A game good for fans, and overall good for gamers
With the story out of the way, I can now talk about the gameplay. This game is a hybrid of a platformer and a fighting game with some different elements. Usually the impression in a fighting game is to beat the tar out of another player until his or her health is down to zero. Rave Master’s method though is something new to me, since the method is to beat the opponent enough so that your character can perform his or her special finishing move. There are several different types of gameplay, the Story mode, the Vs. mode (Which every fighting game would obviously have), and a Ranking mode. You can follow the story of a character in Story mode, have fun with your friends in Vs. mode, or try the Ranking mode. The Ranking mode is a style of fighting where you can form a team of characters to battle to the top of the ranks and be awarded with the character Lucia and Expert difficulty. For the controls, some might have trouble getting used to them without using the manual (I should know). As I said before, in order to beat your opponent, you need to perform a special move. But to do this, you don’t use a combination of buttons, but you use the Start button to activate it. Usually the first thing that comes to mind on the Start button is that it pauses the game, but that is now given to the Select button. When you get to the Finishing Move screen though, this is when the Button Mashing Fest begins. You have to press every button in unison in hopes that you can tap faster than your opponent(s) and thus beat them into oblivion. Referring again to the heavy use of buttons, you sometimes also end up in a struggle with your opponent to see who can overpower one another. To overpower your opponent, you must tap in the directional arrows pattern fast enough to determine if the outcome is in your favor or not.
Now let me mention the graphics. A lot of the characters I remember from my childhood, though they seem a bit changed. For one thing, I remember Haru having a t-shirt under his jacket but I suppose this is only a minor change. The characters themselves though, just barely miss the mark of fully capturing the essence of their appearance. They’re accurate enough in their portraits, but their fighting sprites look similar to a Chibi Fight Fest. Oh well, I guess this is the most you can get out of a Gameboy Advance game.
The sound is also probably what would best describe the Gameboy Advance’s capabilities. The music isn’t terrible or anything, but most of it sounds really unfamiliar. One would likely expect music from the anime, although the most I remember from the anime was the rave song in the credits (Only the beat it went to). The sound is at the same mark, there is voice acting when characters do attacks but they don’t sound pretty muffled and can only be heard when the volume is at a certain height. Aside from that the sound in this game is decent at best, but don’t expect to be humming to the tunes in this game.
So you might be asking, is this game for me? Well, it might just be if you give it a chance. Fans of the anime or manga will obviously want this game if they haven’t got it already and fighting fans looking for a time-killer may also find some fun in this. I managed to find this game for only $9.99 at Bestbuy, so even if you end up hating the game you won’t be losing much.