Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anarchy Reigns Review

Gameplay (6/10) - Overall, AR has some good design ideas throughout, but ultimately doesn't put enough depth into those ideas to be truly amazing. For example, the hub world stage deisgn of the story mode is a great idea, as it allows the player to explore the hub world, fight easier enemies, and interact with the environment; unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot to do in the hub world outside of searching for chests with extras in them. When looking at the multiplayer side of things, the stages have events that take place throughout the battles that effect the environment and can change the course of a battle; however, these events occur very frequently and have cutscenes that accompany them, and while the cutscenes may be short, they can really break up the flow of combat; if these events occured without any type of intro cutscene, they would be more tolerable. Speaking of flow, it is the lack of flow that my biggest gripe with the battle system. The battle system is the core of AR's gameplay, and while it isn't bad by any means, it really lacks a sense of flow; at least in most circumstances. This is mainly due to how combos are very hard to finish or follow up unless you and your opponent are alone in the battlefield. Other players, environmental hazards, and the stage events can easily break the flow of one's combo. This isn't a terrible flaw, but it definitely moves AR towards the "party brawler" side of the genre than arena fighter. Such a "flaw" won't be a problem for many though, as many will play AR just to have some crazy fun, which the game does provide as long as your not taking it too seriously. However, there is one major problem with AR, and that is the lack of split-screen multiplayer. In a game of this genre, not having such a feature is very surprising and quite a disappointment.

Graphics (8/10) - On a technical level, AR has some well detailed character models and really nice effects; there are also sections of the game that have an impressive amount of action occurring simultaneously. It is the art direction of AR that impresses the most. Most of the character designs are range from great to excellent, and the environments have some great art direction as well, especially the Hong Long stage, which is perhaps the most impressive set piece PlatinumGames has made yet. Perhaps what is most impressive are AR's cutscenes, which feature some truly amazing direction and technical detail. With all that said, Platinum has done more mind-blowing stuff in the past.

Sound (9.5/10) - Amazing stuff here all around. The music is catchy and perfectly fitting of the gameplay and graphics that AR provides. The voice acting is just as impressive with a superb cast reading an equally superb script.

Story (8/10) - AR has a surprisingly great story. The story is one of justice and corruption told from two polar points of view. The cast of characters isn't large, but the smaller cast ends up being quite effective. In fact its the characters and their views of justice that truly carry the story. The script for the game is superbly written and the voice acting is very well done.

Replay Value (8/10) - AR offers many different modes of play for online multiplayer battles, and the online community is alive and thriving. However, like any fighting game community, the online players are finding ways to win by any means necessary, so expect to see many of the better characters utilizing similar tactics in many battles.

Satisfaction (7/10) - AR provides a fun time for a while, but I find the gameplay wears thin over a short period of time. The story mode provides the most satisfaction by providing some fun missions, boss battles, and a great story.


The score I should and want to give it - (7.5/10): Anarchy Reigns doesn't really impress as much as Vanquish or Bayonetta, but it's still a fun time in both single player and multiplayer. Like Madworld, AR's legacy will live on with its soundtrack, which is its most impressive feature; however, its impressive story is also worth noting.

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