Remember couch co-op? Remember the struggle of trying not to be caught watching their side of the screen, being accused of cheating or screen watching, the little fights that happened, giving your friend the worst MadCatz controller? That was the time that most kids do not get to experience anymore. However a small resurgence has been coming up lately with games making use of split screen gaming, and for those who have friends round frequently, it’s being a welcome sight.
Black and white Bushido is one of these games, a small indie title where the whole point is to quickly and skilfully cut down your opponent within the 2D map. Using all your tools to do that, does it make a good co-op vs game? Let’s see.
The gameplay is easy, you and your foe have a sword, kill each other as quickly as possible until one side meets the kill requirements. To do this you have your main weapon, with quick slices, running cuts jumping and falling cuts in your move set it can quickly be used to get the one hit kill needed to finish them off.
However it wouldn’t be that much fun if that was all there was, dotted around each level are also powers, giving you an edge in the fight, with teleportation, ninja stars, giving you the ability to either quickly dodge to a previous location, allowing you to get the drop or to get out of the way of an incoming attack, or a quick ninja star going in a straight line to kill an enemy. Utilizing both of these techniques will be essential.
There are a handful of levels, and my one complaint is that there really are not many levels, and what’s worse the level only really serves as a basic backdrop for the game. I would have loved to see levels with traps or moveable areas, or more interaction with the level as a whole to bring a more interactive aspect to the game. Or even tunnels or houses to hide in, allowing you to have more of a tactical approach to hiding or getting behind your enemy to give them a quick slash for an easy kill.
Black and White bushido gives me a massive feeling of spy vs spy, black character, and white character? Check, random power ups? Check, great co-op gameplay? Check. And for those who have never played spy vs spy, that 1v1 couch co-op is great fun. Watching your friend pick up an item, dodging it and replying with a swift kill is always fun. There may not be as much depth as there was in spy vs spy, however that nostalgic feeling definitely carries on into this game.
Graphically its very simple, each level is split into black and white areas which are constantly moving, with little else to look at within the level. However, the look of the characters is clean and very…modern looking? This isn’t a game that will blow your socks off, and it wouldn’t look out of place on a Vita or 3DS, however, what is here looks nice enough to get the point across.
And even more, the graphics have reason to look how they look! The game makes use of which part of the level is currently black or white, the level will switch randomly, changing which area is that colour, and what’s more it will help each character. The White character on a black background? Will stick out like a sore thumb, however, the black character will fade quickly to be invisible, only appearing when either moving or the background changes again.
This adds some simple strategy that can change how the game feels completely, do a quick jump whilst your friend moves away? Stay still and he may lose track of you, giving you the chance for a quick and easy kill. This feature if used can make this game much more fun, not competitive levels, but definitely a good addition.
This is a game that brought back massive thoughts of co-op sitting in front of the TV with a friend, from the great fun, and the anger and punches that follow if you happen to get a lucky kill streak on your friend, always great fun. There is the online option, but not many people are playing it, so I would suggest you focus when you bring a friend round. However, is it really that much fun for 10 maybe 20 minutes of gameplay? That’s down to you, the AI is pretty sloppy and with no real online presence I doubt it will have much longevity outside of couch co-op. However, if that sounds up your ally, it can be a very fun quick and casual game to pick up with a friend, 7/10 for some good gameplay ideas, but not sure overall how long this game will keep that attention.