One of the pleasant surprises at Bandai's booth at E3 was Inuyasha: Feudal Combat for the PlayStation 2. Reminiscent of the popular Dreamcast series, Powerstone, Inuyasha: Feudal Combat is a stylized fighting game with simple controls and deep gameplay, making it accessible to a wide variety of players. It's based on the long-running anime TV series, Inuyasha, that is currently on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It's the third Inuyasha game from Bandai, and while the last game, Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask was a dud, Feudal Combat is looking good.
Inuyasha: Feudal Combat will feature 14 characters, both good and evil, as well as storylines from the show. Mission, story, and two-player versus modes will be available, so there looks to be plenty of replay value, regardless of if you're playing alone or against friends. The game also utilizes a partner system, but it's not the usual "switch back and forth between two players" deal - here you're partner can really turn the tide in battle, and you'll actually need to make sure your fighters are compatible. It's possible to increase the compatibility between partners as you progress through the game, and you'll also to be able to improve your fighter's individual skills.
Like Powerstone, Feudal Combat will feature interactive environments, allowing you to use your surroundings to defeat your opponent. For example, in one stage, you can knock over an entire building on your opponent, which needless to say, does quite a bit of damage. Many games lay claim to looking just like a cartoon, but Inuyasha actually pulls it off. The characters are colorful, detailed, and look like they are hand-drawn. In addition to looking great, they move smoothly one from one attack to the next, truly making it feel like you're watching the cartoon.
We expect to have a preview build of the game before it's release, so check back for an updated hands-on preview. Inuyasha: Feudal Combat is scheduled to ship on August 16th, and will be rated "T" for Teen.
8/4/2005 Aaron Thomas