The Last Blade 2

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
The Last Blade 2 Game Poster Image
Strategy-heavy fighter with mild violence for fans only.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Plot is an excuse for characters to fight each other; hard to glean any deeper subtleties than what characters say to each other after each match. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everybody wants to kick, punch, slash each other so they can emerge victorious. Not exactly what you'd look for in a role model. 

Ease of Play

Easy to pick up, but training mode necessary for newcomers to learn, perfect how to execute combos, reversals, special moves.

Violence

This is a fighting game, so violence is central. Very rare blood shown, but when it's there, not played for gory, gross-out effect. 

Sex

Some characters in slightly revealing attire, though isn't sexualized.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

When in their victory pose, some characters will occasionally puff on cigars, swirl an alcoholic drink. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Blade 2 is a downloadable remake/expansion of the original 2-D fighting game by the same name originally released in 1998. The additions consist of six new characters, which supplement the classic arcade brawler to add both more shelf life and nuance for veterans. As a fighting game, this one skews closer to Street Fighter than Mortal Kombat, meaning there's no emphasis on gratuitous violence or gore and more focus is given to the mechanics and strategy of play from moment to moment. (But there's sometimes a dramatic spurt of blood after a decisive or match-ending hit.) This port also includes the addition of online play, which means players could be exposed to unpredictable or potentially offensive content via other players. Some characters are shown in revealing outfits, and some are shown smoking cigars or drinking alcohol, but that's the most mature content.

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What's it about?

THE LAST BLADE 2 centers on a war being raged on "the boundary between life and death" between "four mythological symbols." It admittedly doesn't make much sense, but this game hails from an era where the point of most games was to sink a quarter in or to just press "start" and then start playing and not giving it further thought. Whether you fight to further blur the rift between life and death or to defend it, your time in this game is spent in matches trying to knock out your opponent to move on to the next one and do it again. 

Is it any good?

This remade fighting game is unquestionably deep, but unfortunately, by modern standards, it's somewhat clunky. There have been some concessions to update the game, which are interestingly both self-conscious and bold. Nothing's been done to tweak, change, or even nudge what made The Last Blade 2 popular: As the name suggests, this game hinges on tense, momentary crossing of blades. There are special moves, but those are less important in affecting a match. It's all about gauging when two characters are near each other and who will be able to counter or strike first before the other can even react based on character-specific techniques. That's all here intact but with a new veneer of clumsiness you'll need to adjust to. There are also six new characters -- two of which are hidden and must be earned. But, as far as revival titles go, there's little in the way of more meaning. You can unlock concept art, but there's no accompanying text, and it's unclear if it's new art or old. The new menus also feel hastily applied. But, the core of the game is still here, and it's still just as deep, so it's hard to quibble over those smaller details. It's not for everyone and will definitely appeal to players who are into technical battles, but The Last Blade 2 packs a steady punch for fighting fans.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why fighting games are popular. What does that say about us as a species and as a culture? In this case, it's a Japanese game that gained popularity with American audiences. Why? 

  • Why, with all the new video games coming out all the time, would people want or favor older titles or remakes of older ones? 

Game details

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