PS2 REVIEW:SAMURAI WESTERN

If Jackie Chan were responsible for developing a videogame I think that the results would be similar to Samurai Western.

"What do I mean by the above statement?" "Is this game good or what?" "What if I really like Jackie Chan?" "What if I can't stand Jackie Chan?"

Hold your horses pardners. Allow me to give you the lowdown. Samurai Western, like any Jackie Chan movie, is not what you'd call a classic. The fun is experienced in real-time. When it's over, you forget all about it. There's little substance but it does offer escapist entertainment that is light hearted and action packed. If you like Jackie Chan movies, you will probably like Samurai Western. I would give this game the same recommendation that I would a Chan movie, rent it.

Gojiro Kiryuu is a samurai that has come from the East to find his missing bother, Raddo. This is the American frontier in the 1800s. It's the land of cowboys, Indians, lawmen, six-shooters - and samurai swords?

There are 25 playable characters, enough so that you get a full-rounded experience of hacking, slashing, shooting, dodging and countering. There are different swords and different guns that you can use including six shooters and rifles all with different characteristics.

When you're not using guns, you'll be under attack by them. Gojiro isn't just handy with a sword, he's got some decent moves which he can use to avoid being turned into Swiss cheese. He has the ability to dodge bullets, counter attack and chain combos. It takes special timing to execute these moves especially the dodge moves which consist of spins and rolls but when you do get it down you will be able to face large crowds of enemies without getting killed, or without getting killed too quickly.

Enemies continuously spawn. There's no escape from them. They all have the same moves, strengths and weaknesses except the bosses which offer some intelligent diversion. Once you get comfortable with the controls the only challenge is taking on more and more enemies.

Samurai Western manages to bring the two disparate title elements together, if in a tongue-and-cheek kind of way. The character models animate well but the backgrounds are recycled far too much giving the game a budget look.

Overall there is a sense of humor to the storyline which takes some of the heat off of the repetitive gameplay. You will often encounter the same environments over and over in tandem with the same gameplay moves. There's no doubt that things get boring after an hour or so, but after a couple of hours the game is over. It lasts just about as long as Jackie Chan movie - and you're hungry for more action two hours after that.

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System: Xbox, PS2, GC
Dev: Aquire
Pub: Atlas
Release: June 2005
Players: 1
Review by Fenix
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
3.0
CONTROL
3.0
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
2.0