Black and White Bushido is a monochome arena brawler game with a very simple gameplay premise, developed by Good Catch, who are a London based developer. It’s fun to start with but does it have any longevity?
As I just mentioned the gameplay of B&W Bushido is very simple. The player controls either a Light or Shadow Bushido and your task is to mainly kill the other characters on the screen. The unique selling point is that the screen is also split into light and dark areas. This brings in a stealth element, as your character can hide in the areas that match their Bushido. The areas regularly change to the opposite colour, meaning you will have to move to avoid detection. Black and White Bushido is an amazing game for you achievement hunters and gamerscore fanatics out there as I won nearly all of the achievements in the first hour of the game. Which is why my initial statement questioned the longevity that this game will have. There’s another reason to question that also, but I will cover that off later.
To start with I do want to call out the graphics in the loading screens as these are gorgeously created. When you start the game you have a choice of Online or Offline. I jumped straight into Offline, to hone my skills before I eventually get ripped a new one by the hundreds of players already in online awaiting the inevitable newbie such as myself. Offline supports 4 player co-op, but i jumped in versus the AI. At this point you are given the 4 game options available: Stage, Mode, Bots and Kills. Stage is the map select, and there are 7 to choose from, one of which is “Hell”, which needs to be unlocked. Mode consists of 3 options, Deathmatch, Capture The Flag and Challenge, all of which are self explanatory. Bots select how many AI opponents you will face, and, disappointingly, the choice is only 1,2 or 3. The Kills option is for the Deathmatch mode only and selects from 5 to 40, in increments of 5.
That, unfortunately this is pretty much all the game has to offer. There are no difficulty modes to change, and although the AI is OK, its not any kind of a challenge. If they can see you they will come for you, generally in a straight line, which makes it easy for you to pick them off. The AI does not make any use of the stealth mechanics. In capture the flag they will head straight for the flag, even if you are hidden next to it, and attempt to capture it. This means you can rack up an enormous kill count whilst not being noticed (as long as you are hidden in the relevant light or shadow). There are pick-ups, which consist of smoke bombs/Shurikens or a teleporter(?), which are only really useful in using one to get the achievement for doing so, as you have zero need to use them to gain any advantage against the AI.
Challenge mode is probably the games major positive, as it puts you into the game and gives you 3 challenges to complete, such as “Keep moving for 7 seconds” or “Get a Double Kill”. When you are successful, three new challenges appear. Now the one thing that really annoyed me was the achievement to get a high score in this mode was so low I got it on my first attempt. Why the developers didn’t ramp this target up is beyond me, as I would have played this mode for a greater amount of time to get this. Instead I walked away from the mode almost immediately after realising there was no reward for the challenge.
So, as I mentioned earlier, when I initially started playing I jumped straight into the single player mode, mopped up most of the achievements and played most of the game modes in an hour. But here lies Black and White Bushidos biggest flaw. No-one is playing this game online. When you try to find a match, all you get is a message telling you the wait time is 1,303 minutes. That’s just short of 22 hours. Its probably just a placeholder message telling you “There’s no one online, but there might be within the next day”. That might sound harsh, but a game designed as a 4 player arena brawler needs players. As otherwise, the single player mode gets boring after a few hours (at best) and the game gets forgotten. The only way I see this game having any longevity is of a 4 player drunken couch multiplayer experience, but I think even that might be pushing it.