Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer is a 3D platformer/action-adventure game developed by VIS Entertainment and originally released in Europe for the PlayStation 2 in 2005, followed by a US release in 2007. In 2009 the game was ported to the Xbox 360, Wii, and PSP as Brave: A Warrior's Tale.
When his tribe gets attacked by an evil spirit called the Wendigo, the Native American boy Brave journeys to find Spirit Dancer, the only shaman capable of stopping it.
Why It Sucks
- Poor graphics that look more like an N64 game than a late-era PS2 game. Bear in mind that this released the same year as the original God of War game and the US version was released a year after the PS3's launch.
- Despite the poor graphics the game still only runs at thirty frames per second, even in the 2009 rerelease.
- The 2009 rerelease is virtually identical to the original game save for a playable prologue and epilogue bookending the original game where you play as Brave's daughter. These parts are so lazily added they couldn't even be bothered to put in unique grunt sounds for her so ingame she sounds just like Brave.
- Dull story, dialogue, and voice-acting. Brave is pretty generic as a character and the only interaction NPCs have with him is to order him around with endless tasks.
- Poorly-designed combat; only one form of attack, no way to dodge or block, enemies don't flinch at all so they'll hit you with no way of avoiding them, they can easily drain all your health in a couple of hits etc. The only thing keeping the combat from being completely unplayable is the Spirit Charge, a sort of "Power-up mode" that lasts about 30 seconds that can be used as many times as the player still has Spirit Charges, which refill by collecting energy and the player can carry up to 5 charges by the end of the game.
- The few unique mechanics such as imitating animal calls, possessing animals, detecting animal trails and fishing don't get put to any interesting use due to the game's linear nature and most of the gameplay consisting of bad platforming and combat.
- The game is very short. Even in a casual playthrough the game can beaten in less than 4 hours and that's if the player doesn't bother to find all the secret totems to unlock the concept art which can be seen with a cheat code anyway.
- Difficulty's all over the place; the game can't decide whether it wants to be really easy or really hard.
- There's a cool bossfight where you gradually zap a giant stone creature down to nothing with lightning, however the game makes you fight this guy about 3-4 times throughout the same level with no change. It gets old fast.
- Health recovery items are rare.
- Bad controls and camera, most prevalent in the Spirit Plain levels (filler platforming levels between each real level), the non-platforming levels (canoeing, riding a giant eagle, riding buffalo), and the ice wall, a part so annoying it has its own bullet-point!
- About 2/3 into the game Brave has to scale a huge wall of ice with pickaxes, only the task is made a huge pain by the unintuitive controls. You have to alternate between pressing Square and Circle to use the left and right pickaxes respectively, there's a part near the top where the ice slopes down where you'll fall off almost every time because you can only climb either straight up or diagonally and you have to carefully slide down, it's too easy to fall off accidentally forcing you to do the whole section again.
- The game takes about 30 seconds to auto-save, which wouldn't be a problem except you can't pause or use the hint system at all while the game's still saving.
- The hint system is near-useless, a lot of times the hint icon will flash up only to say "I've nothing more to say to help you."