Samurai Warriors Xbox Review
Grandeur battles played out over historic settings is something that Koei have become known for, the continuous barrage of Dynasty Warriors titles is part of this rich history. Whereas the grand stage of the Dynasty Warriors series is ancient China, Koei’s latest packs all the swords, spears, horses and troops over to feudal Japan for Samurai Warriors.
The setting may be different but this can easily be described as Dynasty Warriors in Japan as it shares many similarities with the epic series. That’s not to say that Samurai Warriors is without any new ideas, but it does share the same concept of battling your way through hundreds of opposing dumb AI troops on lively battlefields. The familiarity extends to the Musou attacks, but they look even better on Samurai Warriors, pausing any immediate enemy troops for you to literally cut through, when surrounded this is an immensely satisfying means of earning some breathing space.
Samurai Warriors is a long way from feeling empty as the menus present you with plenty of things to do. The Story Mode allows you to choose from one of five characters. These five characters can later be increased to 15 after prolonged play. The characters also have unique objectives and stories depending on whom you choose and some even intertwine. RPG elements are present for upgrading your character with points earned during each battle. Many different upgrades are available, granting various things. It’s a nice and simple system that never gets in the way of the rest of the game, which is a good thing.
A difference from Dynasty Warriors is the inclusion of trap-laden indoor sections, which are randomly generated. Like the rest of the game, the environment remains rather basic and dull, although we’re still appreciative of the attempt. Getting around can be rather tough, but at least the map draws-in with your progress, to show where you have and – more importantly – haven’t been.
There’s survival and versus modes as well as a free mode, although we were a little more curious about the New Officer mode then any of the others. This mode allows you to choose a character model and then train him up over a set number of months; your success or lack of determines how good or rubbish your warrior turns out in the end. It’s a nice and pleasing idea, which we would like to see taken even further in a future title.
There is a co-operative mode for two players as well as other multi-player modes, which we think earns the game an extra point. The three modes have you fighting to be the first to 1000 enemy KO’s, defeating your opponents army or bringing down an individual who likes disappearing every now and again. These multi-player modes are wholesome fun and arguably the strongest aspect of the entire game.
Graphically the game looks a little bland and devoid of colour next to the brighter Dynasty Warriors series. The fogging is still there, but it’s impressive to see a huge number of troops on the screen nonetheless. Sonically the game moves away from the rocky music of Dynasty Warriors and has more fitting tunes whilst the voice acting ranges from bearable to downright embarrassing.
Samurai Warriors is a perfect example of shallow and brainless button bashing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is always the fear of a game like this becoming overly repetitive sooner rather then later and that’s why we prefer Samurai Warriors in moderation rather then hours worth of sessions. Still it’s a good, unchallenging title for the brain and perfect for multi-player action and letting off any steam.