|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|
Even if the gameplay is recycled, repetitive, and redundant, there are still many challenges within the confinement of said gameplay. Choose from a variety of difficulties such as novice, easy, normal, hard, chaos, and expert. The easy mode is perfect for beginners, but the repetitive nature of the gameplay will eventually take its toll. Increasing the difficulty does little to solve this problem, as it just makes what is already predictable more difficult to attain. The Mercenary mode is new, and does offer a slight variation to the format. There are more objectives to reach than the standard battle modes.
As you progress, you can hire warriors to assist you. Certain objectives are presented in a mission-based style which must be completed to move on to the next level. It distracts slightly from the button mashing characteristics of the gameplay. It's a direction that definitely needs to be explored and expanded on if this franchise is to survive. The co-op mode is certainly one of my favorites, as having another person along for the ride adds an extra dimension (read: distraction) to the gameplay and makes it fun for a while. I'm definitely a lot less jaded when there's someone else in the room.
Sure, some of these battlefields are huge, but that doesn't mean we have to put up with blurry and washed out textures. The engine is getting old. There certainly are no major graphic improvements in this version. Expect plenty of flash and fire when the fighting gets hot. It's still a nice feeling to slice and dice through hundreds of foes, but even that has its limits. The characters animate smoothly enough, and the controls are responsive and solid, although I did encounter some collision detection problems. There is even the occasional framerate hiccup here and there, but that's acceptable considering the large quantity of onscreen characters. The cutscenes are well produced with epic battle depictions and inspiring tunes. The in-game tunes are decent but repetitive, often acting as filler. The voiceovers are as corny as ever, making even pro wrestlers sound like theatrically-trained thespians.
Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends is a continuation of a series that is past its prime. With the ability to import people, places, and things from the original game, it literally steals from its past. This series will not move forward until it stops looking back.
CCC Senior Writer