|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Acquire Corp.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: UFO Interactive Games, Inc.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 13, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
One aspect of the game that does maintain its interest hour after hour is the fighting system. The basics are easy (block, quick attack, strong attack), but you can develop your abilities and your character in any number of ways. As you fight more, your weapons level up (or sometimes break), and you can spend money to make them better. A variety of special moves expand your options, and you can even fight bare-handed. There are more than 200 parts you can find and use to assemble a weapon that suits your fighting style.
Maneuvering can be a little clumsy sometimes, and it doesnt make any sense that you can eat food to improve your health in the middle of a bloody fight (radishes, rice balls, and the like are used the same way Bioshocks health packs are), but this is a definite bright spot for the game. Its incredibly fun to go on killing sprees with the difficulty low, and to master tough opponents on the higher settings. Hopefully future titles in the franchise will feature one-on-one online matches.
A few small annoyances are worth mentioning. For some reason, when you try to grab an item you dont have room to carry, your character picks it up and promptly drops it, which can be confusing and looks ridiculous. While various characters explain the techniques, they appear too late in the game to do much good. Youll want to consult the manual often. Also, you have to navigate the pause menu every time you want to see the map, which is more than a little obnoxious even in such a small world.
The game would be better without its flaws, of course. However, as it is, its a fascinating combination of different gameplay elements, and it works surprisingly well. Anyone who likes swordfighting, the freedom of an open-world, and the opportunity to shape a story would be well-advised to pick it up. It turns out that Japans Sengoku period is a blast, at least when the bloods not real.
CCC Freelance Writer