|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Spike||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 10, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
With this time limit and the natural progression of days, this game also has a solid structure. Banchos must be sought out and each Bancho has their own specific schedules, the same as you. To find out where these Banchos will be in order to challenge them, you'll need to beat up cronies from the same school and hope they drop their itineraries. With these you're able to know where these Banchos will be located at certain times, basically making yourself a schedule which you'll need to follow if you hope to achieve your goal.
The RPG aspects found in Kenka Bancho are also a welcome addition. Instead of just having the same stats and attacks throughout the entire game, you're able to improve upon both. Raising your Bancho level will grant you souls, which can be used to increase your basic stats in things like strength, defense, and stamina. Souls can also be earned more quickly when playing in the Night Out mode, allowing you to improve your character without worrying about the story mode's timer ticking down. Throughout the course of the game you'll also learn a ton of new combat moves that help to make your combos and attacks more powerful and varied. You'll get everything from new standard punches to special attacks that the other Banchos have used against you.
It really is a shame that the combat in Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble functions as poorly as it does. The game itself looks decent - despite having some fairly bland character models and environments - thanks to loads of character close-ups and lighting effects. There are also some great concepts here such as actual time progression and having to essentially investigate in order to find out where your next Bancho target will be and when they'll be there.
Unfortunately, though, the majority of Kenka Bancho's experience hinges on a combat system that feels incredibly sluggish, clunky, and outdated. Still, if you can put up with its sloppy fighting, you might just enjoy the other things that this title gets right.
CCC Staff Contributor