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Oct. 23, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


Kabuki Warriors

Light Weight




There is a reason we refer to bad actors as "hacks" nowadays. Find out why with Crave's upcoming game.

At first glance, Crave's Kabuki Warriors may remind some players of the sleeper PSX hit Bushido Blade. Bushido Blade was a unique 3D fighting game that stood out among the others of the genre at the time. Bushido Blade didn't have a health meter and often, 1 critical blow could end a fight quickly.

But if you were to judge Kabuki Warriors on first impressions you would be wrong. The developer Lightweight has decided to forgo some of the more precision-based gameplay to focus on the arcade style gameplay. The key to victory in this game is to mash as many buttons as possible and to win the crowds favor to enable you to use your special moves.

The premise behind this game is an interesting one for your typical 3D fighter. Lightweight decided to base the game on the Kabuki form of Japanese theater, where the actors perform in elaborate and colorful costumes. The player will take the role of one of the various armed performers in ancient Japan. During the course of your travels you will unlock (and recruit) new members to join your entourage.

Your troupe starts out in Edo, with the goal of traveling all the to Kyoto, and become the most famous troupe in all of Japan. To fund your travels you must impress the audience, because if you don't, nobody is going to pay to see your performances. During each battle (or performance), the audience will shower you with money by impressing them with your special moves. You will have an assortment of 24 characters, each with different weapons and unique attacks like fireballs, lightning, tornadoes and fire storms.

The fighting system used is easy to pick up. Your fighter can block and slash and you can use your super move once your move meter is filled. Combos are possible by pressing the slash button. A meter at the bottom of the screen, which shows the audience's favor, measures your popularity. By pummeling your opponents and striking dramatic poses you will be able to gain the crowd's favor. Once you have won the crowd's approval, you will be able to execute a super move.

Visually, Kabuki Warriors is shaping up to be a mixed bag. Some characters are very well done with their elaborate outfits while others show very little. These may be indications of status or rank within the Kabuki Samurai community.

Kabuki Warriors will feature numerous game modes including: Adventure, Time Attack, Tournament, and Versus. While the game may not be as high profile as other fighting games such as Dead or Alive 3, this title may be different enough to give some gamers something to look into when the game is released along with the Xbox console this November.

Michael Regan
Known around the office as "dude-san".

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