|Dev: KOEI Omega Force|
|Pub: Tecmo KOEI|
|Release: March 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Violence|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Samurai Warriors, like sister series Dynasty Warriors, is a franchise that never changes. It's a lot like Pokémon, except instead of adding new creatures and areas, these Musou games keep rehashing the same old stories and inserting new avatars for you to use to beat up the legions of cookie-cutter enemies that are thrown at you. While spamming all the buttons on your 3DS unit does have a certain charm to it, after a while it gets pretty boring. And boredom is the chief issue you'll have with Samurai Warriors Chronicles.
The story is...well, do I even have to repeat it at this point? It's like every other campaign from a Samurai Warriors game ever. You are an up-and-coming warrior during the warring-states period in Japan, and you get a mercenaries'-eye-view of the action as you switch sides and fight for various factions in the region. The game features the same warlords you've seen in other iterations, and although the dialogue has been re-worked to make your warlord friends (and enemies) seem a bit more personable, they really have nothing interesting to say that you haven't heard already. To add insult to injury, the game often thrusts you into pointless cutscenes that you can't skip and last way too long (especially for a portable title). It's like being forced to watch the same old movie over and over again, and you can't even skip the ten-year old previews!
Though the story is definitely a snooze-fest, the combat doesn't make it any better. The game absolutely stays true to the Musou formula, and you can count on spamming all of your new 3DS' face buttons with reckless abandon. The standard attack button is going to be your best friend, until you can charge up your character enough to perform a Musou attack. Then it's back to hitting A like your life depends on it. Though I suppose you could use this game as a test for how durable those re-designed buttons are, I can't really think of any other reason why you would want to play a game where the only challenge is how fast you can press a single button.
The only bright spot here is that the game does have a strategic objective system that allows you to use just a little bit of tactics as you complete optional missions. While you are wailing on the warlord of the southwest camp, you may receive a notification that a samurai has invaded the western area of the map. As you can't really stop what you're doing, you are able to bring up a menu and direct any friends you've made (talking to NPCs for a little bit will get you a long way in this game) towards the enemy. You can map out different strategies using the surprisingly deep menu-based tactics system, and though it won't make hammering the A button any more interesting, it does provide a nice distraction from the main action and gives the game a little bit of staying power.