Review #1 by Jotaru
As most of you know already, Bandai and its software division, Banpresto has made numerous anime and live-action super heroes games for Playstation during the past few years. However, most of them are either average or poor quality; for example, Dragonball GT Final Bout is such a poorly designed game while Ultraman: Fighting Evolution is average enough which it is still acceptable. So how about Kamen/Masked Rider (Eagle Rider in the US) this time? Well, Bandai finds another developer, Kaze to make the game this time, and it turns out that the game is better than I expected. I didn't say it is a great game, but an improvement from its previous efforts.
Graphics: The developer used motion-capture for the character animation throughout the game, so the movie clips they showed are quite realistic. They did use it for the game too; however, they didn't use enough frames for each move, so some character animations actually look quite weak. Each character is built with sufficient amount of polygons, plus they all are texture-mapped very nicely, so they all look pretty good which I am quite impressed. The backgrounds are nicely drawn and detailed, definitely an improvement over the previous Bandai/Banpresto 3D fighting games. Like Tekken, it often adds a touch of lighting effects when punching and kicking, particularly as you do the special moves.
Music/Sound: If you have watched the show, you would love the music tracks because they derived from the show. For example, you can often hear the theme song (someone actually sings it) during the battles. Regarding to the sound effects, they're rather weak though. Especially when you kick the enemies, it simply sounds too bluntly and dull. There are tons of voice effects throughout the game, you can actually a long list of voice-actors in the credit screen.
Gameplay: Basically, this is just another typical 3D fighting game. You can execute punch, kick, combo, special move, side step and guard...etc. To be noticed that guard requires pressing a button instead of pulling backward. There are nine regular characters in the game, plus the final boss. Difficulty-wise, I found the enemies AI are somewhat weak, most opponents are relatively easy to beat in the normal setting of difficulty. One thing I enjoy this game because I have watched the series before, so as the characters executing their trademark moves, it really enhance the level of excitement. For example, it's fun to see Masked Rider 1 and 2 executing their famous Lightning Jump Kicks.
In terms of features, Masked Rider does a marvelous job with numerous modes to satisfy the fans. There are the typical one player mode, versus mode, group mode, practice mode, and duration mode. Also, there is an interesting story mode which you fight each round like a TV episode. For instance, it first starts off with an intro that you are captured by the evil organization. After you escaped the laboratory, you have to face several soldiers that chasing you. In this part, you fight like Final Fight and Double Dragon. Then you will fight the enemy boss as an one-on-one battle. After beating the boss, this episode finishes, and it will show you a preview for the next episode, and so on. Almost forgot to mention, the story mode lets you to play as either Masked Rider or one of the bad guys. Moreover, there is a card mode (image display mode) which you can earn to see more Masked Rider images by winning battles.
Masked Rider is certainly another typical 3D fighter; however, the developer has managed to pack some other interesting elements into the game, such as the variety of modes and a lot of voice samples. Overall, if you're a die-hard fan of this series, you will enjoy this game a lot more because it simply reminds you all the fond memory from the past. On the other hand, if you're not a fan of Masked Rider, this game is still worth to rent.