The Bouncer Image
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

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  • Summary: A typical evening at a local bar erupts into chaos as members of a Special Forces strike team descend through the roof to kidnap a young girl, Dominique. Three bouncers--Sion, Volt, and Kou--come to the rescue, only to see the invaders grab Dominique, retreat through a window, and escape.A typical evening at a local bar erupts into chaos as members of a Special Forces strike team descend through the roof to kidnap a young girl, Dominique. Three bouncers--Sion, Volt, and Kou--come to the rescue, only to see the invaders grab Dominique, retreat through a window, and escape. Now it's up to you to save Dominique either alone or simultaneously with three friends. With The Bouncer's 3D combat environment, battles can take place anywhere. Expand
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The Bouncer Movie 34
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. 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.
  2. Likely to elicit plenty of "Oooohs!" and "Ahhhhs!" from your friends, The Bouncer simply doesn't have enough substance to satisfy diehard gamers.
  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. Quite possibly the prettiest game I’ve ever seen...But presentation isn’t really the problem here. It’s the gameplay.
  6. Daily Radar
    50
    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.
  7. One hell of a disappointment and one of the worst experiences I've ever had to endure on my shiny DVD-playing black box.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. RyanM.
    Apr 28, 2003
    10
    I love this game. I just recently got it, and wow this game is great. There are times when the game seems to easy, and by all means this game I love this game. I just recently got it, and wow this game is great. There are times when the game seems to easy, and by all means this game is far from long. Even if you do play it with all the different characters the story stays basically the same. But overall, I can't find anything wrong with this game. Once again, Squaresoft never lets me down. Expand
  2. SionB.
    Nov 19, 2004
    10
    This Is A Great Game. Good Graphics Great Characters And Great Way Of Puting There Fighting Skills.
  3. Apr 30, 2016
    10
    This is one of the greats! A game you can blaze through, Play the action movie as it were. But the fighting is unlike anything else.
    Grab
    This is one of the greats! A game you can blaze through, Play the action movie as it were. But the fighting is unlike anything else.
    Grab this game play through it I am sure you'll have a blast.
    Expand
  4. Nov 15, 2019
    8
    The Bouncer is a flashy beat-em-up game with heavy emphasis on the story as seen by three main characters, Sion Barzahd, Volt Kreuger, and KouThe Bouncer is a flashy beat-em-up game with heavy emphasis on the story as seen by three main characters, Sion Barzahd, Volt Kreuger, and Kou Leifoh. The gameplay revolves around taking out enemies with your bare fists, upgrading your stats, and purchasing new moves with Bouncer Points. Before each stage, you will be given the option to choose which character to play, from which point the story will change in perspective to that of the selected character.

    While the gameplay is rather basic, the majority of my review is based on the premise that the player is aware that this game plays more like an interactive beat-em-up story more than it does a feature-packed video game. Artistically it's masterfully crafted for its time and full of atmosphere. The character models, environments, dialog, voice acting and cutscenes are all top of the line for its time and wrap you up in a world that feels strangely similar to that of Final Fantasy 7's, but with less fantasy elements. The campaign is rather short, but keeps its pace nicely, and never drags its feet getting you to the next plot point. Since there are three characters, the story also lends itself to being played at least three times to get the full effect of each character's perspective.

    The Bouncer also includes a battle mode, which allows support with PlayStation 2's Multitap accessory to allow players to engage in 4-way battles, or team mode, which allows up to 3-vs-3. The game's physics system engages in a perplexing and hilarious amount of ragdoll physics that can oftentimes mean players will end up quite literally tripping over each others' sprawled-out bodies. It also includes a neat gimmick of allowing you to plug in more than one memory card so players can choose characters with stats loaded off of their own save files. Characters from the story can also be unlocked to be playable in versus game modes, with a few being particularly tricky to unlock, making it an overall good post-game activity.

    One such character can be unlocked through the game's survival mode, where you go through a series of stages on 1 bar of health. You can play as any unlocked character in this mode as well, and can prove to be a rather challenging game mode for ill-prepared players.

    All in all, if you express interest in this game, you should be buying the gameplay for the versus mode, which is lots of fun with friends, and the story, which has stuck with me since I originally played it in 2002. Players should not go into this looking for a viciously competitive game or one packed with gameplay features -- its primary success is in the simplicity of its systems that allow the story to work its magic.
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  5. Feb 23, 2015
    7
    The Bouncer is a beat-em-up game with mechanics that would have been revolutionary had they not been buried behind idiotic design choices. ItThe Bouncer is a beat-em-up game with mechanics that would have been revolutionary had they not been buried behind idiotic design choices. It reminds me of "Die by the Sword," in that the precise hit detection should have spawned a new genre of sequels and copycats with procedural action gameplay, but was instead lost and forgotten.

