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The Bouncer

Dream Factory
  • 03/06/01
  • 12/23/00
  • 06/22/01
B- 52 total ratings
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Something Short of Playable

A The Bouncer review Author: Andrew Farinella Published: August 15, 2004
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There are times when a gaming company will branch out, explore new territory, and make giant leaps in gaming innovation. The Bouncer is not that game, however. While I commend Square Enix on the effort, The Bouncer is probably one of the worst games ever realized by the company.
Run, the rent-a-cops are after you!

There is very little to say about the game that is positive, so let's begin there. As an early PS2 game, The Bouncer helped to showcase some of the smooth graphics of the PS2 engine and hardware. With detailed environments and crisp character animation, this game seems to be amazing at first glance. Though some of the levels seem rather sparse, it is not a huge deal since the entirety of the game is spent jumping around and hitting the enemy. Hand in hand with the art is the special effects. The lighting, water effects, and general atmosphere created by all the little effects create a rich arena for mayhem and beauty. This is where the joy stops. If you play this game as most people will, you begin with Story Mode. The game then begins the opening scene. As the characters begin to talk, you catch your first real glimpse of the vocal work for the game. Though not bad, the voice acting is nothing to be impressed by either. Many times it was stale and emotionless in the delivery, leaving much to be desired. Even that, however, is not near enough to ruin a game.
Spikey hair...of death!

After the cut scene, you are thrown into your first battle. Using a combination of button mashing techniques and wildly jerking on the joystick, the fight ends. But not before you realize that only a kill will win your character of choice any points. Also, without these much needed points, it is near impossible to advance through the game. So while you are able to play the game with the aide of your two computer companions, letting them get the kill essentially ruins your leveling up and progression through the game, making them all that more worthless. Once you have mastered the art of stealing the kills from your comrades, your points will increase, and you can begin purchasing upgrades which include new attacks, health upgrades, defense upgrades, and power upgrades. But you must choose wisely, because if take the wrong path and upgrade incorrectly, you will make the game that much harder for you, and not in the fun, challenging sense.
But don't fret, my child. Your pain will not last long, since it will take you about two hours to beat the game. Yes, you read correctly. Two hours. Story mode in the Bouncer is very short, in hopes that you play through it multiple times to power up all your characters, one at a time. Of course, this could take you about eight or nine rotations to get all your characters maxed out. Not to mention that once your character is near perfect, story mode will take a measly 30 minutes. Not a whole lot of fun. But there is a pay off. Like any drawn out, pointless feature, there is always a reason, and ours happens to pertain to the other two modes, Versus and Survival.
Gotcha blondie!

Survival mode is definitely the bastard child of the two. The entire goal of Survival Mode is fairly obvious, see how long you can survive as the game sends wave after wave of enemies at you. In fact, Survival Mode is simply a longer version of Story Mode without all the pesky talking and emotion. Just straight up fighting.
Going in line with the blatantly obvious mode names, Versus is just that. You and up to three other compadres can duke it out in a brawl with your characters. Fun for the whole gang for about 20 minutes, then you move on to a real fighting game.
Look at my beautiful muscles.

Musically, The Bouncer is very hit or miss. Featuring a heavy soundtrack, the music does fit well with the game. Composed by Noriko Matsueda and Takahito Eguchi, the soundtrack one of the better aspects of the game.
Though the game holds its own with graphics and music, nothing short of divine intervention can save this game. Sporting one of the worst systems ever conceived for an action game, it falls short of playable. Instead of playing this game, I would recommend cutting a football field's grass with a pair of scissors. It will last longer and will be more enjoyable.
Editor's Grade
dotted line "Possibly the worst game ever off the Square Enix press, The Bouncer performs better as a coaster than a video game."
B- dotted line Average Reader Score (Based on 52 ratings) | Rate it Now
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Member since June 11, 2003
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