There is no doubt that Koei has managed to garner considerable following with its Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchises, but they’re pretty much a hit and miss affair. I personally never know what to expect going into a game published by Koei, because it can either really surprise you or really disappoint. Today is one of those times where I had no idea what to expect, Koei bringing their touted Samurai Warriors title from the typical console hack and slash to a first person sword slashing Wii title. So what are the final results? Read our full review of Samurai Warriors Katana for the Nintendo Wii to find out.
So there are going to be some of you who can remember times where you really enjoyed one of the Samurai Warriors or Dynasty Warriors titles. However I can guarantee you that the games you have played in the past don’t necessarily play the same as this one. That is of course as you may have guessed because this game is for the Wii, and the big question then arrises, can Nintendo use the Wii to their advantage on Samurai Warriors Katana.
So let’s start by getting a few things that are on my mind out of the way. First off, this isn’t the hand to hand sword experience that we all have been dreaming of for the Wii, nor does the game seem to try to be. Second, this is a game that like I have said with many Koei titles, has deep potential, but some of their underlying mechanics are just implemented terribly. Last but not least, this game although in a lot of ways different in controls, is still the same hack and slash mind numbing experience of yonder years.
One of the things that I believe will surprise many, is the fact that most of the game you’re actually not moving your character, but instead the game has you on rails going from point A to point B without even using the nun-chuck. Secondly the combat is actually a lot more shooting, and button pressing then it is making motion with your remote/katana. This is a bit of a letdown as many including myself were hoping for some truly great sword play in this title.
That isn’t to say that there isn’t free movement (very limited however) as well as sword slashing with the Wii remote, it is just all in a very basic package. The campaign itself isn’t bad, it’s got the typical flow of a Samurai Warriors title with sprinkles of history thrown in for good measure throughout the experience. The single player campaign is a decent experience it offers some variety (more so then normal), some decent Wii action, and at the very least a different feel for the series.
The game has split screen mulitplayer for two players but it really isn’t worth a mention nor worth checking out. The game as a whole manages to deliver a half-hearted sword playing Wii experience. It’s not the worst Wii game ever, it just doesn’t do a lot to impress.
Visually we have come to find that a lot of developers don’t seem to be trying to push the envelope much with the Wii and this is yet another example of that. The character models are as bland as they come in this game, giving very little detail, and very little variation between characters as well. The environments are classic Samurai Warriors style giving very little feeling of a new game. And finally the combat is held back quite a bit by the poor animation and the lack of originality.
There have been a few really bad sword slashers on the Wii already, and luckily this isn’t a title that necessarily drops the ball that badly. Samurai Warriors Katana does some things right, the controls, although a bit on the short end in terms of motion capturing movements, still allows you to have a bit of the feel of being inside the game. For all its shortcomings there still was a bit to like about this game, it’s just a shame more couldn’t have been done to bring it to the next level.
Samurai Warriors Katana is not a bad title by any means. In fact in a lot of ways it takes the light gun game formula and transforms it into a unique sword slasher for the Wii. However there are still a handful of issues,and the problem of repetitiveness that really holds the game back. Unless you’re a big fan the most I recommend this one for is a rental. Beyond that, is probably too much.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.