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The conclusion of the original Last Blade title saw Kagami defeated and his power relinquished. Despite this, Hell's Gate has remained open, and once again it has drawn an eclectic collection of individuals, each with a specific motive. Some wish to enter Hell's Gate, others to harness its power, and yet others wish to close it — but all have gathered for a brutal showdown.
Developed by SNK, Last Blade 2: Heart of the Samurai is a 2D weapons-based fighting title offering sixteen playable characters (along with five hidden fighters) and a selection of game modes and play styles. The characters themselves represent a wide variety of fighting styles and disciplines, ranging from ninjas, samurai, and monks to street brawlers and demons.
Once a character is selected, players choose one of three play styles, referred to as Speed, Power, and EX. The first option increases your fighter's agility, enabling them to perform more combos, but at the cost of reduced damage dealt. Conversely, the Power mode increases the damage potential of moves, and allows the use of powerful super moves, but at the cost of speed. Lastly, EX combines the advantages of both Power and Speed, but your fighter will take increased damage from enemy attacks.
The fighting system makes use of four buttons: light and heavy slashes, kick, and repel. The repel maneuver, if timed correctly, interrupts an enemy's attacks, leaving them stunned and vulnerable to an assault of your own. Doling out and receiving damage will slowly fill the Super bar, which when full, allows players to execute powerful special attacks.
The main single-player adventure, Story Mode, takes players through a series of consecutive fights, with the inevitable final showdown against a large and powerful boss character. Other modes of play include two-player Versus, Time Attack, and a Training mode, along with an art gallery and Demo mode that facilitates viewing of any previously unlocked cut-scenes. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide