Tag Archives: Jeanie

Musashi: Samurai Legend 3: The Good Stuff

chugga chuggaIt is against the central credo of this blog to spend three weeks railing against a franchise and its disastrous growing pains, so let’s talk about what Musashi: Samurai Legend gets right.


The enemy design isn’t that bad?

… But they’re basically Heartless rejects…


One unequivocal good change between Brave Fencer Musashi and Musashi: Samurai Legend is that M:SL allows you to “rapid cycle” through your various elemental abilities, and bop between your skills with a simple press of L1/R1. This is great! Both games frequently presented scenarios where you were asked to shift between your various skills, but only Musashi: Samurai Legends does it without requiring a trip to the menu every five seconds. This is clearly a situation wherein the designers identified an issue in Brave Fencer Musashi, and solved that problem for the sequel. This is an improvement, no questions asked.

And… uh… That’s all I got.

How many more nights of Musashi: Samurai Legend are left? Can I go back to Brave Fencer Musashi yet?

Even Worse Streams presents Musashi: Samurai Legend
Night 3

Original Stream Night: October 18, 2022

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Welcome back! Jeanie is here for the start of learning from the fish lady. Look to last week’s entry for a full explanation/complaint.
  • Jeanie and I more or less discuss the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise as Musashi fights through a generic jungle. For timeline questions, be aware that this conversation occurred just after the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
  • Fun timesAnd then caliscrub and fanboymaster join from the surface of the moon… or somewhere equally echoey.
  • “It’s beautiful that you think I’m paying attention.”
  • “Are you saying all skeletons know each other? Like a racist?”
  • Having now completed the game and looking back on it, The Crimson Gorger is the most interesting boss fight in Musashi: Samurai Legend. That is another point in M:SL’s favor! Two whole points!
  • After conquering the boss and wandering around the mall, BEAT returns from slumberland.
  • Thanks to the announcement of a mobile game for the franchise, Mortal Kombat, its spinoffs, and Shujinko are discussed.
  • Ample Vigour joins as The One is considered. That is also a franchise with a battle pyramid.
  • And then AJvark enters, too.
  • “Paw Patrol: Zero Mission! Finally!” is uttered as we play Musashi: Spirit Tracks.
  • And Screaming Red Skull joins the official chat as Musashi decides to carry around an amethyst.
  • “He’s going to skank too hard and explode his pants. He had to reinforce them.”
  • I miraculously save a gem after losing the fist one. If I lost a second one, I would give up, and the stream would be over. Forever.
  • RWBY and Rooster Teeth are addressed. Rest in peace, Monty Oum, your franchise misses you.
  • You heard it here first: I will never play Playstation 2 N.A.R.C. Somebody please hold me to that.
  • GrossAJVark learns the word “chaste” today thanks to Cammy wearing pants for once.
  • A discussion of the DCUTV “Arrowverse” ensues. I will reiterate here that Star Girl is a pretty good show, and works with the format’s ridiculous formula of “everyone lies all the time” pretty well. Teenagers do be like that.
  • “Hard disagree. Rats are far superior to pigeons.”
  • And then we close with a fight against a giant mechanical spider and anticipating Black Adam, the movie that would kill the DC Universe. If we only knew…

Next time on Musashi: This finale might be a little familiar.

Whistlin Dixie
Eventually something has to happen

Musashi: Samurai Legend 1: Welcome to the Mall

It's legendaryAnd 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.

This place sucksMusashi: 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
Night 1

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.
  • Moving right alongSince 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.
  • VrooomThere 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.

We know
Yeah… We know…

Brave Fencer Musashi 6: The Finale

This is not all that funThe more things change, the more they stay the same…

Brave Fencer Musashi is a game with somewhat odd pacing. Even though you know you must find the elemental seals/monsters hidden all over the world, Musashi’s quests are often waylaid by sidequests that involve ant squashing, beach dueling, or whatever that bit with the steam was all about. In many cases, these events seem to have very little to do with your overall quest, and you could easily make the argument that these distractions could be cut from the game, and nothing important would be lost. It is cool that Musashi gets to be mayor for a day (well, longer, depending on how long he sleeps in the fountain), but none of that is necessary to the larger arc of Musashi creating a time loop wherein he stows and rescues sacred crests.

So, by comparison, the final chapter of Brave Fencer Musashi is surprisingly focused. There are no diversions, so no hijinks back at the castle or town. It is just one long dungeon, and you cannot leave once you enter, nor backtrack past the most recent checkpoint. It is Musashi against an entire empire, and the infiltration of a flying base is your only option and goal.

But, damn, is it all over the place.

You gain a new “hover” ability before the castle starts, so your first challenge is mastering floating through a game of annoying stick. Then you have your first boss fight against a pretty traditional boss. Then there is a maze filled with tricks that requires you to remember how to read a “key item” calendar you got a few chapters back. That concludes with a boss fight that is basically a test of your jumping skills. Then you fight an entire army’s worth of soldiers, and a unique giant robot mini boss that expects adept usage of scroll abilities. Then there is a boss that is secretly a rhythm game, with gameplay not seen at all previously. Then there is another boss that heavily involves that hover ability from the start of the dungeon. Then a thrilling chase, a boss fight against Godzilla, and then the final boss, which entails using a skill that you have had all along, but has been (marginally) optional for this whole extended finale. And then the game just… ends. Give or take a picture of Musashi with the whole gang (which can only be earned by finding every villager), the ending has very little to do with anything that has come before. The King and Queen return to their kingdom, and the evil empire is banished with nary a word about the sequence of betrayals that led up to the final battle. All over now, go play Einhänder.

Big BenAnd you can almost feel how many of these challenges were intended for different parts of the game. The three members of Leader’s Force were seen elsewhere, but you only battle them here. The hover ability could have had an entire dungeon all its own, but it is relegated to a meager chamber and a boss now. And the finale against a mad god is great… and barely has a damn thing to do with the techno tower you just conquered. It’s as if the last giant chunk of Brave Fencer Musashi is stitched together from significantly disparate pieces, and our final challenge is a mishmash of what didn’t fit anywhere else.

Almost like Squaresoft had to rush to get the final product out the door, and the finale suffered as a result.

Because the more things change.

The more they stay the same

Even Worse Streams presents Brave Fencer Musashi
Night 6

Original Stream Night: September 27, 2022

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Welcome Back! We’re going to start tonight with an explanation of how my dad doesn’t know my name.
  • Fanboymaster thinks I am not going to have any trouble with the finale. He is wrong! Jeanie is here too, but she doesn’t make any bold claims about my skills.
  • Let's rockCaliscrub arrives as I describe my current, ramshackle streaming setup. As of this writing, nothing has changed about my setup of “is on floor”.
  • Please enjoy watching Musashi sleep for two weeks. Fanboymaster takes this time to explain the full history of the Trails series and its translation licensing.
  • And then BEAT arrives to ask if we’ve been to Sylvania.
  • “Goggle Boy” arrives in the chat. This has never been explained.
  • “Welcome to the Soda Fountain because we are the Thirstquencher Empire so that’s what we’d call it.”
  • “That’s pattern recognition, baby.”
  • After Ben K dies on his feet, it is time for the worst maze ever. Who doesn’t love their calendar?
  • And then some cheating occurs because I am not dealing with this nonsense twice…
  • As we make some progress, I talk about Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero. Everybody get excited for a New Piccolo! And then a discussion on DBZ Abridged.
  • BEAT attempts to insult fanboymaster’s “favorite games”, but is thwarted when Sonic the Hedgehog is named as a favorite.
  • Topo’s “Dance or Die” challenge comes very close to dying…
  • And then we get to the Tower of Death with BEAT asking, “Do you have rocket shoes?”
  • Speaking of death, the “humiliated jackass character” walks up and murders your buddy. It is like if Team Rocket shot Brock in the back.
  • CREEPYName a videogame where the main villain gains “ultimate power” and doesn’t die.
  • I’m told to make the buff wizard the youtube thumbnail. Sorry, I prefer lizards.
  • We inevitably sing about feeding a fish three hams while fighting the absolute last boss.
  • And now we watch the ending as the King and Queen of Hyrule return. They didn’t notice the hole.
  • And we close as Caliscrub “got backbroken.”

Next time on a very different Musashi: A whole new hero for a whole new generation.


Brave Fencer Musashi 5: Upgrading

Yay clownsThis upgrade could have been an email.

Brave Fencer Musashi does have a leveling system. For reasons that are opaque to even the biggest fans, Musashi will randomly level up across his adventure, and gain greater health points or the ability to fell a mushroom in a single slice. But, despite BFM’s obvious links to its RPG ancestors, Musashi will never learn a new skill or ability through leveling. Slashing, jumping, and claiming enemy abilities are all their own separate lane, and a +1 to the attack stat will never lead to a new fencing technique.

If you want to try something new, you have a small handful of options. Acquiring the legendary items expands your moveset, but in Zelda-esque, vaguely required ways. In other words, earning the ability to climb walls is great, but it is lessened somewhat when you realize that climbing is the only way to enter the next plot-mandated dungeon. Similarly, unlocking each elemental crest leads to new ways to explore the world, but that bubble shield or self-tornado is required roughly seven seconds after you feel the magic. So, while these abilities could unmistakably be seen as upgrades, when they are noticeably compulsory, they feel about as special as doing your taxes.

So if you want something truly special, you’re going to have to rescue a few people.

Watch out for mamaResidents of the Allucaneet Kingdom have been captured by the Thirstquencher Empire, and you have to free them when you discover them sleeping soundly in crystals scattered across the land. Puncture a bincho field, and its trapped denizen will be teleported back home, so you can visit them at the castle at your leisure. Some bincho buddies are required for the larger plot, but many of these citizens are wholly optional, and have no real impact on anything if you rescue them or not. But every one of these 40 people (does Musashi count when he gets binchoed?) does something for Musashi… even if their uses are not immediately obvious.

And let’s be honest here: the whole process is incredibly clunky. Selecting “unknown” people from a list is complicated before you get into situations where brothers are displayed with the same last name. You never have any idea if a person is going to teach you an effective technique, require a random item to proceed, or be as useless as that shepherd telling you how many not-rabbits you’ve thumped. And while it is easy to claim every character has a “purpose”, some perform actions like “refills HP”… when you’re three feet away from your health-restoring bed anyway. Thanks, Dr. Tung! You’d be more useful as a friggen’ vet…

But there are fun abilities to learn here. All of your extra sword techniques are gathered from the rescued soldiers, and many of your new friends will perform useful actions like expanding the local shops’ inventories. You will be able to read new things in the library, or increase the power of your magical sword. There are even “new” legendary items to be obtained, and that will increase your power to take a really nice nap (it’s a long story). All sorts of abilities and upgrades that would appear in later action-adventure games can be found by being friendly to the local population.

Yay knightsAnd those upgrades? Inevitably, if Brave Fencer Musashi were released today, they’d be a dumb ol’ skill tree. Secret detection, skill upgrades, or a magical ability to sleep longer? It would all be part of some wannabe sphere grid, and you’d be pumping Bincho Points (BP) into the branch you would like to see upgraded. It would be as simple as calculating some mathematics after every dungeon and then pressing X, and that would be that. No townsfolk involved, just a simple series of bars to fill up.

But you would lose something from not having to acquire an orange for a bunch of clowns.

Streamlined is all well and good, but before that was the standard, there was more personality to be found…

Even Worse Streams presents Brave Fencer Musashi
Night 5

Original Stream Night: September 20, 2022

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • When did “new game” stop being the default? Jeannie and fanboymaster are here to discuss the future of the past.
  • Now we must deal with that goddamned steam nonsense again… This cannot end well…
  • And I fail my initial steam run, as I inevitably must…
  • Let’s talk about our favorite third-party controllers and memory cards. My MadCatz green machine for the N64 is nostalgic…
  • Hooray! I finish with two hours (minutes?) to go!
  • Caliscrub comes in and notices the sad face that is the fire scroll.
  • “Let’s go eat pea soup and complain about our husbands.”
  • GrossMusashi is trapped in a bincho crystal! …. And now he’s not.
  • Let’s talk about Final Fantasy 13 Versus truthers.
  • After a little over an hour of doing side quests, it is time to get back to the main quest and squash a giant ant.
  • Yes, I very distinctly remember Body Harvest. It is the ultimate giant insect game of the era.
  • Let’s name our favorite repetitive platforming trials! The Last Guardian is fanboymaster’s immediate choice.
  • Fanboymaster describes how Monkey Hero is impossible to emulate as we rescue townsfolk hidden way too deep in a giant ant colony. They are going to have some terrible dreams tonight.
  • And then I get to enjoy a Turbo Tunnel that is very reminiscent of my terrible raft journey. At least this one has checkpoints!
  • I miss using my Playstation 1 off brand arcade stick. I just did a search, and I cannot find information on it online. I will have to take a picture of that some time…
  • It’s nice that they stick a memory box immediately past the terrible death tunnel.
  • Earthworm Jim: Was it any good? Or was it just pretty? This is the question as we fight Queen Slug-For-A-Butt.
  • As fanboymaster talks about the Trails series and how it has a giant scope, we reach the final chapter of Brave Fencer Musashi.
  • WeeeeOur viewers want one thing: Deptford, and a FAQ to find all the minku.
  • Would Brave Fencer Musashi be better if you could keep a “stock” of different abilities for different situations? Yes. Duh.
  • The Mama Minku has very angry eyes, but a sadistic smile… as she stomps me into the ground…
  • And now let us rest until Sky Day for the final dungeon next week!

Next time on Brave Fencer Musashi: Musashi saves the world after sleeping for two weeks.

I don't like this mouse