|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.
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.
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!
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director