Samurai Warriors 2 Xtreme Legends
The samurai culture has always been something that has captured the imagination of the masses. Through various forms of media, we have seen a bunch of great samurai based action hit our TV screens such as the iconic cartoon series Samurai Jack, popular anime series, Afro Samurai or 2003 film, The Last Samurai. So with 2020 giving us a shiny and brand new samurai video game in the form of Ghost of Tsushima, it’s only right that we revisit an older game series of the vain. Here, we are looking back at Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends.
This game is made by Koei and unsurprisingly this game plays like a Dynasty Warriors game. So much so that it almost seems like a reskin of an existing Dynasty game with a change in theme and scenery being the only notable difference between the two series.
Hack, slash, rinse, repeat
Predictably, this game follows the Samurai Warrior/Dynasty Warrior tried and tested format of providing opportunities to fight waves of enemies in barren, open areas before moving onto the next area to do the same. You’ll have six characters to choose from who all have unique attack patterns and skills and each have their own storylines. The gameplay is incredibly repetitive and will have you grinding your way through hundreds if not thousands of enemies in one mission just to reach the commander and finish off the stage.
This would all be fine if the enemies were at all diverse, the attacks you can throw were in any way cohesive and easily chainable for quick combos or if the areas you thought in hard even a semblance of eye candy peppered around the screen. We understand that this grind is what fans of the series sign up for but even for what it is, it lacks substance.
Start’s slow, stays slow
The game modes on offer equate to what is essentially a story mode which you can play as six unique characters and a mission mode. The stories on offer are flimsy excuses for narrative and one can only assume that one good story would have been better than the six bland, overstretched stories. Then when looking at the mission mode, it boils down to a cliché set of objectives which play out in a more arcade-style fashion. While this is infinitely better than the weak story mode, it still feels a bit lifeless after a few missions.
Then to add insult to injury, the game allows you to collect gems which in turn, reward you with the ability to unlock secret missions. It feels like a pointless cycle where you are completing chores just to have the ability to do more chores. There is little in terms of gratification for completing tasks throughout the title and this is when you begin to realise just how mindless this game truly is.
Grainy and Empty
The visuals, animations, character models and environments are often qualities that can rescue a game that fails to deliver on a gameplay front. Sadly though, this game fails to take this opportunity as the visuals are found lacking in most areas. The character models are admittedly quite detailed and fit the setting and there are small details around the environment linking this game to feudal Japan. However, the grainy textures, sparse environments and clumsy animations undo any good work done by the art team and make this game look rough around the edges, to say the least.
Aside from the usual complaint with the Dynasty archetypal games which is that you’ve played this game before, there is a feeling here that this is, lacking even more in terms of innovation and creativity.
The graphics are poor, the sound is cheesy and poorly recorded, the gameplay is the usual repetitive format that has been milked for all it’s worth, the environments are empty husks and while the content is as plentiful as it usually is, we really don’t see why anyone would want to take advantage of the quantity of poorly made drivel on show here. In short, it’s exactly what you would expect, more of the same.
- Plenty of content
- 6 unique playable characters
- Mission mode offers a more arcade-style of gameplay.
- Fails to innovate in so many areas
- The gameplay is in the usual repetitive format
- Visuals and sound are mediocre at best
- The storylines are forgettable