Most gamers often refer to beat 'em up games as button bashers. It's a term that describes the frantic button presses required to perform repetitive moves or intricate combos. Simply calling Raging Blades a button basher isn't the half of it though. After almost 2 hours constant play I feel it should be termed as an Arthritis inducing thumb masher.
Raging Blades is a kind of fantasy based beat 'em up. There are nine levels for you to battle through in all. However the idea is not to simply plough through them all with a single character but to complete a couple of levels with each one. The levels you fight in depends on the character you choose to fight with. Each of the levels follow a simple pattern and consist of basic enemies, mini-bosses and a final boss. Each level is split up into sections and you have to defeat each enemy in a particular section in order to progress to the next section.
The four characters who you can choose to play through the Story mode with are a swordsman called Gray Braford, Bud Chamberlain who is seemingly unstoppable with his huge axe, Raybrandt Lugnal who is a sorcerer who can shoot fireballs and cause meteor showers and finally the female monk Tina Iblies who relies on her martial arts to fight off enemies. All of these characters have a special magical attack that can temporarily floor their enemies to buy them some breathing space.
Once the story mode has been completed you will have access to extra players who can be used in Duel mode. Duel mode is a battle mode that takes place in special arenas for upto 4 players. The Duel mode is a simplistic affair where the winner is the one who defeats the opponents or who has the most health left at the end of the time limit.
Visually Raging Blades isn't any great shakes and doesn't take full advantage of the PlayStation 2. The graphics are uninspiring and in places it looks just like a hi-res PlayStation game. The textures are a bit of a mixed bag with some levels looking quite good and others having textures that look grainy and way below the standard of an average PlayStation 2 game.
When it comes to it, there is too little here and what is here is not up to scratch. The story mode could be completed in a few hours and Dual mode isn't enough to keep you playing. As with most beat 'em up games, little skill is involved as hammering on the buttons will suffice. There doesn't seem to be a balance between the different characters either. Playing as Tina seems far harder than playing as Bud who seems to eliminate enemies without even trying. What little dialogue is here is mostly given in text. There are one or two words missing but there is nothing that's going to hamper you. The story mode desperately need a proper story to make the game interesting. Basically though the game is just too short and could easily be completed in a nights rental.
Game Rating: 3.0/10