Home Page: Cowboy Bebop
Hello Space Cowboys! Yet again, your favorite bounty hunters, Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, are on an interstellar mission to hunt wanted fugitives and to collect the bootylicious bounty offered by the weekly broadcast TV show, "Big Shot." Ever since the anime series ended its 26 episode run, fans have been clamoring for more Cowboy Bebop
action. In 1998, Bandai released a PS1 shooter, but its mediocre concept and gameplay were only a disappointment for fans. Seven long years later, the folks over at Bandai have answered their cries with a cel-shaded brawler for the PlayStation 2 that just hit store shelves in Japan.
One of the most striking elements in the show is Kanno Yoko's musical score and thankfully, the game has managed to capture her musical essence. Yoko is best known for her compositions on high profile anime, such as Escaflowne
and Macross Plus
, and to some is considered to be the world's most prolific composer since Mozart. Her jazz and blues scores for Cowboy Bebop are a major component in the show's identity and tone. You'll hear a snazzy trumpet riff being accompanied by the mellow sounds of an electric solid body guitar, while in the background, a drummer beats to a rhythmic 6/8 time progression.
Not only has the game captured the Bebop jazzy feel, it also features all of the same voice actors from the original Japanese TV series. The game is saturated with cut-scenes and superb voice acting -- as if you were watching an episode of the show. Throughout the game, a small transmission window showing Ed will appear and she'll talk you through the stage's obstacles.
The look and feel is cleanly presented with the use of cel-shading for Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Ein, and all of your favorite Bebop characters. Toshiro Kawamoto, the show's original character designer, was a key figure for the game's design modeling and his contribution is clearly evident. An assortment of funky kung-fu kicks and punches are intact and the menus are similar to the show's opening sequences.
Gameplay is set from a third-person view. You control Spike, Jet, or Faye in a beat 'em up setting, similar to that of Final Fight
or Streets of Rage
. Of course, instead of plain 2D sprites, you'll have the flashy cel-shaded graphics when you're hunting and beating thieves and hooligans in the alleys of 21st century Paris. Unlike Final Fight or Streets of Rage, the combat system mimics that of the Dynasty Warriors
series. You're often bombarded with enemies and the only way to handle them is to attack in all directions. The multi-directional attacking allows for a 360 degree attack circumference and a lenient hit collision system. In no time, you'll be able to rack up absurd 160+ hit combos without exerting much effort.
If the ridiculous combos and straightforward beat 'em up theme seems a tad boring, the developers have implemented a variety of different play modes, such as a first-person shooter mode and clue-finding detective missions. The first-person shooter parts are a lot like Namco's Time Crisis, where your character has the freedom to evade enemy fire by hiding behind objects in the environment, while the detective missions focus less on the action-side of things and instead force the player to look for clues to solve puzzles.
The domestic version of Cowboy Bebop is scheduled to release on October 11th. It remains to be seen if Bandai will choose to include the original Japanese voice actors or replace them with their English counterparts. But in the meantime, take a look at some of the screenshots from the upcoming game.
..More To Come..
Home Page: Cowboy Bebop