Much like the previous title from this game’s developer, Friends of Ringo Ishikawa, Arrest of a Stone Buddha may be better defined as a gaming experiment than a traditional game. Slowly and somewhat sparsely leaving breadcrumbs of a story along the way you’ll tend to move between intense (but ultimately pretty repetitive) gunfighting and being left to somewhat aimlessly wander town in search of whatever it is the developer is trying to convey. The combat can be pretty tricky as attackers will come at you from both sides, with some coming in close (which you’ll want to disarm for their gun, then break their arm to be done with), and others stopping to take a shot at you. Your need to get people in close to be sure you don’t run dry on ammo makes this into a bit of a dance at times, carefully avoiding shooting a few people to allow them to get near you so you can disarm them, but with mobs of enemies coming at you they can get layered on top of each other at times, making it very difficult to avoid getting taken down. These sequences at first have a very old school arcade feel to them I appreciated but over time don’t really evolve at all so they then can get a bit aggravating to endure. The issue is that then there’s just not enough narrative payoff to persisting, making the experience more frustrating than engaging.
Justin Nation, Score: