|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Koei||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Mar. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends is neither extreme nor legendary. It's a continuation of Samurai Warriors 2, in the tradition of an expansion pack. You can import characters from the original game by saving them, or utilize both disks to access more of the original game's content such as environments, other non-playable characters, and specific battles. In case you're not really reading between the lines, Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends is little more than an obvious, and shameless, recycling of the Samurai Warriors gameplay.
As a whole, the Samurai Warriors franchise is not renowned for its innovative gameplay diversity. All of the games in the series follow the same button mashing formula, as well as the same gameplay format. Each playable character must make his or her way through a series of stages filled with hundreds of enemies. The melee combat is facilitated by each character's unique weapon and move set, which includes combos and special attacks. Taking on hordes of enemy warriors typically requires accessing only a couple of buttons. The weapons will allow you to thresh a path through the crowd, and the special attack helps to clear the screen of enemies.
Taking place in Japan during the feudal time period, The Samurai Warriors series is not exactly what you would call historically accurate. Although many of the locations, weapons, and costumes may appear period-specific, elements such as magic, outer-dimensional summoning, and the soundtracks that combine hip hop and techno beats with electric guitar, firmly places this game in the realm of fantasy. But it's what fans come to expect. Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends does not let fans down by taking the franchise in an unexpected direction. Despite new characters, weapons, moves, and modes, Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends feels all too familiar for my tastes.
New characters include Maeda Toshiie, Gracia, Motochika Chosokabe, Katsuie Shibata, Kojiro Sasaki, and Yoshimoto Imagawa, in addition to your favorites from Samurai Warriors 2 that you can import. All of the new characters come with background stories so that you can develop some kind of relationship with them. Unfortunately these back histories are shallow and not altogether different from the background stories of previous games. A few names are thrown around, and we learn how they have been betrayed and are looking for some form of vengeance yadda yadda yadda
We will see new weapons, but they share the same basic characteristics in terms of carnage, whether it be a sword, katana or dual hand axes. Swing it around, and try to take out as many enemies as you can. Pull off a few combos, charge up an attack, rinse, and repeat as necessary. RPG elements allow you to upgrade your character, which will allow you to take on larger armies. The cap has been raised for this game, so prepare to become some kind of Super-Samurai. A display meter will let you monitor your health, attack, and defense attributes, in addition to Musou, the special screen clearing attack.