Too much storyline can kill a game for me. So many cut scenes and just nonstop talking isn't a game. It's watching a movie or reading a story. That is, unless the story is really cool. Blood Wil Tell has one of the greatest in a game ever.
You're hyakku, a badass swordsman. As if that wasn't enough to make a great game, there's more. As a baby, your father made a deal with 48 demons and 48 parts of your body were taken as part of his deal. You were put in the river and floated to your supposed death. A good doctor found you and made you a fake body, and now you're a swordsman. You have your standard sword, but you can flip your fake arms off and reveal TWO swords. Yes, you have sword arms. But you've also a quest. Those 48 demons still have your body parts and guess what? You have to go kill them. And take your body back, part by part.
I went into the game knowing very little about it. It had samurai. It was a PS2 game. And it was relatively cheap. Three things I enjoy lately. The part that sold me that I had something great was right up front. Everything starts off black and white. You fight some basic enemies and get your basic tutorial. Then go fight a boss. Kill him, and you receive your eye back. Now the world is in color. Then you beat another boss and get your voice back. Plots like this are why I love video games. No pretentious meaning behind everything or super serious dystopian future where everyone talks. You're a samurai out to get his body parts back.
That isn't it though. Your standard sword arms or many katana swords you get are merely some of the ways to kill enemies. One of your arms has a machine gun. One or your legs has a cannon. You can unleash a furious special attack when a meter is filled by pressing both regular attack buttons together, which causes you to spin crazily murdering everything in sight. You also have an ability to charge your triangle sword attack to go into a button mashing mode where you push what shows up at the bottom in order to get items and generally kick an enemies ass fully. What's really great is mixing and matching. Blasting away with the guns, flipping and sword attacks, it's all so much fun.
The game isn't fully boss battles though. There are stretches where you run around fighting lesser demon, but they're generally not that bad. The only major complaint is having to play as Dororo, your swordsman companion. He (Who I thought was a lady) has some basic attacks, but is nowhere near as awesome as the samurai. They can throw rocks and regular kicks and punches. The sections I had to play with them weren't horrible, but I really missed being a samurai.
This game is actually based off a manga, which has a 26 episode anime, and - pause - a live action movie. A recent live action movie actually, it was released in 2007. I've ordered it on Netflix, but it is available on you tube already. I'm debating watching it as the trailer is just so great. My new favorite thing is anime live action movies. I'm not a big anime guy anymore, but back when it was "japanimation" I liked it. It was a cool import that you'd rarely see. Anyway, check this trailer out. I think I might go ahead and watch this. Update: I watched most of the movie and enjoyed it. Too much time was spent explaining the story, but the action I saw and special effects were fun.
Japan knows how to mix practical rubber suits and computer effects. The anime I'll have to watch as well. The scenes I saw were very old school anime from the sixties, no shonen nonsense talking for eight episodes in this. This looks to be an anime where the mission is clear, get all his body parts back, and they set about their goal. I'll have to find it all and watch it, even if it isn't in english. Oh one last note, I've read that two more Dororo (the name of your companion and the original anime) movies are coming out. I'm anxious to see the first and probably will as soon as I'm done writing this. Update 2: I watched the first one and it follows the first chapter of the game pretty close.