The Last Blade 2 is an arcade classic by SNK that was released in 1998 for the Neo Geo. The PS Vita version is a good port that allows you to enjoy the arcade classic
The Last Blade 2 is a punishing, strategic, and rewarding fighter. There are two single player modes. The first mode is the Story Mode. The basis of the Story mode is that you need to fight through a gauntlet of enemies in order to close a portal from the underworld. Doing this will protect earth from the underworld spirits. Going through the story mode you learn bits of information about the characters and the overall plot. But there isn’t a huge amount of content to keep you enthralled with what is going on.
The second mode is the time attack mode. In this mode, you have 90 seconds to beat as many characters as possible. Each enemy starts off with half of the regular amount of health that they would usually have. This mode is fun and really forces you to learn combos and special moves in order to finish off enemies faster.
Apart from the two single-player modes, there is also online multiplayer. When going online there weren’t very many matches available and I wasn’t able to find anything more than sporadic matches here and there. Most of the time I would connect to a match I would be paired against an opponent in Japan and the connection wouldn’t be great. I would keep this in mind if you are looking for a fighting game to have lots of online matches in.
The Gameplay of The Last Blade 2 is hard to master but extremely gratifying when you finally pull off that combo successfully that you have been practicing. You have 16 characters to select from. When choosing a character you get to select between speed and power as their play style. The difference is large between the two so you need to really pick the one that fits your style of gameplay.
If you are a person who prefers chaining together long combos and moving around the stage a lot then you will want to go with the speed play style. Each attack with the speed fighting style will deliver less punishment to your opponent’s health, but you will also be much harder to hit.
If you enjoy playing very strategically and using counter attacks to take down your opponent, then you will want to go with the power play style. You are much less agile but each blow you deliver is much more devastating to your opponent’s health.
Each character has desperation moves that can only be activated if you have low health. Being able to pull off desperation moves successfully really can have match-altering effects. Just when you think you are down and out, these moves will give you a second chance to win the fight. It really adds an extra element of drama to each fight.
Aesthetically The Last Blade 2 looks great for a game that was originally released in 1998. The stages all have vibrant colours, and an interesting look and feel. The fighting animations are very well done, and really give you a fluid fighting experience. The music in the game fits right along side the anime art style and sound effects.
Overall The Last Blade 2 is a good fighting game if you are looking for a challenging fighter. Always having to adapt your play style to your opponent made playing The Last Blade 2 intense and enjoyable. The biggest downfall of The Last Blade 2 is the lack of community surrounding the game. Once you finish the story mode and are tired of time attack you won’t have much more to do. If you loved the original release of this game you will probably really enjoy this PS Vita port. If you are looking for a new fighter with a ton of game modes and a lot of different things to do this may not be the fighter for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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