Saturday 29th November 2014,
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Throwback Thursday #7: Brave Fencer Musashi

InfaPlat 09/22/2011 Reviews
Another Thursday is upon is, and, while it’s not the end of the week quite yet, it is time for another installment of Throwback Thursday, where we bring you the best and the worst of yesteryear. This week, I’ll climb out of my I.T. dungeon to tell you about a little game that I enjoyed growing up. But first! Backstory:
When I was around nine or so, my brother and I were gifted a PlayStation for Christmas, and I was allowed to pick out a game. I went with one that looked like it had a character from the TV shows I was watching (Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z) , and went with Final Fantasy VII. Our first experience with RPGs was my brother, a few kids from the block, and I trudging through the worlds trying to wrap our ten, nine, and seven year old minds around the plot. So, when a demo of Final Fantasy VIII was included with (then) Squaresoft’s Brave Fencer Mushashi in 1998, we bought the game simply to get at a chance to play our second Final Fantasy game.  As we soon learned though, Brave Fencer Musashi could be just as fun, and was a little easier for us to understand at the time. The story was silly but straight forward, the game was easy to pick up but still challenging enough to be worth our time, and, if the wear on the disc is any indication, the experience was well worth more than one play through.

Plot & Characters: 7.5/10

Brave Fencer Musashi is a refreshingly simple game to pick up and understand, as far as the story goes. You are the young reincarnation of the brave warrior Musashi, who has been summoned to the kingdom of Allucaneet by the princess Fillet. Initially put off by your small size, Fillet sends you on a quest to retrieve the blades of Luminescence and the five scrolls of power, and use those to save her kingdom from the Thirstquencher Armies. Hilarity ensues.

No really, that’s it. There are side quests that require you to free all of the missing members of the Allucaneet court, but, beyond that, you are simply tasked with saving the Kingdom.

Characters are a cute affair, with the main character, and his rival Kojiro, taken from the Japanese legends. The rest, both good and bad, are named after food, or drinks, and each have their own ‘quirks’. Characters are mostly two dimensional (Fillet is the spoiled princess, Kojiro is The Rival) but this leaves room for fun gameplay, and many laughs at the sometimes anime-esque antics of the story.

Don’t be fooled by it’s light hearted premise though, Musashi could be outright frightening at time, especially for younger children. The game is broken into chapters, and Chapter three began to take a turn for the dark. Lets just say that its a race against the clock, and it’s more than your life at stake if you fail.

Gameplay 8/10

As an action RPG, Brave Fencer Musashi is focused heavily on defeating one’s enemies in combat. To do this, Musashi utilizes two swords; Lumina and Fusion, each with their own unique and fun to use powers. Fusion has the power to drain enemy attacks, so they can be utilized as your own. Lumina, along with the five scrolls of earth, water, fire, wind, and sky, also grant you new elemental based abilities.

Parts of the game’s mechanics revolve around the passage of time through night and day, and the days of the week. You’ll find yourself solving more than a few puzzles that can only be done at certain times, or during certain days. Be careful though! If you don’t allow Mushashi time to rest, his actions become sluggish and lazy!

In addition to the main game, side and mini quests also make up a huge portion of the game’s appeal. My favorite portion came later in the game, where Musashi must get his DDR on to defeat one particularly annoying enemy. Dance or Die!

Musashi Shops!Musashi is also a game for the completionist in us all. Beating the main story of the game is only half the fun. Mushashi can then go back to free all of the members of court to gain additional techniques, or even collect action figures of friends and foes alike in the town’s Toy Store.

Music: 6/10

Brave Fencer Musashi’s score was composed by Tsuyoshi Sekito, in his first composition for Square and most closely resembles the background music that can be heard in many current free to play MMORPGs (a close comparison could be made between the music for this game and that of Ragnarok Online).

While mostly forgettable, the music was pleasant enough to listen to, and never so annoying or repetitive that I wished to mute the television (though a lot of the voice acting got right up to that point.) The background music for each area often changed between night and day, and the songs for Allucaneet villiage were particularly peaceful and calm.

My favorite song, by far, comes from the aforementioned DDR segment, though it was hard to enjoy while jumping around for my very life! It was repetitive, but memorable; in fact, I find myself humming it right now!

Graphics: 7/10

Graphics were as to be expected for an RPG of the PS1 era. Though lacking the cut scenes of Final Fantasy VII, I would rate the graphics themselves on the same level as the game play, though with a far more cartoonish, and less gritty feel. The areas were well designed, and pretty enough to look at, though, once again, not particularly ground

Musashi poses!breaking, or fantastic. The enemy design was interesting, but only on some of the larger enemies, like the Steam Knight of chapter one. Each character had their own drawn avatar that showed up in their speech bubbles, and these were done particularly well. Though the game’s graphics were not perfect, they were not hideous, at least, for their time.

Overall:  7/10

Nostalgia is responsible for much of my love for this game. Looking back, it was a cute and simple way to pass the time, with above average game play, and interesting concepts and side quests. Otherwise, Brave Fencer Musashi is nothing special to look at, or listen to. Still, I think that this is a game that everyone should play at least once, if only to see what besides the beloved Final Fantasy series SquareSoft produced before Kingdom Hearts dominated their action RPG playing field.

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About The Author

As an avid writer, gamer, and dungeon master, it would be hard to classify Jessica Lynn as anything but a geek. Her favorite past times involve raining unholy fire upon her enemies, devising the next great way to kill her party, and figuring out just how far she can push a PC before it explodes. When not taking out her nerd rage on fantasy characters or inanimate objects, she can be found toiling away in the dungeon known as the IT department. If you're wondering; InfaPlat is short for Infamous Platypus.

  1. James Victor Von Hal 09/22/2011 at 9:16 pm

    I absolutely love this game and I have the soundtrack on CD.

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