'Black And White Bushido' Review: How A Simple Gimmick Can Make A Game Awesome

NOTE: This article is a contribution and do not necessarily represent the views of Player One.
Black And White Bushido uses one simple twist to stand out
Black And White Bushido uses one simple twist to stand out Good Catch

Black And White Bushido is a somewhat basic arena brawler, but its simple use of color makes it truly unique and a ton of fun. Similar to games like TowerFall, Duck Game and even Super Smash Bros, Black And White Bushido is primarily a multiplayer game, with players fighting each other to score the most kills. The hook is that characters are either on the Light or Shadow side, and arenas are only in black and white.

This means if a player is on the Light side, his or her character is entirely white. While staying in motion makes your player turn grey and therefore visible to enemies, standing completely still in a white area of a level will result in your character becoming completely invisible. Of course, if you are a Light-side character, you’ll become especially obvious if you find yourself in the shadows. The reverse is true for Shadow players, with their characters being entirely black.

Combat is mostly melee-based, with each player having a weapon and the ability to do dash attacks. There are also three kinds of pick-ups: caltrops, a ninja throwing star and my personal favorite, the smoke bomb. The caltrops are mostly an inconveniencing item, making it impossible for opponents to jump for a limited time. It also causes a spray of blood to shoot out, immediately making it obvious to where the character is located, regardless of your movement speed or faction.

The ninja throwing star is pretty straightforward. It allows a player to have a ranged attack, and like every other attack, will kill enemies with a single hit. The smoke bomb has two stages of use. First, players choose a location for the smoke bomb. Once set, players can activate the smoke bomb again, and be instantly transported to where the bomb was placed. This means you can set a bomb where you know your opponent likes to hide, and instantly jump in and get him or her the next time you catch them camping out.

There are three game modes in Black And White Bushido: deathmatch, capture the flag and challenge mode. Deathmatch is exactly what it sounds like, with up to four players earning kills up until a score limit is reached. Capture the flag makes kills and deaths irrelevant, and instead shifts the players’ focus to taking over a map. Once a flag is captured, the team that captured it will cause more of the map to change to the team’s color. In other words, the more the Shadow team captures flags, the more the map turns dark. Once the map is completely one color, that team wins.

Challenge mode is the only opportunity to play a single-player version Black And White Bushido. This mode also sees players having to capture flags, but fighting against waves of enemy bots instead of other players. There are also additional challenges to accomplish in this mode, like getting a kill with a ninja star or killing an enemy from a wall jump.

While straightforward and basic, Black And White Bushido is a ton of fun, especially since it allows up to four players to play on the same screen. Gameplay is fast and relentless, making rounds quick and engaging. There isn’t much to do if you are a solo player, but couch multiplayer games are somewhat rare these days, so if you’re looking for a great time with some friends, this should definitely be on your radar.

Black And White Bushido is now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

So what do you think? Are you interested in trying Black And White Bushido for yourself? What other arena brawler games do you and your friends enjoy playing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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