Banchosity (n.) - The Art of Badassitude

User Rating: 7.5 | Kenka Banchou 3: Zenkoku Seiha PSP
Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is a 2009 brawler from Atlus with light RPG elements and buttloads of attitude. The premise is straightforward: schools from every prefecture in Japan are gathering in Kyouto (ne Kyoto) for their Senior Trips. Kyouto is rich with history and famous sites but that's not the real reason for the trip. Every prefecture's Bancho (Deliquent/School Champion/King of Fighting) takes the trip as an opportunity to beat the living sh*t out of each other to try and claim the title of Baddest Man in Japan!

There's a lot ot learn about being a Man in Kenka Bancho. Your Manliness is absolutely the most important quality you have! Sissified acts like beating up innocent people, vandalizing stuff, or caring... about anything... makes you a Shabazo; and you don't want that! (Shabazo means weakling but a better present-day english translation probably rhymes with Wussy!) But being a Bancho Badass is more than just beating up Shabazo punks, you have to know how to beat them up. You can't just walk up and punch someone in the face, that would be Shabai (wussified), no you must first cut your Menchi! Your Menchi is a malicious stare, full of all your Banchosity, that will cow Shabazo into submission and let other Bancho know you're ready to Layeth the Smacketh Down!

Next up is Tanka, or Smash Talk. No! I don't mean smack talk! Smack talk is for grandmothers and babies!! Bancho use Smash Talk because if you form the correct phrase you SMASH your opponent's face in with a first shot! Your phrase might be something like "Don't Mess With Me" or "It'll Rain Your Blood!" The phrase is broken into three parts and you have a very short amount of time to form the correct phrase. Mess it up and say something like "It'll Rain Magical Unicorns!" and prepare to get your face caved in! There are also secret Smash Talk that you have to form on the fly without any knowledge of what the phrase is beforehand... only a true Bancho Badass can perform these.

The truth of it is this brawler feels a little clunky and old but where it shines is in its humor and character. In between roaming the streets looking for Shabazo to intimidate and other Banchos to beat, you actually have a c(l)ass itinerary to either follow or ignore. I recommend following it because interesting events always seem to occur! There are 47 Banchos in total to beat and your trip only lasts 7 days so you need to budget your time wisely! If that seems overwhelming then consider this: every time you beat a Bancho he becomes your Peon for the week. That means he's at your beck and call and you can force him to follow you around and help you kick ass. It also means that if you beat a Souban (A Bancho with Peons) you automatically gain HIS Peons! If that still can't help you get the job done in 7 days then your Shabazo butt can restart the game in a New Game + mode where you keep all your conquered prefectures... psssh! Dabo!!

Despite its age Kenka Bancho has charm in spades. From ridiculous costumes to gynormous pompadours you're free to customize your Bancho to your heart's desire. There's also a smorgasboard of moves to learn and try as well as a couple of love interests to attempt to follow... just don't be Shabai about it! What KB lacks in technical prowess (Yakuza is forever a better brawler) it makes up for in sheer Badassitude! So if you like quirky Japanese games and have a PSP or Vita and 15 bucks to spare; pick up Kenka Bancho. I've actually wanted this one for years but just now am I Shibui enough to play it!

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble - 7.5