    REVOLUTIONARY:
    1) The game has PERFECT hit detection. It feels pixel-based, and it's better than what we have 15 years later today. What this does is it really makes the differences between each attack stand out so you can apply them to the situation, shifting strategies as enemies cluster, or flip. It keeps everything feeling procedural and organic, because the impact angles are always different.
    2) Rag-doll physics for all human and cat characters (but not robots). Some beat-em-ups today do this (not enough), but the ragdoll in this game is probably the best I've seen, and at the time any real physics was novel, and they actually affect gameplay.
    3) Enemies knock each other over when they collide. In combination with the perfect hit detection and rag-doll-physics, this opens up a world of strategy and replayability.
    4) Two NPC allies stay with you almost the entire game and help in fights, although they can knock you down when they're hit.

    IDIOTIC Design Choices:
    1) No cooperative gameplay. The only multiplayer was the versus mode (up to 3-on-3 with 2 computer-controlled allies per, or free-for-all with 4 players). I would have killed for coop gameplay in the survival mode especially.
    2) Encounters are way too short (3-5 enemies) before a frequent, overly-long cutscene and another upgrade/save/character-select point. The plot is so insipid you skip cutscenes on the first playthrough, but even that takes time. The characters are dressed for Final Fantasy, meaning they all universally look stupid aesthetically.
    3) Walking movement in 3D was stiff, constantly arrested by an auto-lock-on mechanic that made it difficult to position yourself with the precision that the hit detection required.
    4) Characters have 8 basic attacks (and paltry few combos) from 4 face buttons; this was one of the only games ever that distinguished between light and hard press on the PS2 controller. Picking attacks like that, rapid-fire in sequence, is just too much to ask from a player in a fast-paced beat-em-up.
    5) There are no environmental hazards, ring-outs, or destructible/interactive objects in the environment. It's like the entire game takes place in one room where the background art shifts.
    6) An RPG upgrade system, which never works in action videogames because it's always hard to calibrate how upgraded you need to be. So if you save up to buy new moves (which is my bias because I want to see everything...at least get the throw because it looks cool with the ragdoll effect) or switch characters midway to upgrade them, the game becomes impossible.
    7) Then there are a few pointless sections without enemies or puzzles, just corridors with only one exit and literally nothing to do but proceed there; it's bizarre.
    8) There's no "continue" option when you die (you have to load a save from the main menu) which just aggravates the steep difficulty curve and cheap bosses that begin appearing at the halfway point.
    9) The game lasts 3 hours, although only 1 hour is actual new gameplay, the rest is cutscenes and restarting the same section over and over because of a super-cheap boss.

    The upshot is a relatively fun game (worth a playthrough or two) with enormously squandered potential. In the 15 years since, only dinky indie games have attempted procedural/organic beat-em-up gameplay, and not nearly as well.

    What probably went wrong is too much of Square's traditional Final Fantasy RPG influence. It's a shame, "The Bouncer" could have fixed itself into a superb 9/10 game just by adding cooperative play and deleting "features": delete the cutscenes, delete the RPG mechanics (spawn every character with all his moves), delete the robotic enemies, delete the invisible wall that keeps enemies from "ring-outs."
    One more step beyond that--add in environmental hazards, make the arcade (not "story"; literally zero cutscenes would be better) mode longer, and maybe design characters that didn't look like they were caught inside a Lisa Frank warehouse explosion--and we're talking a perfect 10/10 game.
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  6. Hades
    Mar 6, 2003
    6
    Hmm...half assed sums it up rather nicely i suppose... Let me explain why i think so though: So after waiting to play the bouncer for quite Hmm...half assed sums it up rather nicely i suppose... Let me explain why i think so though: So after waiting to play the bouncer for quite awhile i finally found it somewhere available for 10$ so i figured what the heck why not pick it up. Sadly, the game didn't impress me much. Sure the graphics are good, not fantastic, but good. The music and voice acting is also well done (well...the voice acting is ~okay~) and sound effects match whats going on on screen. But the areas where the game really dissapoints are length, replay value, and gameplay. The game only took, at most, 5 hours through the first time. Sure you can play through as the other 2 alternate characters but the stories arent all that different. There's also a 4 player mode but the fighting engine is kind of wack anyway so i dont think youll have much fun with it. Overall, The Bouncer could have been great with a better storyline, MUCH longer game, and a better fighting engine, but without those it has to settle for simply being mediocre. Pass this one. Expand
  7. Ray
    Feb 4, 2008
    0
    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 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. Expand

See all 18 User Reviews

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Awards & Rankings

41
#41 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
21
#21 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001