The Last Blade is set in 1863 during the
Bakumatsu, the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate where a clash of
ideologies were fighting to decide Japan's new society. Long before humanity existed, in a
far off time of myth, death was an unknown, equally distant concept, but when
death first came to the world, the "Messenger from Afar" was born. With time, the Sealing Rite was held in order to
seal Death behind Hell's Gate. At that time, two worlds, one near and one far,
were born. Thus the history of life and death began.
Half a year has passed since Suzaku's madness,
and the underworld is still linked by a great portal. Kagami's great sin is
still heard as if ringing from the heavens. Our world has been called upon.
Legends of long ago told of the sealing of the boundary between the two worlds.
The Sealing Rite would be necessary to hold back the spirits of that far away
world. However, the Sealing Rite brings
together the power of the Four Gods and Sealing Maiden, for the first time
properly completing the ritual. To find the Sealing Maiden, Genbu began
searching in the center of the world, from which all things begin. At the same
time in the underworld, in the depths of darkness, many spirits conspired,
plotting to hinder the Sealing Rite. They had but one wish, to be reborn into
It's a battle of Power VS
Set one year after the first game, Last Blade 2 adds three new playable characters:
Hibiki, Kojiroh, and Setsuna. The game's presentation includes an all new
animated intro, all new superb-looking hand drawn
backgrounds, and reworked game balance.
Looking for a gorgeous,
traditional 2D weapon based fighter? Look no further...
Graphically, Last Blade 2 stands out among 2D fighters
of the time in the presentation
department. There's never a moment where the game doesn't look impressive.
Before a battle starts, each stage presents a short cinematic intro... setting
the "mood" of the stage. Once the action starts, the detailed character sprites and amazing hand-drawn backgrounds fill the screen
with color. Needless to say, Last Blade 2 is one of SNK's best-looking 2D
fighting games to date.
The orchestral style soundtrack naturally suits the game perfectly, but might
actually be a bit to "calm" for a fighting game. The sound
effects are fantastic, with distinguishing sounds such as: clanging of swords, steel cutting through
flesh, and powerful dialogue & battle cries from the characters themselves.
It all comes together exceptionally well, offering a unique presentation all
Out of the way brat.
is still based heavily on chain combos and setting up powerful
attacks. Like in the prequel, players can select a "Speed" or "Power" version of the
character that they select, which greatly chances how a character plays, right down to their
special moves. Speed Mode opens up the door
to more custom combos while Power Mode is a more traditional and straight forward
style of 2D fighting gameplay, and also lets you perform that classic "super
move." The counter/parry system is also back and more solid than before. The
roster isn't the most balanced one around and there are some cheap tricks/combos
for easy victories, but overall... LB2 offers a solid 2D gameplay engine.
NeoGeo, NeoGeo CD, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Windows
Last Blade 2 was a sleeper hit from SNK if there ever was one. The characters were
a bit more fleshed out this time around, but the gameplay, as technical as it
is, still leaves something to be desired. As a Samurai Shodown fan, I
can't help but directly compare this game to good ole Samurai Spirits... as a matter
of fact, it's hard not to think "Damn, I wish I could pick
Genjuro." and/or "Why can't I kill my opponent." On
that note, a Samurai Shodown VS Last Blade really should've happened.
Last Blade 2 is a beautiful game, but in my opinion, not quite as fun as
any of the four iterations of Samurai Shodown (or other 2D
fighters of the time period). I put quite a few matches into LB2, but as
far as 2D weapon-based combat goes, I strongly prefer the characters and the gameplay of Samurai Shodown series
over Last Blade's any day.
Regardless, Last Blade 2 is a respectable and very polished 2D weapon-based fighting game...
no doubt one of the all time best. Every 2D fighting game fan and fan of
"samurai" characters in general shouldn't miss it.