Bouncer, The - PS2

Also known as: The Bouncer

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Bouncer, The (PS2)
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Square Soft. Co.: Square
Publishers: Square (JP/GB)
Released: 22 Jun 2001 (GB)
Unknown (JP)
Ratings: 15+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only, Multitap adaptable
Accessories: Memory Card


Role-playing veteran Squaresoft is one of the industry’s biggest A-list developers. The production of their Final Fantasy games and numerous other RPG’s have ensured the company great health and wealth. Eager to gain experience in other gaming genres, the company has developed The Bouncer, a pseudo beat-em-up with minor role-playing aspects and plenty of action. So just how good is Square’s new experiment?

The story of The Bouncer begins at a public house in which a young girl, Dominique, is abducted. The three bouncers on duty – Kou, Volt and Sion – are too slow to prevent the incident, but witness the kidnappers escape. It is here where you embark upon your journey to save the damsel in distress, Streets of Rage-style.

In typical Squaresoft fashion, The Bouncer has been developed to be a highly interactive movie in which the player can, to an extent, decide the path of their game. Enhancing the cinematic quality of the game considerably, there are full voice-overs for all existing dialogue within the game, a first for the Japanese giant. But for the most part, gameplay consists of beating up the opposition in order to progress. Not that this is a bad thing, beat-em-ups are among some of the most popular genres the industry has ever hosted. The game’s combat system has been developed in full 3D and is not restricted to a 2D plane. Players must optimise their playing ability by combining certain attacks together to increase the effectiveness of the attack. Nothing new there, then.

Squaresoft have tried hard, and with some success, to innovate on a genre currently lacking in originality. Given time, money and the Squaresoft touch, future beat-em-ups from the company could redefine the genre.