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Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes Review

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes is a game that you pick up because it looks interesting and for that price tag of ten bucks. When you begin to play it you almost want to go back to the store and pay more money for it because what you get is not a 10-15 dollar game. Samurai Heroes is a “Dynasty Warriors” clone, meaning it plays just like a Dynasty Warriors game. While DW focus on realism (sort of) and history. SB has taken the route of being an over the top game with unrealistic visuals and robots in what looks like feudal Japan. This is the third game in the series excluding the 2D fighting game by Arc System Works (Guilty Gear) and similar spin offs.

Every character has their own story, but mainly every person wants to become the new ruler of Japan or protect their family honor. Standard stuff but the goals of others can consist of being the best or getting revenge. Mitsunari for instance is hell bent on destroying Ieyasu for defeating him in battle in a war. While Ieyasu is aiming to spread justice and peace throughout Japan. Characters like Masamune Date and Yukimura Sanada are rivals and are practically the poster characters. In a nutshell it is all about rivaling empires. Seeing every character’s viewpoint is rather interesting and creates a lot of replay value. However, you do not play this game only for the story. You play this game for the enjoyment of destroying hundreds of enemies with extravagant special attacks.

As previously mentioned this game plays very much like Koei’s hit series, Dynasty Warriors. Mashing the square button is the general strategy unless you are playing on hard. There is a character level up system and your fighter gains levels when you finish the variety of levels. As you level up you gain more and more skills, when you gain skills they begin to level up as well. Over time your warrior becomes more and more powerful. The returning characters such as Ieyasu and Masamune Date have extra “forms”. Date can activate his “Six Claws” mode when you gain the skill. This gives Date a power boost and an attack speed boost at the cost of lowered defense and no ability to block. Ieyasu has a “hooded” mode where his hero gauge and basara gauge fill quicker.

Each character has their own unique weapon. As you defeat bosses or find treasure chests you will gain more weapons to use. These weapons can have accessories combined on them to increase item drop rate, increase strength, hp defense etc. Many of these accessories have to be made through the Basara Market. Enemies drop anything of money to accessory crafting items and how they are killed depends on what you get.

There are many different skills to use. The best skill to use uses up the blue bar under your health called “Basara”. This is consumed when you press the circle button. It is generally an unblockable attack that combos your enemies to do large amounts of damage. There are also accessories that increase the damage these attacks do. There is another gauge called the Hero Gauge and this slows down time allowing you to create more combos or give you some breathing room. Utilizing these bars are essential for defeating bosses.

This game has quite a bit of replay value as long as you have the patience. A story arch takes anywhere from an hour to three hours depending on your skill level and what map you are on. When you complete a certain number of quests for certain characters you unlock the ultra hard boss, Nobunaga. He is essentially the uber boss and should be played n Hard mode to get a feeling for his power. All characters have more than one story arch which is cool to see where different paths will take you. These extra paths unlock the opportunity to obtain playable characters. There are a total of 17 characters to play as and every one has their own play style. One character (Oichi) doesn’t physically attack herself with a weapon, she uses an evil ghostly apparition. Yukimura Sanada uses his trademark dual tridents, Masamune Date uses his six katanas etc etc etc.

Unlocking all the characters and their equipment is a real challenge as you must perform certain actions in battles. You just need the patience as you do fight the same people quite a few times with more than one story arch. The gameplay is so fun in many cases you barely notice. If you need to change it up play on hard mode as the game is considerably harder. One of the more subtle moments of SB:SH is the music. The music is very nice to listen to and in boss battles a very epic tune kicks in and it gets you pumped.

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes is a solid title despite being very similar to Dynasty Warriors in terms of gameplay. At the same time it is a very different game and stands alone on the unique appeal it has. If you love Dynasty Warriors you will love Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes. I give the Capcom title a 8/10. It is a respectable title with plenty of replay value. You can pick up the game for under 20 bucks which is well worth it.

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