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Old 04-22-2015   #1
Nightmare Crusher
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Default Samurai Warriors 2

I've been playing a lot of Warriors lately and decided to share my thoughts on one of them. Not sure how long this'll be so here I go.

Gameplay: SW2 is pretty solid gameplay wise. The concept is simple, capture spawn points and take out enemy officers as you complete tasks given to you by the commander. Each character has the same basic controls, but their different abilities make them all feel unique. It feels good to level up your favorite character and purchase new upgrades in the shop. The different battlefields have their own gimmicks, although some are more interesting than others. The one big problem is the AI is dumb as a rock. It pretty much does nothing but walk along a predetermined path and attempt to slaughter every single enemy in its path. This gets very annoying when you're trying to protect a fleeing ally and they decide to stop and fight all the time. Thankfully, these escort missions are few and far between.

Graphics: The graphics are adequate. The characters look decent and the enviroments are ok, just nothing special. This was probably done to keep system performance high, which it succeeds at. The framerate never dips when I play.

Music: The music is pretty good. It takes a traditional Japanese sound and sprinkles in some modern elements. It suits the feel of the game without being intrusive.

Story: Story mode is the main focus of the game. It works similarly to Dynasty Warriors 5. Every character fights through a series of battles, usually five, based on various real battles from Japanese history. Unlike DW5, SW2 does a much better job with keeping a solid flow. In DW5 you would jump from battle to battle with little to no justification or characterizarion. Here there are more cutscenes to flesh out characters and narration that does a better job at filling in the gaps than in DW5. Sadly, this effort is tarnished in the English version by the localization.

Writing and Acting: It sucks. Most of the writing is stale. This is combined with pointless references to western culture, like Sakon Shima quoting Elvis for no reason, and bizarre turns of phrase, such as Hanzo saying, "I apologize not for the orders I am given." It creates a boring and occasionally surreal experience that sucks you out of the game. And then there's the dreadful voice acting. Almost every voice is just bland. Nothing about them reflects on their character's personality. Many characters are graced with an odd, unnatural rasp that gets annoying really fast. Shingen Takeda is the worst example of this. Almost every sound bored, the great demon king Nobunaga sounds like he's about to fall asleep. The director clearly had little knowledge on how to pronounce the Japanese names either. Characters will often stress the wrong parts of a name or say them like they're just sounding out the word for the first time, even on simple names like Mt. Tenno. The worst performance by fay is Mitsunari Ishida. He barely even sounds alive most of the time. I wouldn't be surprised if his lines were being read by a reanimated corpse. There are only a small handful of actors who at least sound like they had the slighest idea of their character's personality and of them I only really liked ideyoshi and Masamune. And of course, this is the only Samurai Warriors that doesn't let you switch the voices to Japanese, which would have been so much nicer.

Extras: Besides the story the game has a few extra modes. Free mode allows you to play as any character in any battle. It's good for some quick fun. Survival mode has you climb through a massive castle, trying to stay alive. It's reminiscent of the castle battles in the original Samurai Warriors. It can be fun, although it can also get tedious very quickly. Sugaroku is a board game mode. It's slow moving, difficult and the single music track is probably the most irritating song in the game. I would advise you to avoid this mode completely if they didn't tie a character unlock to it.

Overall: While rough around the edges, Samurai Warriors 2 is still a fun game and I enjoy it. It's a shame the localization falls short of the rest of the game's overall quality.

I give Samurai Warriors 2 a 7 out of 10.
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