Gaming Fun For Samurai Fans
October 20, 2006
Samurai Warriors 2
If you are a huge fan of samurai movies, Japan’s history, or are a follower of any of KOEI’s Warriors games, Samurai Warriors 2 is a game for you. It came out last month and follows Samurai Warriors and Samurai Warriors: Xtreme. Set after the collapse of Japan’s Ashikaga Shogunate, this game chronicles the civil wars that consumed feudal Japan and the events that led to the country’s unification.
There are 10 added characters you can play, including Ieyasu Tokugawa, the unifier of Japan, or the enigmatic ninja Kotaro Fuma. This brings the total amount of playable characters to 26, so you have more options to face off against legions of enemy soldiers and complete missions critical to your victory. Most of these characters are actually locked when you start off, but you unlock them by playing through the storylines of the ones available to you. Each character has its own progression that lasts a few chapters along with history lessons explaining your scenarios.
Samurai Warriors 2 takes you on a powerful journey through all new tales with the Story, Free and Survival modes. This new version blends in castle warfare with field combat. You can move in and out of castles on the battlefield to complete missions and gain an advantage. The techniques that were once forbidden are revealed in this game to make it interesting. Among those are setting traps, summoning horses or manifesting ninja decoys. Throughout the game you can also unlock more than 70 cinematic sequences that are by Shinsuke Sato, director of the popular cult hit The Princess Blade.
The combos you perform are very simple, while you have a ton of enemies coming at you. It’s easy to move to different sections of your map and fight, and they seem to be similar, no matter what character you’re using.
As you collect gold you can buy new skills and upgrade yourself.
Skills vary from your mounted-horse skills or increasing attack-strength or upgrading your bodyguard guy who follows you around to protect you.
In order to sincerely appreciate this game, you should be a samurai fan, enjoy this type of game genre, or be a Japanese history buff. Otherwise, those not used to this genre may find it confusing and the battle scenes possibly monotonous, since they sort of all start to feel the same after awhile. To break the monotony you can play the included party game Sugoroku (up to four players). It’s somewhat similar to the familiar board game we all know - Monopoly.
The goal of Sugoroku is to move about the board and acquire three flags. When you return to your home base with the flags, you will be rewarded with gold and a promotion. If you land on a square that is not owned, you can purchase that square. If you land on an occupied square, then you have to pay a toll. Thereafter, you can fight for ownership of the square.
If you choose to play the Xbox 360 version of Samurai Warriors 2, some additional features include Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, five save slots, unlockable achievements and the ability to unlock downloadable bonuses through Xbox Live (Vs. play skills). In Vs. play, you race against your opponent in a challenge to be the first one to defeat an enemy boss. This is for two players, and both will appear on separate battlefields. Additionally, Xbox Live allows you to download special guards and horses, and you can build your ranking score as you play against others around the world with Rank Matches.
Overall, this game may not be for everyone. Personally, I appreciate the historical aspect, the costumes in the game and I enjoy KOEI’s Warrior games. The dialogue sounds a bit funny at times and the music isn’t the greatest, but I enjoyed playing it anyway.
Samurai Warriors 2 is rated T for Teen and is available for the PlayStation 2 ($39.99) and Xbox 360 ($49.99) at your nearest CompUSA (www.compusa.com), GameStop (www.gamestop.com) or Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com). You can learn more about the game at www.koei.com.
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