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This week’s review was supposed to be on the PlayStation 2 Kamen Rider Kabuto released in 2006, but it seems I did not write a review back then, nor can I find my copy of the game for the life of me.  So instead, this week’s TBT Retro review will be an updated look at the PlayStation 2 Kamen Rider games.  Have they held up in the almost 10 years since they’ve been released? Grab your controller and let’s find out!

Shortly after starting this review series, I took a trip to my storage area and dug out my old modified PlayStation 2 and my Kamen Rider games.  Having not booted up the PS2 in well over 5 years, I was a little worried if the console was even going to work anymore. I was pleasantly surprised when this screen lit up my TV.

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Kamen Rider Blade

Blade was the first game I happened to load and it only took a brief moment to remember the gameplay. Having now played a ton of fighting games where the action is almost a blur on the screen, Blade felt slow, almost stiff. But after some adjustment to the game’s play style, I was able to work my way through fights with retaliative ease again.

Just like when I had previously  played the game, I had a blast using the rouse cards to string together attacks until I had drained my enemy’s health enough so I could finish them off with a final attack. Still one of my favorite finishing moves is, as Blade King Form, hearing “Spade Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace….Royal Straight Flush” as I rider kicked my foe into oblivion.

If you are able and are a fan of the Blade series, I would still highly recommend hunting down and picking this game up.

Kamen Rider Faiz

The next game I decided to look at was Blade’s predecessor Kamen Rider Faiz. Again the gameplay feels slow compared to modern fighting games, but it’s nothing that you can’t get used to.

Like Blade, I had fun revisiting the Faiz characters and performing their final attacks on my enemies. Unlike Blade though, Faiz doesn’t have much of a story or as many characters to fight as, which makes sense since Blade was released a year after Faiz. So playing Faiz after Blade really did feel like a step backwards. That’s not to say it’s not a fun game, it is just not as robust of a game as Blade.

I would recommend Faiz if you are a fan of the series, or just want to add the game to your collection.  Otherwise you aren’t really missing anything by skipping Faiz.

Kamen Rider Hibiki

Lastly, I loaded up Hibiki and instantly remembered the difference between this game and it’s predecessors Faiz and Blade. Hibiki plays a lot more like modern fighting games. The speed and reaction of the fighters are instantly noticeable.

The addition of having to fight two opponents once at once is also different from the previous Kamen Rider games as you now have to pay attention if an enemy gets behind you. The rhythm aspect of fighting the bosses are also a nice break in the game play and really tap into what made the Hibiki series so unique. I never picked up the Taiko Drum game that was released in Japan around the same time, so I still can’t comment on Hibiki’s second disk and inclusion with that game.

While the Hibiki series is still split between those who loved it and those who hated it, I would still recommend picking this game up. Especially if you dug Kamen Rider Hibiki.

And there you have it.  Some updated thoughts of Kamen Rider fighting games of yesteryear. If I ever find my copy of Kabuto, or pick up another copy, I’ll be sure to write a full review of that game as well.  As for next week though, we flash forward quite a few years and switch consoles to the Nintendo DS. Which game will I be reviewing? Check back next week to find out!

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