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Black & White Bushido Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Black & White Bushido has a fun concept that only works when you're playing against real people. As a solo game, there's very little to enjoy about the far too easy experience. What this game needs is a story mode or something to keep people engaged when they can't find players to fight online. Black & White Bushido is a fantastic new multiplayer game full of cool ideas and fast-paced gameplay. Sadly, solo players need not apply. Rating: 64%
Black & White Bushido
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Black & White Bushido Black & White Bushido Black & White Bushido Black & White Bushido
  • Review Score:

  • B-
When I think about my favorite fights in movie history, I'm constantly reminded of some the great samurai battles. Sanjuro vs. the gun-wielding Unosuke gang, Zatoichi vs. Akatsuka, and even Ogami Itto vs. the Masters of Death. These are the epic fights that I could watch on an endless loop, forever in awe of how viscerally exciting they are. While Black & White Bushido may not be as satisfying as Ryunosuke going up against the samurai clan, it does offer an action-packed melee that's hard to resist.

This is a multiplayer-focused fighting game that sees players using their bushido skills to zip around the 2D levels killing everything in sight. The gimmick here is that you can either be on the light or dark side, which ends up playing into how you hide in these single-screen stages. If you are part of the dark side, you will be able to hide in the shadowy areas and wait for the perfect time to strike. The goal is to take down as many samurais as possible using the backgrounds and stealth attacks to get the job done.


As gameplay mechanics go, Black & White Bushido has a cool one. The characters will become completely invisible as they stand still in the light and dark areas. You can't just run around and expect to live, because there's always somebody waiting for the other players to make a dumb mistake. What makes these battles even more tense is that everything is a one-hit kill, so it's important to play both strategically and defensively. But don't think you can just hide in one spot forever, because the light and dark areas are always changing and you never know when somebody will spot you.

To help keep things fresh, Black & White Bushido comes with a few different levels and modes. I think most people will end up spending most of their time with the free-for-all deathmatch, but there's also a capture the flag mode that will force you to change the way you play the game. On top of that, there's a challenge mode that will want you to kill enemies in specific ways. None of this is especially ground-breaking, but they do shake things up enough to keep players engaged.

When I say players, I'm really talking about a group of friends huddled around a TV. Black & White Bushido is an exciting multiplayer experience that's hard to top. With four people in the same room, the need for precision and stealth comes into play in a big way. This is how the game is meant to be played, and I can see this being the go-to for groups of friends who are sick of Smash Bros. It's quick and violent, offering a level of competition you rarely see in this type of multiplayer game.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for solo players. For one thing, I had a miserable time trying to find online matches. I spent more than a week hoping to challenge people online and never once had the opportunity. I'm sure this mode is great if you have friends that own the game, but finding random matches is a nightmare.

Black & White Bushido (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The good news is that Black & White Bushido allows you to play with bots, but that's hardly a good substitute for going head-to-head with real people. To put it bluntly, the computer opponents are terrible. They rarely hide and are ridiculously easy to kill. I would routinely get 40 kills before they could even kill me three or four times. It was almost embarrassing. The problem isn't my superior gaming abilities, but rather that the difficulty is set too low and there's no way to up the challenge. I quickly got bored of going up against these weak computer players and lost interest.

This is especially frustrating because I like almost everything else about this game. I like the look, the speedy gameplay, the light and dark gimmick, the music, and even the character designs. Sure, it could use some more modes and maybe a better set of levels, but that's hardly the problem with Black & White Bushido. I would be able to forgive some of these shortcomings if the multiplayer bots were more challenging and the online mode was more active. For as much fun as I had playing with my local friends, I'm not sure how often I'll be able to get four people into the idea of sword fighting.

Black & White Bushido has a fun concept that only works when you're playing against real people. As a solo game, there's very little to enjoy about the far too easy experience. What this game needs is a story mode or something to keep people engaged when they can't find players to fight online. Black & White Bushido is a fantastic new multiplayer game full of cool ideas and fast-paced gameplay. Sadly, solo players need not apply.
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