The Last Blade 2
Last Updated: 1/9/2011 Developer(s): SNK Publisher(s): SNK Platform(s): Neo Geo, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Windows Release Date(s): November 25th, 1998 (Arcade)
January 12th, 2006 (PS2)
Characters: Kaede, Moriya, Yuki, Juzoh, Akari, Amano, Shigen, Zantetsu, Mukuro, Washizuka, Rekka, Genbu, Kojiroh, Kagami, Hibiki, Setsuna, Kouryu, Musashi (console exclusive)
Related Games: The Last Blade, The Last Blade: Beyond The Destiny, Samurai Shodown 4, Samurai Shodown, Soul Blade, Soul Calibur, Bushido Blade 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact, King of Fighters '98, Guilty Gear, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Real Bout 2
Gameplay Engine 8.5 / 10 Story / Theme 8.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 9 / 10 Animation 9 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 8.5 / 10 Innovation 7 / 10 Art Direction 9 / 10 Customization 8 / 10 Options / Extras 7.5 / 10 Intro / Presentation 8.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 7.5 / 10 Characters 8 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.6 / 10
Review based on Arcade version Final Words:
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. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: 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 our world.
It's a battle of Power VS Speed.
REVIEW: 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 around.
Out of the way brat.
The gameplay 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.