Osamu Tezuka, of, as I understand it, Astro Boy fame had written a truly unique story which allows for a truly unique gameplay experience in many, but not all, ways. Since I suspect that some might consider any aspect of this story "spoilers", I'll try to be brief without leaving out any of the gametime oddities. The Gamespot review has more on the origin of the storyline and the Dororo anime series anyway. The player starts out controlling a character with two swords for arms, in a black and white environment. While this scene is effectively only a tutorial, it adds a nice bit of background to the average run through the controls. Your character ends up being yet another prophesied child, but his fate was all screwed up when Japanese style demons stole 48 some odd body parts from him as an infant. This left him horribly disfigured and without any arms, eyes, voice box, etc. Throughout the game, you defeat these demons and recover body parts which gradually change the way you sound, add color to the screen, and presumably more. I've only played the game for about an hour at this point.

The fighting engine is fairly standard apart from a charge move which causes a quick timer style combo event of button mashing to create a special kill cinema. These mini-combos are basically ruined for me by the dependance on the PS2's nonsensical button arrangement of circle, square, triangle, X. Every time I have to look at the controller to know which button to press, because I don't know by sequence where triangle should be situated in regard to X. I imagine that this game will finally force me to memorize Sony's terrible "organization" choice in order to complete it. So, apart from that one aspect, the rest of the fights involve mashing the left(fast) and top(strong) buttons on the face diamond buttons, and winning rather easily. Graphically this game is a treat, in relation to other PS2 games. The textures are standard blurry PS2 textures, but there is practically no aliasing, and a fair amount of detail on screen. It's no Ninja Gaiden, but it'll do.

The series of boss fights that this game is only get more impressive as the game goes on, and the replayability due to the nature of the game's power ups is impressive. I'm mostly reminded of Berzerk for the Dreamcast's graphical and storytelling style while playing this, and since nobody was decent enough to port the newer PS2 Berserk to the States, this seems like as good a reason as any to fire up a PS2.

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