Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. 70
    The Bouncer is not the next messiah, it's not the next wave of fighting, and frankly, it's not the paradigm for anything really new, except perhaps incredible-looking graphics.
  2. It looks and sounds incredible. However, the ease and extremely short length of the game, matched with other problems like horrific camera angles and lack of a multiplayer story mode, make The Bouncer fair, at best.
  3. It is lacking mostly in the game play department, which frankly, isn't very exciting. It presents little variability and this allows it to get old fairly quick.
  4. 68
    It is one of the sharpest looking PS2 games out right now, but the lack of actual gaming content leaves it with an overall mediocre feel.
  5. 90
    Brings more than just fierce punches and kicks -- it features an engaging story and plenty of gameplay modes that offer a high replay value. Hands down, this is one of the best PS2 games.
  6. If you're desperate for some next generation eye candy and can put up with the mediocre game engine, then by all means snag this game.
  7. While The Bouncer cam puts on a good show, it chooses fashion over function every time. Dramatic camera angles produce awesome screen shots, but as a result you'll spend half the time wondering what's sitting right in front of your face.
  8. Pretty to watch, but a real bore to play, and when it's not boring, it's frustrating. Not a good mix.
  9. If The Bouncer had been cast with a little more of the freedom associated with the RPGs it borrows its visual flair from then this would have been a defining moment for the PlayStation2.
  10. The Bouncer is more cut-scenes than fighting. It is very difficult to get into the flow of the game when you have a two to three minute fight sequence and then stop and watch a five minute cut scene before another two to three minute fight sequence.
  11. Quite possibly the prettiest game I’ve ever seen...But presentation isn’t really the problem here. It’s the gameplay.
  12. Gorgeous-looking, but devoid of almost any rewarding gameplay whatsoever, despite a functional multiplayer.
  13. One hell of a disappointment and one of the worst experiences I've ever had to endure on my shiny DVD-playing black box.
  14. There's not much else to be excited about. It is an average beat-'em up with some nice visuals...The combat is too disjointed, the gameplay feels distant, and the fighting engine is too simple.
  15. An above average game -- it just had so much more unrealized potential. And it gets damn annoying at times.
  16. I could go on for hours describing the game's pendulum swings from ground-breaking presentation and production value, to sub-par action and repetitious, short gameplay.
  17. The Bouncer is here and it's not any good. We know how much that hurts, but it's time to move on. The game is less than three hours long -- less than 30 minutes if you skip the movies -- and what's there isn't fun.
  18. Great graphics, good sound, mediocre gameplay. We were soooo close.
  19. Likely to elicit plenty of "Oooohs!" and "Ahhhhs!" from your friends, The Bouncer simply doesn't have enough substance to satisfy diehard gamers.
  20. 70
    It's a quick fix of violence wrapped up in the sort of looks that will impress your non-PS2 owning mates, and at least you can show it off when they come round. Just bear in mind that it won't beat "Tekken," "DOA2" or "Soul Calibur" for replay, and you will enjoy it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. Oct 26, 2012
    The Bouncer is an odd, atypical sort of fighting game. Unlike its traditional brethren - Street Fighter, Tekken, Soul Calibur - The Bouncer assumes more of the feel of a RPG with the same traits as a fighting game. In fact, this game could be more akin to an old-school side-scrolling fighter from the days of yore if one has an open imagination. Nevertheless, Square's attempt at a trendy Japanese spiced fighter is a true sleeper, even when it was released. The graphics are fantastic considering when it was released, everything clean and well polished, with a similar feel in visuals to that of Square's Final Fantasy X. Combat is limited to only a handful of different attacks for each of the three playable characters in the story mode. However, these do not inhibit for some heated combat with multiple attackers at once.

    The story is short, and you can breeze through The Bouncer in speedy fashion. But there's a huge replay value, with lots of backstory told through the loading screen. Playing as each character offers a different perspective on the story, allowing for some conversations to be heard, while other details are left out for a separate playthrough with another character. And of course, there's a nifty multiplayer mode that allows you to control any of the characters you earn throughout your main-game adventures.

    A final nifty feature is the leveling system, giving the game an added feel of role-playing. Experience points are earned with each battle, allowing you to learn new attacks and improve your health/defense/power. You're forced to spend them wisely as you level up your characters. Though this is by no means a popular game, The Bouncer offers an unique take on a fighting game that few other games have attempted. It's worth it!
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 13, 2010
    I was really disappointed in this game when I got it and I was a kid. I was thinking that it would be like Streets of Rage. Square really screwed up. Terrible fighting game. People who like this don't own sega genesis and its many fighting games that are far superior. This game made me depressed because it was supposed to be a promising launch title. Bad controls bad fighting. Full Review »
  3. Ray
    Feb 4, 2008
    This game is a total piece of crap. SquareSoft fanboy reviews here are total lies. Hey morons, just because it is from Japan doesn't mean you have to give it a 10, especially when 90% of the game is watching crappy anime. Go rent a movie. Full Review »