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Brave Fencer Musashi: An Epic Review of the Sword-Swinging Classic!

 

Gear up for a roller coaster of thrills, daring escapades, and a cascade of chuckles with Square’s Brave Fencer Musashi. This vivid 3-D action RPG carved out its own niche despite initial views of it being Square’s retort to Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

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Our tale unfurls in the depths of Allucaneet Castle, where Princess Fillet and her council are cornered by a crisis. Facing the ambitious Thirstquencher Empire’s imminent assault, intent on expanding its realm, Princess Fillet has no other recourse but to resort to the ancient “Hero Summon” spell, an act of desperation preserved for dire times. In the moment of need, she invokes the spell, summoning the unexpected “hero” – a brash, young samurai named Musashi, who, despite a seemingly cavalier demeanor and youthful voice, becomes the unlikely champion of Allucaneet tasked with reclaiming the fabled Lumina sword.

The saga escalates with Musashi’s return to the castle, now armed dual-style, to discover that Princess Fillet has been abducted by Rootrick, a Thirstquencher Lieutenant, who leads an assault with a colossal steel automaton. Once Musashi vanquishes this mechanical menace, the real journey commences: to rescue Princess Fillet, restore Lumina’s might, and thwart the Empire’s conquest.

 

Rootrick Art Brave Fencer Musashi Art Gallery

 

As players guide Musashi, they’ll navigate a series of challenges to safeguard the kingdom and the adjacent Grillin’ Village, seeking out the five mystical scrolls of Lumina. Despite the linear progression, the adventure offers pockets of free exploration and secret discoveries. With each task unfolds new allies, territories, and powers, piecing together into a grand narrative mosaic.

Despite its simplicity, Brave Fencer Musashi’s story delights with its whimsical tone. Intentionally humorous, it sprinkles gags throughout—from the quirky names of Allucaneet’s denizens, like Princess Fillet and Grillin’ Village, to the item descriptions awash with jest.

The game’s humor also playfully pokes fun at the cast, such as the pint-sized Musashi daring to confront villains of towering stature.

Voice acting further enlivens Brave Fencer Musashi, with spoken cinematic sequences and character sound bites adding an extra dimension to the comedy.

 

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Complementing the tale is robust Action RPG gameplay, where Musashi embarks on explorations, monster encounters, and item hunts. Despite a limited foe roster, the gameplay challenges satisfy, with bosses demanding tactical strikes over mere brute force.

Brave Fencer Musashi infuses variety through inventive sub-games, calling for quick reflexes, akin to dynamics from Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong Country.

 

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The game also weaves in day-night cycles and a fatigue system, affecting Musashi’s performance—requiring rest or revitalizing mints to prevent a weakened state or an untimely slumber amidst combat zones.Musashi begins his adventure with a modest array of abilities and two swords, but as the journey unfolds, he unlocks an array of sophisticated techniques and multi-strike combos. Early into the game, his combat repertoire is limited, yet through progress, he discovers a host of new maneuvers and strikes. His combat style includes launching adversaries skyward before skewering them on his Lumina blade, enveloping foes in flames or bubbles, and executing a devastating spinning attack. As Musashi advances further, he acquires skills that enable him to double jump and scale vertical surfaces. A pivotal skill in Musashi’s arsenal is the power to absorb adversaries using his Fusion sword, granting him access to a unique ability of the consumed enemy, albeit limited to one at any given moment. These newly adopted skills are often essential for overcoming obstacles, demolishing barriers, repelling attackers, or striking targets from afar, though they deplete his reserve of Bincho Points upon each use.

 

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Venturing through Brave Fencer Musashi, players will delve into an array of environments rich with Minkus, Bincho Fields, and hidden Treasures. Minkus, resembling diminutive ovine creatures, yield Longevity Berries which augment Musashi’s maximum health by 25 points when captured. Liberating the Allucaneet Kingdom’s denizens from Bincho Fields with the power of Musashi’s Lumina increases his Bincho Point capacity and potentially bestows new items and abilities. Scattered treasures range from healing provisions to currency, with some granting Musashi additional capabilities.

Combat and exploration lead to Musashi’s evolution in power, along with persistent movement. Unlike the conventional singular experience level, Musashi elevates across five distinct facets. Offensive Strength is signified by his Body level, increasing through vanquished foes. His Mind level reflects Defense, bolstered by continuous movement. The prowess of Musashi’s swords, Fusion and Lumina, is denoted by their respective levels, which ascend with usage. The overarching progression of Musashi is averaged across these various dimensions.

Navigating control within the game can initially pose challenges, with some attacks demanding finesse. Movement is executed with precision, enhanced by the option for analog input. Mastery of controls is achievable with practice, despite Musashi’s occasional bouts of clumsiness.

The game supports Dual Shock compatibility, with a vibration feature that, although less intense than other compatible titles, enhances the gaming experience.

 

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Set in a vibrant, meticulously-crafted 3D universe, Brave Fencer Musashi presents characters as polygonal formations against texture-mapped polygon backdrops. The disproportionate scale between the petite protagonist and his formidable adversaries amplifies the sense of danger, despite a general lack of facial textures that’s partially offset by character portraits in dialogue boxes. Musashi himself is notably less angular compared to other characters.

Most locations are observed from a fixed perspective, yet the vista of Grillin’ Village offers rotational views. The architecture, from village dwellings to the regal Allucaneet palace, authentically captures the essence of a medieval realm. Interiors, ranging from icy fortresses and taverns to tombs and Musashi’s own quarters, are aptly decorated. Natural settings feature realistic depictions of flora and hydrological features, completed by adeptly rendered lighting effects, illustrating Square’s commitment to atmospheric presentation in both dungeon candlelight and day-to-night transitions.

Complementing visuals, the game boasts compelling audio with an enjoyable soundtrack that accompanies the towns, foreboding forests, and castle interiors, characterized by lively rhythms. The Topo’s dance theme emerges as a personal highlight with its buoyant qualities. Sound effects are praiseworthy, with notably genuine renditions of clashing metals and explosions. Voice acting, while not as critically acclaimed as certain prestigious dubbing performances, conveys character sentiments and personalities with a flair that contributes humor to the gaming experience.For an exhilarating spin on Action RPGs with a contemporary touch, Brave Fencer Musashi is an absolute must-have. And hey, if giggles were part of your experience with Lunar or Thousand Arms, prepare for this gem to charm your sense of humor as well!

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