The Bouncer (2000)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


The Bouncer is a distinctive action game that combines beat ’em up mechanics with RPG elements, set against a backdrop of friendship, mystery, and conflict. It remains a noteworthy part of PlayStation 2’s early lineup, cherished by fans of the genre.


Set in the fictional city of Edge, The Bouncer follows the story of three bouncers with a deep bond forged through their work at a local bar. Their lives take a dramatic turn when Dominique, a close friend, is kidnapped, thrusting them into a battle that reaches beyond their expectations.


The game’s plot unfolds differently depending on which character the player chooses for specific gameplay sequences. The story revolves around three bouncers from the bar, Fate: Sion Barzahd, Volt Krueger, and Kou Leifoh. They embark on a rescue mission to save their young friend, Dominique Cross, from the Mikado Group, an international megacorporation.

The game begins with the Mikado Special Forces kidnapping Dominique Cross. The three bouncers of the bar, Fate, set out to rescue Dominique and put an end to the Mikado Group. During their missions, they learn that Dominique is an android created in the image of Dauragon’s late sister. Dauragon C. Mikado, the megalomaniacal owner of the Mikado Group, is planning to destroy Edge and take over the world as an act of revenge. He blames society for their abandonment on the streets and his sister’s death due to the failure of Edge’s social systems.

The gameplay of “The Bouncer” is similar to those in the Tobal series. Certain buttons denote high, middle, and low attacks, while others are used for jumping attacks, blocking, and special moves. Players have a health meter during gameplay, which, if depleted, means the player dies. Players also have a limited number of guard points available to them. As the player blocks, the number of guard points diminish. When they are gone completely, the player can no longer block.

The game’s combat uses ragdoll physics, which allows characters to be launched several feet into the air, making it possible to juggle enemies by striking them repeatedly. Enemies can also be thrown or otherwise knocked into one another, causing all of them to take damage at once.

The game is structured as a series of short gameplay segments interspersed with cinematic cutscenes that tell the game’s story. With the Active Character Selection (ACS) system, when a cutscene concludes, the player is given the choice to control one of the three protagonists and proceed onto the next gameplay segment.

Despite receiving considerable press coverage before its release, and being greatly anticipated as one of the marquee titles in the first batch of PS2 games, “The Bouncer” was met with poor sales and mixed reviews.


Sion Barzahd, the main protagonist, is joined by Volt Krueger and Kou Leifoh in the quest to save Dominique Cross. Each character has unique fighting styles and abilities, adding depth to the game’s combat system.


The Bouncer features a dynamic 3D combat environment where battles can occur anywhere, from the confines of the bar to the streets of Edge. Players can engage in hand-to-hand combat, execute special moves, and participate in group battles.


The Bouncer remains a memorable title for early PlayStation 2 adopters. Its ambitious blend of cinematic storytelling and action gameplay showcases the potential of the console while providing a unique gaming experience.

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