Samurai Warriors 2 Xbox 360 Review

Those creative minds are back with yet another hack ‘n’ slash to add to the countless sequels and clones to the list of this genre of game. Samurai Warriors 2 is the sequel to the original version of the game on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. In between these two games there were various other spin-offs for this game. They appeared on the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2. The comparison between the PlayStation 2 and Xbox360 versions of this game are very few. This game has a very basic style of game play, which is loved and also disliked by millions. Sometimes simplicity is the best option, but also can be the worst. . .

Lord Nobunaga and his evil general’s plan to take over the whole of Japan by killing all that stand against them. The selection of 7 characters all with their own story’s interlinked with each other at different times in the war. One thing that has been noticed throughout all the Romance and the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors, Kessen and Samurai Warriors games is that they all are part of a huge saga! You play Romance and the Three Kingdoms and Kessen from the strategy side of the tale and you play Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors from the action side. Also what a lot of people do not know about when it comes to these games is that they were books and novels before games. As with the transition between movies and books, it is the same when games are thrown into the equation. A lot of information and even important characters are lost because the developers don’t see the need for them.

The in-game graphics of this game are something to be desired for due to the fact there isn’t much difference from 2-3 years ago! The detail of the armour or the characters faces may look sharper, but these games are about how many men there are on screen to obliterate at once! The graphical style of this game is played out and worn. All they have seemed to have added is a bright glowing effect and a blur that makes the lazy developers look good. It looks really nice, and is fast which these games are supposed to be. You don’t want slowdown, especially at a crucial point in battle. As with the new kid on the block, Ninety Nine Nights, it was instantly shunned by the hardcore fans and they refused to accept it because as with fans of certain series, they refuse to praise a game of similar series because they want to fit in. When it comes down to it Ninety Nine Nights is a damn fine game. If you’re a graphical freak and you place the two together, a lot of people choose Ninety Nine Nights for its graphical quality which is a gamer’s first mistake in the new-age. The movie sequences in this game, as with all these titles, are beautifully orchestrated and very well played out. In them, they have skillfully placed orchestral music which fits perfectly with the scene.

The game play is basic and repetitive as it is with this style of game. Usually they have gorgeous moves for the various characters dependant on what weapon they use weather it be a sword, pole-arm or a great-axe! They all come with their own style and spirit. The movements of the various styles are fluid and they expand and extend with the level-up system in the game. As with every level-up you get more moves and also gold which is used to buy weapons, skills, guards, and mounts. With each new purchase you increase your chances of victory! Weapon purchases increase your arsenal to use. Skill purchases increase how many different combo moves you have. Guards increase how many men you have to assist you in battle. Finally mounts are the horses that you can call upon during battle if you need a quick escape out of a sticky situation. These are one of the key points during battle because if you feel overwhelmed, call you horse, get on, and get out! You can then stand back and compose yourself for more butt-whoopin!!!

There are five different modes of combat: Story mode, Free mode, Survival, Sugoroku and finally Xbox Live. With regards to story mode and free mode, they are pretty much the same style of game play, in an open vast plain to battle the opposing armies. One thing that players love to do is get a friend, jack in another controller and then kick-butt together, side by side in battle. This is always fun to do, especially on the hardest difficulty setting. In survival mode you go through an infinitely vast castle. You escort various people and earn lots and lots of gold!!! The battle-scene is not as big as the story or free mode but still has the intensity of the raw combat. Lastly in the combat arena is the Xbox Live play. In this you can go online and battle with various people around the globe. It is only a 2 player fight to the death. While you only control one character, you have others which you may choose from as backup during the battle. While trying to find and fight your opponent you need to fight through his backup army, and when you finally fight him, it becomes a toe-to-toe bloodbath! You can choose between a Ranked Match or just a Player Match. The difference between the two is that players can compete for ranks to reach number 1 in the world. While Player matches are just harmless fun to hone your combat skills. If you want a break from all of the hacking, slashing and mindless killing, you can sit back with some green tea and play Sugoroku. This little side game is made for 1 to 4 players, depending on how many controllers are connected to the console. You can also choose which character you wish to try and rule Japan with. Now, this little side game has the characteristics of Mario Party in the way you roll a dice and have to collect items set on the board. In Sugoroku’s case, you collect flags instead of stars. During the collection of the flags you have to strategically buy land and increase your gold intake, and the person who has the most gold wins! While travelling around Japan (the board in which Sugoroku is played on) players will encounter each other so they will then participate in a mini game. The mini game involved is again back to the combat element of the game. Luckily if you’re sick of doing the same button press over and over, these mini games last from 30 seconds to 1 minute. After the very annoying tutorial at the beginning of the first 20minutes of your first game, it’s actually pretty fun to play!

The audio choice in this game is very obscure indeed. Unlike Ninety Nine Nights the music during the game play isn’t all orchestral and dramatic; there is very hard rock and metal style of music with the odd Japanese instrument thrown in there. The music of choice in this series of games has always been nothing remotely related to the era portrayed in these games. Now the speech, that is just plain awful! As with a lot of games in today’s world, the voice acting is terrible. It’s always either really dead and robotic sounding or really overacting; I am of course referring to the English/American dub in the game. With games like this I have always found its better to turn the speech off if you can, if not, then you will have to endure the pain of bad voice acting, luckily in this you can turn it off, so everyone is a winner. Some people really like it and think it adds to the mood of the game and the heat of battle. A lot more people see it as laughable un-orchestrated filth. It is usually better to avoid the voices in these games.

Overall, I think the game is good for people returning to the series, and want to continue playing the story, which they will be returning to for a very long time. For newcomers who are looking for an all out brawl fest with hundreds upon hundreds of enemies on screen, they are better off going for Ninety Nine Nights. If you’re a new-comer looking for co-op and mini game fun, then this is for you! It has countless hours until the next spin off or sequel gets released. In terms of a next-gen title, this is far from it. But for people who sold their PlayStation 2s and Xbox’s, but picked up an Xbox360 will feel right at home reliving the same repetitive game from 6 years ago.

This game is what I call a marmite game, you will either love it, or hate it. . .

6.5 out of 10

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