Samurai Warriors: Katana Review
Samurai Warriors: Katana box art
System: Wii 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: Jan. 15, 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

The controls are decent in as far as they are pretty responsive. Whether you use the buttons to block, target or use your weak attack, or if you are using the powerful charged attacks via the motion controls, everything seems to work well. The problem lies in the overly-simplified scheme. The combinations that you will learn with each weapon are too easy and unsatisfying. The swords are the easiest to use, but they are also very boring. It is far too easy and time consuming to dispatch your enemies with your blade.

Samurai Warriors: Katana screenshot

Moreover, after slashing several opponents multiple times, they will fall to the ground and you will be forced to wait for them to get back up before you can finish the job. This is awful! Especially when you are into timed segments of the game and you can't advance until the pawns of the enemy do you the favor of getting back on their feet. It's almost better to use a weapon like a spear because even though it's awkward to use, at least your wrist won't hurt the way it does after continually waving a sword around. Finally, the ranged weapons such as the bow and cannon are probably the most fun as gameplay because almost like a shooting gallery experience.

The in-game sounds might as well be absent. You won't notice them very much except for the occasional misstep that will leave you laughing at the lack of quality. The voiceover work is especially bad. The simple grunts and sounds, combined with poor dialogue, make for a trying sonic experience. Fortunately, sound doesn't really hinder the gameplay. You could easily mute the volume and turn on some tunes without missing a thing.

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What does all this mean? Samurai Warrriors: Katana is a Wii killer. It is the kind of electronic swag, like the abominations coming from Bold Games (Orbs of Doom, Kidz Sports, etc.) that will make fans turn away from the platform. Nintendo needs to get control of third party publishers. They are making the Wii seem like a Fisher Price console. Having said all that, there is a core idea hidden under layers of garbage that could be salvageable. If the series were to wholly renovate the graphics and concentrate on skillful encounters to produce challenge rather than relying on sheer numbers and timed events, then there may be some hope for the franchise in the future. As it stands right now, spend your money elsewhere, I beg of you!

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
1.5
Graphics
Ouch! Shield your eyes.
3.2
Control
The controls work well, but your wrist will be sore after all of the waving.
2.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Very poor, but thankfully they're not so noticeable.
3.0

Play Value
The arcade style is far too simple and monotonous, however the boss battles are fairly fun.

2.3
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Using an exhilarating first-person perspective, Samurai Warriors: Katana is based on the hugely popular Samurai Warriors series and delivers total arcade-style action right into your own home.
  • Armed with your motion-sensitive Wii Remote, you'll journey back in time to do battle as a lethal samurai warrior.
  • On each mission, legendary samurai and allies will serve as your guide. Prevent pirates from invading your ships, rescue maidens from a burning castle, and explore mysterious caverns stalked by ninjas. These and many more challenging missions require quick reflexes, fast thinking, and precision marksmanship.
  • On the battlefield ninja assassins will be poised to strike at your every turn, but with close-range and long-range weapons, you'll be well equipped for your counterattack. Combat gets up close and personal with the classic samurai sword, spear, and mighty war hammer, but you can still target enemy soldiers in the distance using a bow and arrow, a gun, and even a cannon.
  • Samurai Warriors: Katana offers three different modes of play. Action-packed with nearly 30 hours of gameplay, Musou Mode takes you on an incredible adventure through Feudal Japan. Samurai-in-training can prepare for battle with a multitude of challenges in Trial Mode. Here you'll earn gold which can be used to purchase weapons and precious items. And in Vs. Mode, you can go head-to-head with a friend in eight exciting mini games.


  • Screenshots / Images
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