'Samurai Warriors 3': Button-mashing fun for the Wii
October 7, 2010
One of my guilty pleasures is the “Samurai Warriors” franchise.
Cheesy dialogue. Over-the-top characters. Frantic button-mashing. Hordes of enemies to slice through. It’s like the comfort food of gaming — simple yet satisfying. I’ve been waiting for four years for a version to appear on the Wii, so I was thrilled to see it on the list of upcoming games for the fall.
I wasn’t disappointed.
The T-rated action game developed by Tecmo Koei Games plays similarly to the older versions. You pick one of 35 samurai — many based on historical warriors — and follow his career path. The path involves punching buttons at least a thousand times each mission to slice and dice waves of oncoming enemies as you navigate around a battlefield set in 16th-century Japan. Each time you defeat a foe, you build up Musou power, which allows you to unleash an unbelievably powerful attack on your foes. The game play isn’t exactly deep, but it is addictive.
You can play through the game numerous times, taking the roles of different samurai and experiencing the battles from different viewpoints. You also can play co-op on a split screen or online.
While the basics have remained the same, a few aspects have been tweaked or streamlined a bit. For example, instead of selecting from an assortment of artifacts that grant special powers, you pick from three packages of artifacts designed to complement each other. Suggestion: If you tend to bleed a lot, take the package with lots of healing. In addition, there’s now a Spirit gauge that stores power you can use in tandem with the Musou energy to unleash a spectacular “ultimate Musou attack.”
However, the most interesting addition is the Murasame Castle mode. This is basically a survival-style game where you and a friend can team up to help save villagers from a castle full of demons.
Also, in the historical mode, you can create your own samurai and learn more about Japan’s Warring States period.
The graphics are good for the Wii. Characters, settings and animations are all decent. However, you’ll notice some visual miscues, such as characters floating in the air.
“Samurai Warriors 3” doesn’t break much new ground but, like any old favorite, it’s still satisfying.