Samurai Warriors - Xbox

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Samurai Warriors (Xbox)
Also for: PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Koei Soft. Co.: Koei
Publishers: Koei (GB)
Released: 24 Sept 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


From the internal development studio at KOEI responsible for the popular Dynasty Warriors series comes Samurai Warriors. As you may have guessed from the title, the game treads a similar path with regard to setting and scenario, but it offers more of a tactical slant to the combat system.

The game is set in feudal Japan, during 'Sengoku' period, where numerous warlords and heroic individuals are struggling to unify a country under their influence. When the political power of the Ashikaga Shogunate collapsed in the succession dispute of 1467, the island of Japan erupted in a series of major wars. This era in history became known as the as the Sengoku or 'warring states' period.

You can opt to take on the role of either a famous warlord, a stealthy ninja, a kunochoi (female ninja) or, of course, an actual samurai warrior, before being plunged into a variety of authentic historical battles such as the Battle of Okehazama, the Battle of Kawanakajima, the clashes at Azuchi Castle and at Odawara Castle. In each case, the given scenario offers multiple conclusions, adapted to the character chosen, thus giving you the opportunity to rewrite history via the decisions you make.

As you would expect, there's a multitude of weapons on offer for each character, including the likes of shurikens, sickle chains, ninja knives, and katana blades. Each individual character has their own unique move and attack modes, but so have the numerous enemies that you need to overcome, which can be especially problematic when you come under attack from 'musket squads' and waves of ninjas. There are also other obstacles that stand in your way like booby trap-ridden castles, which are automatically configured, generated on the map at random and, as a result, guarantee a different experience each time you play through.

Aside from the main game, Samurai Warriors also offers what's known as Warlord mode, which allows you to create a new character by clearing a series of mini-games, the results of which subsequently go on to dictate the characteristics and abilities of your warrior. The inclusion of this, as well as the aforementioned random elements, combine to make for a fair amount of replayability, therefore adding some longevity to the proceedings.