Way of the Samurai 3 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
Way of the Samurai 3 box art
System: PS3, X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Acquire Corp. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Agetec 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 13, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

One aspect of the game that does maintain its interest hour after hour is the fighting system. The basics are easy (block, quick attack, strong attack), but you can develop your abilities and your character in any number of ways. As you fight more, your weapons level up (or sometimes break), and you can spend money to make them better. A variety of special moves expand your options, and you can even fight bare-handed. There are more than 200 parts you can find and use to assemble a weapon that suits your fighting style.

Way of the Samurai 3 screenshot

Maneuvering can be a little clumsy sometimes, and it doesn’t make any sense that you can eat food to improve your health in the middle of a bloody fight (radishes, rice balls, and the like are used the same way Bioshock’s health packs are), but this is a definite bright spot for the game. It’s incredibly fun to go on killing sprees with the difficulty low, and to master tough opponents on the higher settings. Hopefully future titles in the franchise will feature one-on-one online matches.

A few small annoyances are worth mentioning. For some reason, when you try to grab an item you don’t have room to carry, your character picks it up and promptly drops it, which can be confusing and looks ridiculous. While various characters explain the techniques, they appear too late in the game to do much good. You’ll want to consult the manual often. Also, you have to navigate the pause menu every time you want to see the map, which is more than a little obnoxious even in such a small world.

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The game would be better without its flaws, of course. However, as it is, it’s a fascinating combination of different gameplay elements, and it works surprisingly well. Anyone who likes swordfighting, the freedom of an open-world, and the opportunity to shape a story would be well-advised to pick it up. It turns out that Japan’s Sengoku period is a blast, at least when the blood’s not real.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.2
Graphics
The game looks okay, but it’s far from a visual masterpiece.
4.1
Control
The combat controls can feel awkward from time to time, but otherwise everything seems completely natural.
2.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is fine, but the voice acting is too sparse.
4.1
Play Value
The game is short, but it rewards replay.
3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The butterfly effect: With more than 15 different endings, every action you take causes a chain of events to occur, allowing for multiple outcomes and replayability. Every action has a reaction and the following consequences open up new paths to explore.
  • Weapon customization and abilities: Craft your own unique weapons from over 200 different parts and materials, creating the ultimate weapon that suits your taste and fighting style. Create lethal blades, spears, pole axes, and more while discovering new abilities and skills with increased use. Become a master of one or of many. The choice is yours.
  • Reward system and samurai rating: Performing different feats will earn a player Samurai Points and a Title, which in turn unlocks new features and characters within the game. Fight honorably in the way of the samurai, live your life as a bandit, or strive to uphold the government. These choices net different points and values, encouraging multiple playthroughs to unlock everything.
  • The pen can be mightier than the sword: Fight your opposition with force or take the diplomatic route, using subtle gestures such as the unsheathing of your sword. With an extensive dialogue tree, weapons combo system, and more, this hybrid title delivers on multiple fronts.


  • Screenshots / Images
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