20100720

Samurai: Way of the warrior iPhone/iPod game review

Samurai: way of the warrior
It has been a while since my last iPod Touch game review (it was Lunarcy, a superb puzzle physics game with retro graphics). This time I come with an adventure/action game, set in the medieval Japan era known as Sengoku Jidai, the period of the country at war. After the death of the previous Shogun, succession was a problem and every daimyo (local army leaders) wanted this position. As such, war ensued. And this is where you are now, inside your small iPhone.

In Samurai: Way of the Warrior you play the role of Daisuke Shimada fighting Daimyo Hattoro after his kidnapping of a whole village.

The game is self-described as hack and slash, and indeed, you will be slaying and hacking all the way until you find the daimyo. Beware of the blood spills!

Affilite iTunes Store link here (I get a small commission from Apple if you purchase from this link, this helps keep this blog moving!)

Game controls are superb, as is the design and scenery. Moving is simple: drag Daisuke where you want to go (or just press where you want to go). Attacking can get trickier, but this is the part that gets real fun.

There are three basic moves, which result in moves of your katana (samurai sword). These are swipe up, right and left over the enemies. And there are nine combinations of these moves in 2-move combos (3 of them) and 3-move combos (6 different). With names as blood bath and walking sword, you may guess how they end up. Combos are unlocked as the history progresses in history mode, and they are all available in dojo (arcade) modes.

You can also dodge attacks, making an attacking move in the correct moment. This will end with a you in the back of your attacker ready for another attack.

The history mode is somewhat short (around an hour gameplay), with three different difficulty levels (thus allowing for some replay option), but there is also a dojo mode, with two different levels where you fight unending swarms of enemies (maybe not unending, but I have not ended them).

Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior
Enemies are all quite similar, they take longer to bring down and the really hard ones (bald and dressed with blue or red robes) can get combinations on you and move quickly. Dodge them.

What will keep you playing again and again are the finishing moves, when you may kill one enemy with a single blow, slicing his body in half, or beheading him. This will keep you playing just for the sake of releasing some job or everyday frustrations. And also to see what happens if you end dojo modes, of course!

Below you can see the mayhem you can generate in the dojo modes.

Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior Samurai: way of the warrior

Hints and tips:
  • One hit kills: One hit kills (beheading, slicing in half or slicing in two) get harder as the enemies get tougher. Some insights I have found while playing to get more one hit kills. There is also a strong randomized factor, thus take these with a pinch of salt:
    • Speed: It looks as if the quicker you deliver a blow, or execute a combo, the odds of killing grow a lot.
    • Moves: Certain moves look more effective for beheading, the best ones are the three move combos (specially blood bath: up-right-left and shogun death: up-right-right) and one of the two move combos is not bad (cloud cutting: up-right).
  • Bosses: The simplest way to kill a boss is to keep repeating a simple combo, like right-left-right, this way you are either striking him continuously or dodging his attacks. You could also use a harder combo, but this is effective.
  • Swarm fighting: Try not to get surrounded by more than 4 or 5 enemies. They may be weak and clumsy, but they will hit you while you are attacking each other. In particular, 3 move combos end in a slow-motion final blow... But only you and the attacked are in slow-motion, all other enemies move at their normal speed.
  • Low on health: Like the boss combo, keep on attacking as quick as you can with simple combos. You may then be able to kill all attackers before you die out.
  • Strategy: There are usually two ways to get ahead, and one is heavily guarded. Moreover, you can stop and wait for the enemies to come at you, one by one. No need to fight 8 or 10 enemies at once (but it is more fun, of course!)
Happy hack and slash!

Affilite iTunes Store link here (I get a small commission from Apple if you purchase from this link, this helps keep this blog moving!)

Related posts:
All hail Steve Jobs and his iPad?
Retro on iPod Touch (2): ScummVM
iHold: an iPod touch credit card stand
Canabalt for iPod / iPhone game review
Field Goal: iPhone/iPod Touch game review
Vector Tanks: iPod Touch / iPhone game
Backbreaker for iPhone/iPod review
Trundle iPod / iPhone game review
Written by Ruben Berenguel