Black & White Bushido Review

Posted May 30, 2017 by Josh Brant in Video Games

Developer: Good Catch

Publisher: Green Man Loaded

Release Date: May 17, 2017

Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC (no online component)

Many of us enjoy playing video games with friends, whether that be local co-op or in versus mode. As the times have changed, the desire for couch co-op has transitioned to a demand to feature an online component, as many of us do not have the means to game in the same room. When Black & White Bushido launched in 2015 on PC, it was local multiplayer only. Luckily for the port to consoles, Good Catch Games has incorporated an online component and this is probably the most important added feature. But, does Bushido hold up as a gameplay experience?

Back In Black

Black & White Bushido is immediately eye-catching, due to the stark contrast between black and white visuals. You play as either a Light or Shadow Warrior with 4 different character skins which are only cosmetic in appearance. The contrast of black and white changes as you play with the main focus of gameplay being to blend in with your selected Light or Shadow background. Remaining in your selected black or white setting is the key to victory as you can use this to sneak up on your opponent for an easy kill, or hide in the shadows to capture a flag during capture the flag mode. Sometimes it can be hard to track yourself when blending into the color palette, but to be successful it is something that has to be done.

The gameplay revolves around blending in for stealth assassinations, but remaining vigilant has its advantages as well. Movement and taunting makes you visible, allowing you to draw in enemies to strike them down. Holding directions while pressing attack performs a dashing slash in all directions, either clashing weapons with a slashing enemy or downing them in the satisfying red blood hue. While playing, the game also spawns random items which include Shurikens, Caltrops, and a Teleport item, which you can use for your advantage. Bushido is definitely stylish, with fast-paced Japanese instrumentation fitting very well with the overall tone of the game.

While I never felt like killing someone was unfair or would glitch, with clashing and dashing feeling quick and rewarding, simply moving around could become an exercise in frustration. Each location has a selection of walls you can jump up, crevices to jump down into, and platforms at different height levels, but the platforming never felt precise and made traversing the environments more trouble than they are worth.

Unsheathe Your Blade

The two main modes are Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Once chosen, both can be selected to be played online or off using real players or AI bots. You are also able to change how many kills are needed to win, and choose from six different locations, including a Shipyard, Dojo, and Waterfall. Unfortunately, the difficulty can’t be changed for the AI, therefore in offline they are fairly weak and pose no challenge. There is a challenge mode to play offline which can be useful for familiarizing yourself with the maps and controls, but the main fun to be had is playing with friends.

Even with being fun to play, controlling smoothly, and having a sleek visual presentation, how long can players play Deathmatch and Capture the Flag on the same six maps? How many times will they be willing to complete the same challenges repeatedly recycled? Since the AI doesn’t offer a real challenge, how long will Bushido maintain an active multiplayer community when there is no progression, leaderboards, or anything else to incentivize players to keep going? The multiplayer aspect keeps Bushido fresh when playing with friends, but playing alone may give you an hour at tops to see everything you need to with the title.

Overall, Black & White Bushido is an enjoyable, simple one-hit fighter with a great art style and design. The game is definitely fun to play, but there is not much staying power unless you plan to have have friends to play with or stay involved in the online community, or lack thereof. With only two game modes and six maps, there just isn’t much here to keep players engaged for very long.

About the Author

Josh Brant

I love God, my family, friends, sports, and the greatest hobby of all: video games! You can reach me on twitter @minusthebrant.