Late to the Party: The Last Blade 2

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Around six months ago I did an LTTP on the first Last Blade game hoping the sequel would show up on Virtual Console, as it did a few weeks ago. Part of the reason I’m doing this despite the sequel’s similarities with the first game is because I’m running up on the time limit for this game’s post-play survey on Club Nintendo.

From what I understand, The Last Blade 2 mechanically is pretty much just some balance changes from the first game along with three new characters. Still, LB2 is the game that I’m more nostalgic for. LB2 is the game that got me interested in the franchise altogether when I saw the cabinet at that barbershop a decade ago. It’s also the game I never got around to buying on the Dreamcast along with Garou: Mark of the Wolves.

I didn’t talk about this last time, but it’s an issue with both games, and possibly any fighting game that you buy on Virtual Console — referring to the instruction manual to learn the moves is kind of annoying. It’s great that Nintendo goes into such detail when replicating the manuals for each VC game, but having to go back and forth between menus to refer to move lists just sucks, and all the fighters on VC are probably of the era before in-game training modes listed a character’s moves.

After enduring that though I started out by going with the only character I used in the first game — Lee, the token Chinese guy and only character who doesn’t use a sword. I couldn’t even make it past stage 3 in arcade mode before running out of credits (yeah, you get credits in the home version of an arcade game for once).

So, I decided to go a little bit out of my element and try a slower but more powerful character. I went with Hibiki — one of the new characters, because I remembered her from Capcom vs SNK 2. Waiting for the opponent to come into range of her powerful slashes is certainly a departure from how I usually just rush in there with combos. It actually got me to the final boss though.

Another thing to bring up with LB2 is its backgrounds, which have recently gotten some praise from places like Kotaku. Generally speaking, Capcom had nothing on SNK when it came to backgrounds back in those days. The first time I saw LB2 one of the things that really struck me was the burning building interior stage pictured above.

The thing is, all of SNK’s backgrounds look great when posted on a computer screen in their native resolution, but blown up on a brand new HDTV, LB2 looks like crap. Yeah that’s not really the game’s fault, I’m just saying that Neo Geo games haven’t aged that well visually (except maybe Garou). I guess that’s why we have King of Fighters XIII.

BULLETS:

  • What is with SNK putting all these games up on Virtual Console recently? Just a little while ago they released World Heroes 2.
  • Dishonored is $30 at GameStop online: http://t.co/wClAI1QG Digital PC version.
  • The Raid 2: http://t.co/8JhiF1zw
  • Nice article on the creator of Ecco the Dolphinhttp://flip.it/G44Ej 
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