The Xbox 360 is almost one year old now, and already we have seen a few Koei titles to hit the console. Unfortunately they have not had the same success that the company reaped with the PlayStation 2. Today we are checking out the second installment in the Samurai Warriors series, which had a great first outing. But could Samurai Warriors fall into the same repetitive trap that other Koei games have already fallen into? Read our full review of Samurai Warriors 2 for the Xbox 360 to find out!
In the last generation of video game consoles, we really saw an amazing emergence of hack and slash action game. Being able to go into these great battles and taking out hordes of baddies is just a great experience. But after countless games, we started to see some limits in the games, and the lack of depth. Samurai Warriors came along and added some good RPG elements that helped revitalize the genre up a bit, but can they succeed?
Samurai Warriors 2 is a game that has a lot of potential with the new technology of the Xbox 360, but I really don’t think that the game manages to really use this technology to its advantage. Right when you hit the battlefield for the first time, you will see that the core gameplay of Samurai Warriors 2 is just like what we saw in the previous Samurai Warriors game. The game still places you on a giant battlefield where you string out several combos taking out hundreds of enemies at a time. The formula for the most part is the same thing that we have seen from many of the Koei games in the past.
Two of the main offline modes are the story mode and free play. Obviously free play is basically where you take to the battlefield and just eliminate as many enemies as you can possible want to. The story mode tries to once again put you in this ancient Japan, where the story is even less interesting than usual and does absolutely nothing to draw you into the game. In fact, the mode really just feels like thrown together objectives, with very limited incentives as to why you should sit through and play this mode. The objectives usually are pretty straight forward, ranging from defending a location to taking out certain enemies.
There are some new modes here as well, such as the Sugoroku, which is just a pretty poor attempt at turning Samurai Warriors into a board game. While it is actually a really interesting idea, but hampered by the lazy execution. If done right, the mode could have provided not only great replay value, but maybe even great multiplayer fun.
The Xbox 360 version of the game does have some Live support, but nothing of which that manage to help the game at all. There is a versus mode here too, which sounds awesome but doesn’t seem that fun. Instead of pitting you against an opponent, you’re just competing in who is better at the offline battling. The Live support could have been much better as it really never gave you a reason to go back online and compete, as the action is really no different than the offline content.
It is really a shame to see another Koei game be put onto the Xbox 360 and struggle again like Samurai Warriors 2 does. I have so much respect for the genre of hack and slash, because they can really be a lot of fun, and for the most part have gained quite a huge following. However, Koei just hasn’t been able to put together a good solid outing and Samurai Warriors 2 continues this trend.
Visually I have to say that Samurai Warriors 2 was not only disappointing, it was just an example of a bad current generation console port. First off, the environments are just hideous, with little to no detail to come by; in fact some of the environments just look like rehashes from what we saw on previous games of the series. The character models fair a bit better, but the overall look and feel of Samurai Warriors 2 is just not all that worthy of a ’next generation’ tag.
I really am a big fan of hack and slash games, but I have just been disappointed a countless number of times, and this game is another example. It is first and foremost a big disappointment to see how this game just doesn’t feel like a next generation title. Secondly the game does not add nor improve upon anything that we have seen in previous games. The game has no real draw to it, whether it is online or offline.
I am usually one not to score games in the lower numbers, mainly because there usually are some good to be found in every game. However, Samurai Warriors 2 is a game that offers very little to a struggling genre, and manages to make for an extremely shallow gaming experience. The game has potential written all over it, but it is ultimately hampered by repetitive gameplay and washed down visuals.
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.