Black Rock Shooter (PSP) Review

Site Score
8.3
Good: A fresh action RPG for the PSP, Bite sized segments, Additional challenges
Bad: A short joyride, Confusing without watching the anime first
User Score
9.2
(5 votes)
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black rock shooter friends

Released nearly two years after the original Japanese release with barely any stateside marketing and for a woefully underloved handheld, Black Rock Shooter comes as one of the last role-playing games for the PSP. With its anime origins, does Black Rock Shooter have enough merits to stand on its own, or is it doomed to die with the last remaining humans on Earth?

Let’s check out what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Black Rock Shooter.

HOT

A fresh action RPG for the PSP
While many role-playing games follow the same conventions of either menu driven turn based combat or the free-roaming hack and slash of sorts, Black Rock Shooter opts for a different approach. Taking a page from The 3rd Birthday, combat is based around a third-person, over the shoulder format with one major difference: Black Rock Shooter is incapable of moving around during combat on her own. With the exception of an evasive dodge from one side of the screen to the other, Black Rock Shooter is bolted down firmly to the ground. While this may sound like negative criticism, it in fact works much better than an attempt at free movement given the PSP’s single analog stick. The single joystick operates as the aiming cursor, similar to those that have tried playing Time Crisis without the use of a Guncon.

black rock shooter combat

As Black Rock Shooter levels up and evolves through a traditional experience system, her basic status such as health and attack increase but skills are gained in a different way. With each stage are a number of achievements typically focused on unlocking through the story or killing a large number of monster X or attacking monster Y with a specific subweapon. As achievements are unlocked, Black Rock Shooter herself gains a slew of new advancements and skills to make her a more efficient machine, including the use of new subweapons. If walking around with a portable laser cannon isn’t your thing, Black Rock Shooter has access to blades and even full on orbital strikes.

Bite-sized segments

black rock shooter motorcycle

Black Rock Shooter breaks itself down into a series of stages showcasing various fallen cities from across the globe, starting in San Francisco and ranging out to Fuji Jukai out in Japan. Each of these stages are further split up into missions each with nary more than a single objective. Most missions follow a simple path of getting from Point A to Point B while killing X, Y, and Z’s along the way but there are an occasional number of varying other mission styles to change things up. In a large jump away from the combat, there’s a single stage solely focused around Black Rock Shooter‘s motorcycle in an on-rails segment. While it’s all a matter of trial and error with dodging the oncoming traffic, it’s a good diversion from the combat.

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Black Rock Shooter (PSP) Review, 9.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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1 Comment

  1. Alex
    April 30, 2013, 10:05 PM

    I liked the game. The story could’ve been a lot better and the combat system can be repetettive especially since they reused enemies since spStage 1, but overall it’s an okay game. More character development would’ve been nice.

    Also you don’t need to watch the anime or read the Black Rock Shooter ~Innocent Souls~ manga, to understand the game. For one, each Black Rock Shooter has different names in each series. The game’s was Stella, the anime/OVA Black Rock Shooter was the “other self” of Mato, and the manga’s was Rock. All had different plots, all had completely different enemies. Dead Master other than an arnament named after her, Chariot, Black Gold Saw, and Strength aren’t in this game at all.

    Fans aren’t going to know anymore of the antagonist’s backstory than someone who is new to BRS because they are original characters made for this game. Even BRS’s backstory in the game differs from other carnations. The only way someone would know more personality of the game’s characters is by reading the game’s manga version which is essentially the same story with minor differences but more dialouge from the characters.

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