemas that you will probably skip.
This wouldn't be so bad if some bosses and areas of the game
weren't so difficult on the first time through the game.
All in all, The Bouncer is a decent game. For it's
visuals alone, I would suggest renting this game. The short
and flawed gameplay do not warrant shelling out 50 bucks.
If you have a few friends and a Multi-tap, be sure to give
this one a try.