Article first published as Xbox 360 Review: Anarchy Reigns on Blogcritics.
I recently got to spend a little bit of time with Atsushi Inaba of Platinum Games. Though we were in Santa Monica, Calif. discussing the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, he shared some insight into the Platinum Games philosophy. To summarize their mantra simply, if it’s fun they throw it in. For the most part, their new game follows that theme. Their latest release, Anarchy Reigns is a successor of sorts to the ultra-violent and highly stylized Wii game Mad World, with a number of characters carrying over from the previous game.
In a departure from typical Japanese fare, Anarchy Reigns offers very little in the way of a single player experience and instead opts for online multiplayer. Honestly, for the type of game that it is, that’s probably a smart decision though a local option would have been nice. Anarchy Reigns is nothing like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, a type of game Platinum does very well. The game is really much closer to the Dynasty Warriors series in that it’s a run around and beat ‘em up type game. There are however some twists. They’ve injected a good dose of Power Stone and made the gameplay much more dynamic.
Luckily, Anarchy Reigns isn’t one of those games that don’t include a physical manual. The combat is deep enough that it’s likely you’ll be referring back to it as you learn the ins and outs of the game. To be able to unlock anything for the multi-player, the game forces you to play the campaigns. The campaigns are the two pretty mindless adventures of two characters; Jack from Mad World and a new character named Leo. The barely comprehensible plot mainly serves to introduce the characters you unlock throughout. Though beat ‘em up is the gameplay staple, there is some variety sprinkled throughout.
Like most third-person action games, in Anarchy Reigns, the left stick moves your character and the right stick rotates the camera. Your character can also jump, grab, and perform light, heavy and 360 degree attacks with the face buttons. Players can also lock on, block, and evade. You can also equip and use up to two items as well as taunt with the d-pad. Besides that, each character has a killer weapon that can be used with a heavy or light attack. The training mode will let you figure out the most effective combos for each character against bots. If you want time to learn your unlocked characters, that’s really your only option.
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