Samurai Legend is a game that has the attention span
of a gnat when it comes to making its mind up about
what it wants to be. With elements of RPG, puzzles,
combat and platforming there is not one consistently
solid genre on which to base this game. Worse than
that, the pace of the game is in low gear from start
read this wrong, I didn't say this game was for players
with short attention spans. Quite the opposite in
fact. There are long periods of pure boredom interspersed
with repetition, backtracking and other elements that
have been added to fill in the emptiness. In an effort
to turn this game into a RPG there is an incredible
amount of padding. Mushashi should have been an action
adventure game - with a focus on more action and adventure.
Instead it's so insubstantial it's like eating a cloud
RPG storyline is as textbook as it comes. It's the
traditional rescue-the-princess-from-the-villain premise.
Our hero, in this case, Musashi, finds himself in
a city atop an albino whale where be must stop the
evil Gandrake from making slaves of the population
of mystics that can empower the evil one's energy
force. Don't let the giant albino whale throw you
kids, this fairytale fantasy is so transparent that
the CD only has one side. That's a joke kids. Laugh
it up. You see, according to physics nothing can have
one side - with the exception of this game. Do you
think I'm being one-sided? Who's side are you on anyway?
takes so long to get anywhere in this game despite
the apparently linear paths that force you into locations
such as tunnels and bridges where hordes of killer
robots await your arrival. Fighting is decent but
there's little variation to it even when you finally
level-up to a degree that's noticeable.
will use swords and magic to disable and destroy your
enemies. It's easy to slice them up individually but
when you are swarmed it's a different story. All you
have to do is block and move back to get them in a
more manageable position.
when the action appears to kick into a higher gear,
the game goes into neutral - and sometimes reverse.
The animation of the action is slow and plodding.
You can even see background animation such as the
fountains in the street slow down. It's in direct
contrast to the opening cutscene which shows Musashi
slicing and dicing through enemies like the Tasmanian
devil on crack.
times Musashi will ride a motorcycle or a hoverbike
but it's not much different than walking about, in
that you'll find yourself forced to drive in areas
inhabited by the dreaded gangs of robots, some of
which will also be on bikes. You will be forced to
defend yourself with your blade as they approach you
- as slowly as if they were tricycles.
from weapons and magic, Musashi has the ability to
mimic his enemy's moves. By tapping the square button
at the right time you can assimilate new moves. Eventually
you will be able grab enemies and toss them into the
air while slashing at them like a windmill. An interesting
animation shows robots splitting in half where you
slice them, displaying their internal mechanisms.
times the camera seems confused as to its actual duty.
Sure it's capable of giving us some nice cinematic
angles but at the expense of allowing us to see our
surroundings which are rife with enemies. I know the
enemies are easy to take care of but they don't need
this form of handicap.
encounter many of the same enemies as they level-up,
with no visual upgrades to indicate their increased
powers. Boss patterns are simple to learn but it's
a lot easier to avoid them then to attack them offering
one of very few interesting challenges in the game.
The puzzles and platforming seem like nothing more
than make-work elements and have little if any relevance
to the game. The story is so generic that you could
attach anything to it and try to make it work - and
form of cell-shading called manga is used for the
characters. It's just a thicker outline which makes
them stand out from the environment a lot more. I
like the fact that the anime has been watered down
a bit so that it's not so distinctly derivative of
the art form. Musashi, if nothing else, at least has
a unique look.
is not a total disaster. There are a lot worse games
out there but it's a shame to see so much wasted potential.
I can't help but feeling a little ripped off, especially
with the opening scene that instilled some hope that
the pace of the game would pick up as I leveled-up.
Things don't really pick up despite some promising
new moves. That's why I advise you not to pick up