Repost: Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble Review

As a big fan of the Japanese movie Crows Zero and its sequel Crows Zero 2, I was really interested in Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble and the portrayal of Japanese High School thugs in this game. Atlus has been releasing many interesting games lately, many of which might have not gotten a chance to see past the shores of Japan and Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is one of those games that deserves a chance for wider appreciation.

The game takes place over seven days in Kyoto on a high school trip. Over these seven days, the goal is to defeat all the other school’s Banchos and become the best fighter in Japan. An interesting side note is that while the game focuses on the journey to become the best fighter, it also includes a secondary relationship gameplay function in the game.

Defeated Banchos become allies that will assist during the game, though some of the more embarassed Banchos will not respond to the phone calls for help. Along with the Banchos, there is a love triangle that is introduced in the game that can be ventured on, but it does take time away from beating the other schools.

While Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is told through dialogue, there are subtle Japanese mannerisms in small vocals cues in all the characters, something I recognized from all the movies I’ve watched. Those small hints cemented the setting of the game and even the dialogue, translated in English, still carried some of the accents of different cities.

Visually, Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is a solid title. In cutscenes, the characters are well developed while during exploring or fighting in the game, many of the sub-characters are copy-pasted except for the Banchos and specific secondary characters important to the story.

Defeating these lackeys gains Yen, food items, and itineraries. The itinerary is important because it tells where specific Banchos from school will be. As the game takes place over seven days, Banchos will only be available for beatdown during specific hours on specific days.

One nice little addition is the cutscene camera capture. During any of the cutscenes, screen captures can be saved and are stored in the picture folder of the PSP.

Through my first playthough, I only completed 17% of the game and conquered around thirty of the surrounding schools. Once the game has that first completion, a Night Out mode opens where it is possible to venture out into the night and fight to gain additional money and experience.

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble also features an impressive set of fighting moves, opened through leveling and physical customization through clothes and hair. There are some stereotypical hairstyles and clothes, but the other options create a nice comical effect when fighting a group of people in boxing gear.

I thought that Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble would be a game where most of it could be completed in one go, but under the surface of the pursuit of domination lies a time sensitive open world that deserves to be experienced a lot of times. The ability to begin the game again with all the previously earned gear, itineraries, and moves makes consecutive plays more fun and I will dominate every school. But that might take some time since I spend a lot of money on new hair.

Review Copy Provided By Publisher