Retro Review - The Last Blade
Before I start with the review, I have to admit that I've improved a lot in fighting games, I still don't like them completely, but at least I've known how to improve in them, although I'm still pretty bad in general. But today I'm going to talk about a fighting game that is under the seal of the excellent company SNK, and for those who already know how this company works, they know that in terms of graphic quality and artistic style it is a visual wonder. This was one of the reasons why this game caught my attention.
My first impression with this video game regarding the graphic aspect was gratifying, I think it's one of the 2D fighting games with the best style and graphic level, and it's that easily with its drawn and animated backgrounds we could place them as wallpapers in our computer. Both this The Last Blade and its sequel, have a wonderful scenario design with a lot of impressive details and with a quite defined drawing style. One of the best aspects with respect to the scenarios is that these, unlike other scenarios of fighting games, have animations, so when we are in a scenario where there is water, for example, this will have their respective animation, or also, there will be scenarios where in the background there are people, and these will also have their respective animation, this gives a level of charisma and also gives much life to each of the scenarios of this wonderful game.
And since we're talking about animations, it's correct to talk about the character's animations, since they present a set of quite varied and very fluid movements, which gives it a certain level of naturalness (taking into account that we're dealing with a not so realistic fighting game), but in this way, it makes each fight very showy and visually dynamic. Besides this, The Last Blade has really good character designs, each playable character presents a quite unique and very original design, besides that each of these characters has its own well defined personality and this can be noticed with its respective animations and interactions.
Music is something very important in a fighting video game, since it also serves as an accompaniment in each fight and depending on the melody that is playing at some point, can help motivate us to give everything against our enemy, and also serves to represent the characters. Normally in fighting games each character has their own main theme that represents them, and the style of music of each character is very much according to their personality and origin, and I like these details very much in a video game or any other product, whether it's a movie or a series. Regarding the sound aspect of The Last Soul, it's quite optimal, they fulfill their main purpose and most of them are very oriental melodies, which are quite nice and according to the style and time in which the events of this videogame happen. The sound effects are also very good, they are nothing spectacular, but they are fair and necessary, on the other hand the voices of the characters are very well worked and as I mentioned before regarding that the animations serve to define the personality of each character, with the addition of the voices it is the perfect combination to define each one of the personalities of these fighters.
The Last Blade is a full-blown fighting game, with all the classic features of the games of this genre, and that in turn, the characters are able to use weapons, you could say that is like Samurai Shodown, but with a difficulty curve with a little lower, as The Last Blade is a little easier than other fighting games, it will not take us long to learn to use the characters, or at least those that suit our demands and skills.
The Last Blade has more than 10 playable characters, each with very different skills and status, so we can choose our character, as mentioned above, according to our skills. One aspect that sometimes is difficult with respect to the games of the fighting genre is that the balance between the characters is not the right one, but in this title the characters present with great balance between them and in this set of characters. There will not be the typical character that is far above all in terms of skills and powers.
Although it's a quite conventional fighting game, this title has an aspect that I found quite curious, because after choosing the character we're going to fight with, the game gives us a choice between two fighting options, one of them is: Power Mode, this option is based on, as its name says, on the strength, our character will be able to attack his enemies with more force, but instead he won't be able to use combos followed by attacks, among other aspects, and then we have the : Speed Mode, the opposite of the other mode, in this our attacks will cause less damage, but our character will be able to use attack combos, but also, if the enemy is in a defense state and we attack him with a normal attack he won't cause any damage. Depending on the option we choose, this will depend a lot on the character we choose and how is our learning and skill level.
As I've said many times, fighting games have never been my favorite genre and are a type of game that I've never been relatively good at (although I've improved a little bit), however, what caught my attention in this title is its wonderful graphic style and artistic flair, and after playing it, I was surprisingly entertained by it. Highly recommended for those people, who like me, are new to fighting games.