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Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble: Awesome Master of Badass Beating-Up-People Guys
Company: Atlus

Don't laugh too hard. The ridiculous headline of this preview almost ended up as the actual title of the game. Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is what you get when you take a game like Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and replace the fleshed-out characters and intense storyline with hot-blooded dudely dudes and a stock anime story about a random dudely dude who wants to be the strongest dudely dude in a land full of dudely dudes. The premise seems like it would be treacherous footing for a game, but luckily, Badass Rumble is in on the joke. It's a quirky brawler that definitely seems targeted towards a certain demographic of hardcore gamers. If you've read this far, you are undoubtedly a part of that demographic.

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble follows the exploits of a moody-looking delinquent. Turns out, he's on a trip to Kyouto (apparently not to be confused with Kyoto) with his class. The reason for this trip is... well... I don't really know. All I can say at this point is that the specifics of the trip itself are of absolutely no consequence, because your character could not possibly care any less about anything that doesn't involve beating people up. That's only part of it. Your character's main ambition is to become Japan's most powerful bancho (Awesome Master of Badass Beating-Up-People-Guy). How do you do this? Walk around town, beat the crap out of other aspiring banchos, make them your peons, and eventually take over the urban world with your own running crew.

Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble is not merely self-aware. It makes a total mockery of every idea that even remotely resembles the core premise of the game itself. For example, there is a mechanic that causes your character to shoot a stream of what looks like electric fire from his eyes. If that stream makes contact with normal (read: sane) people, they will run away in terror. However, if you lock stares with someone who's ready to throw down, you'll initiate a smack talk mini-game. You are given a phrase to repeat (most often you'll have to repeat gems like "Go to hell!" and "Bow to me!"). The phrase is split up into roughly three fragments that you must deliver to your opponent's ears -- one piece at a time. You're given a few seconds to deliver each fragment, which is scrambled among three incorrect fragments. Getting it right will earn you a free hit on your enemy, but getting it wrong does the exact opposite. Honestly, if someone commanded you to "Bow to unicorns!", wouldn't you want to just let him have it?

I forgot to mention that Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble: is essentially an open-world game. You can travel between different districts and go shopping for items. When you're not doing that, you're beating up other banchos and getting their cell numbers. There's a surprising number of things to do, and the world seems rather expansive, but we won't get into the long and short of it until the full review.

If you're looking for something that is irreverent in every sense of the word, you'd do well to check out the website below. It will give you a feel for the game's offbeat sense of humor, which will likely make or break every potential decision to purchase a game like this. Our full review of Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble will throw down when the game drops in late October.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos
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