Black & White Bushido has a promising premise, however its lack of variety and content holds it back from being something truly unique.

Everyone knows Nintendo’s Smash Bros. Black & White Bushido has a very similar feel, but with a Japanese twist. The idea is simple, you choose one of two different ninja type fighters then choose a “light” or “dark” side. You then get to pick one of several similar looking arenas and start the match.

Once you get thrown in you fight for control of the map in terms of how much light or dark is dispersed. Dark conceals dark and light conceals light, making your opponent either stand out like a sore thumb or nearly impossible to see. While this mechanic is an interesting take on a brawler, I unfortunately found much to keep me coming back to it.

First off, you can only choose from one of two different styles of character, the arenas look very familiar and there’s only 3 different game modes to choose from: Death Match, Capture the Flag, and a Challenge mode.

Death Match is pretty cut and dry. You compete against 3 other players or AI. Who ever gets the most kills by the end of the match wins. Challenge mode grants you one life and gives you a set of challenges to complete, once finished you’re scored based on how well and efficient you were. Capture the Flag involves you and the other players running around the map in an attempt to collect randomly generated flags.

While these are all fine concepts, the lack of other players made matchmaking quite a time-consuming process. If you don’t want to play against others online, or simply don’t want to wait almost an hour to get into a match, you can take on the AI in 3v1. However, unlike Smash Bros. for example, the AI in this game don’t have difficulty settings. If I had to guess what settings they had though, it would be somewhere between “Easy” and “Please don’t hurt me, I’ve never played a video game before”.

Still not picking up what I’m putting down? You can literally stand still and win a Death Match. Capture the Flag is you running around collecting them all because apparently the AI are above such a silly game. Challenge mode isn’t too challenging when they pretty much run themselves into your sword.

For the achievement/trophy seekers out there, try this game out. I have a feeling you could 100% this game in under a day.

Black & White Bushido has the makings of a solid Brawler. Sadly though, its lack of variety in pretty much everything holds it back and makes it feel more like a demo rather than a full game. Hopefully there’s some DLC in the works, or at least an update, with at least 6 more characters and more diverse looking maps and game modes. If not, we’ll see this game quickly fade into the annals of history as a mere blip on the radar that was fun for the first 30 minutes.

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