Review: BASARA X Cross

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From a 3D “Dynasty-Warrior” type of game play to a fighting game, this one makes a safe leap of faith. This sort of thing doesn’t happen all too often, in fact, this is really rare. If you’ve been up to date with the BASARA series, then you know that it’s a 3D game with the same kind of function Dynasty/Samurai Warriors have. Kill untold amounts of troops, gain power ups, defeat the uber general, and finally obtain those awesome weapons. Now Ar System Works have taken the risk of bringing it into the realm of 2D fighting. So the question is, did they triumph or fail?

First, let me say that I’m not an expert when it comes to fighting games, even though I own a ton of them. Why? Because I love the art style, controls, and characters of each one, and BASARA X Cross doesn’t fail to meet those requirements. Not at all. Honestly, it goes beyond of what I expected from a 2D fighting game. Let’s talk about the art style, which is beautifully done and the animation is perfect. From the cloaks flowing from their backs to the movement of the legs, be it walking or running, has been created to the point where you feel like you’re playing a high quality,  hand drawn anime game.

To go further with that, pulling off the combos isn’t that hard to do if you’re used to the same style of combos in a Street Fighter or Guilty Gear game. Watching your character move gracefully while he pounds your opponent into the ground (or air) is eye candy. For example, when you play as Toyotomi and you grab your foe’s face, then watch him drag the body across the screen as trails of dust and dirt flow up into the air, it’ll put a smile on your face. Speaking of combos, you have a bar at the bottom with some orbs that you can fill to the max with your “BASARA”, or what I’ll call it to be your “special energy meter”. You have the choice of filling it up partially to unleash a powerful combo or one hit damaging move, which can be useful when you’re close to death and you want to still have a fighting chance. Or you can wait till all the orbs are full and then perform your BASARA Special, which can often be a “one-hit” kill.

The cast of characters are the same from the series, no more and no less. Each with their own set of moves that are unique in a way that it might take you a some time to master each one. There are 11 or so characters to choose from at the start, but can earn more as you beat the game with each one. Also, you can earn titles depending on how you play the game. What they do in the game, I have no clue as of yet. Going back to the characters, most of them have friends that can aid you by using up your BASARA meter. What they can do is different depending upon the type of combo you pull off. For example, when I have my opponent up in the air and then summon my partner, he/she will continue the attack as well, in the air. Though this does not work with everyone.

There is, of course, a Gallery mode in which you can view art work, back history, and concept work for each character. A 2P VS, which is obvious for fighting games these days. Training is another way of saying “Practice Mode”, but there is an option that further brings the game play value up a notch. That is the Challenge Mode, where go against a constant barrage of foes, but earning you titles within the game depending on how far you make it.

The music doesn’t get to a point where you want to turn it off. It mixes very well with the flow of the game and you’d never feel distracted when playing. For being mainly Japanese techno and rock, I can’t find anything that would have me point out any faults. All in all, this would be a “must buy” for the fighting game fan or those of the BASARA series.

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