And now we have the other side of the coin.
If Brave Fencer Musashi for the Playstation is an example of a game having too many ideas, Musashi: Samurai Legend for the Playstation 2 is the less pleasant opposite. Released at a time when “action games” were either Devil May Cry or God of War, Musashi: Samurai Legend dropped 90% of what made Brave Fencer Musashi memorable in favor of something much more marketable. Musashi was now an edgy (literally! Look at all those angles!) teen instead of a goofy kid. Exploring a “world” was dropped for a series of “levels”. Fixing pipes at Steamwood is now riding a bitchin’ motorcycle. And, importantly, the vibrant town of Brave Fencer Musashi has been transformed into… a mall.
It is the little things that make a community. In Brave Fencer Musashi, there are multiple scenarios where Musashi must “save the village”. On one occasion, it is because Vambis are stalking the streets at night. In another event, the whole village is lit ablaze. And, in a slightly lesser happening, Musashi plays mayor for the day because the real administration has a cold. Giant ants are occasionally a menace, too. In a way, these are all pretty basic videogame scenarios, and they are all something a veteran player has seen before. But these occasions do a lot to flesh out the “realness” of Musashi’s world. And, as you get used to the basics, like the bakery opening at the same time every morning, or the women gossiping about current events by the well, you start to develop a feeling of comradery with this digital community. Sure, it is all pixels and polygons, but it begins to feel like something greater than a series of fetch quests.
Musashi: Samurai Legend’s “village” is a mall. All of the residents live at different kiosks, and, when you need their services, you stop by their stall. This entire area could be replaced with the same menu where Musashi selected castle residents in his previous adventure, and next to nothing would change. There is no feeling of community here. There is barely a feeling that neighboring denizens have even met the people that a door over, left alone everybody else in this mall. There is no community here, only living menus.
Oh! And the whole dang thing is apparently floating on the back of some manner of Windfish, which apparently impacts the proceedings not one iota. I guess it explains how Musashi gets from level to level? Whatever! Xenoblade Chronicles took that concept and made it iconic. Musashi: Samurai Legend barely remembers that air whale is even there…
So… yeah. We’re not off to a great start with the game that killed the Musashi franchise…
Even Worse Streams presents Musashi: Samurai Legend
Original Stream Night: October 4, 2022
Random Notes on the Stream:
- It kind of looks like Jet Set Radio, but it’s Musashi! “Enjoy” it with BEAT, Jeanie, and fanboymaster.
- “This neither looks like Brave Fencer Musashi, nor does it actually play like it. This is a very PS2 game.”
- Amazingly, this game has a boring motorcycle chase. In its first level!
- “You sound like if Goofy wanted to be a shonen hero.”
- May as well note that we hit the mall just as BEAT suggests I should play a Zelda randomizer sometime.
- Since we’re in the game’s dead mall, BEAT tells tales of dead malls. I actually visited the mall he is describing about five months later. It really is that dead.
- And Caliscrub arrives just as we finish talking about “the nazi store”. To be clear on this site’s position, the nazi store is really bad.
- BEAT is proud of his Mountain Dew Alcohol Thread this whole night.
- AJvark arrives and notes that this Musashi has the The World Ends with You character designer in his corner.
- “Gorpus? That name sucks. Go back and try again.”
- PS2 Platforming leads fanboymaster to relay his great dislike of Maximo’s continue/save system. I cannot disagree with him.
- “You never don’t say someone is a hard matchup for Little Mac!”
- As we explore what is clearly the Guts Man stage, fanboymaster is asking if I will do another Let’s Play after Wild Arms 3. That question was posed nearly a year ago, and that Let’s Play is still ten weeks away from finishing up now.
- “Swagger Wagon… why!?”
- Ample Vigour stops by as we hit the “flying machine rampage” and we talk about… Rachel Ray? Rachel Roy?
- How to Get Away with Murder is weird. Peacemaker is very good.
- Do blacksmiths fix glasses? Guess so.
- Oh, hey, we have another opportunity for Florida Man BEAT to complain about his terrible governor.
- There is a significant discussion on the subject of Dril and his various books while Musashi gets lost in a construction site.
- Enjoy our impromptu Nut Shack – Love Shack crossover.
- Let us all envy Tomm Hulett’s unique ability to drive nerds to a homicidal rage.
- Fanboymaster would like to draw attention to the fact that there is a villain named Glogg.
- And we finish as I claim I will not play this again… which will be proven to be a lie next week.
Next time on Musashi: The volcano twins.
Yeah… We know…