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Samurai Warriors Chronicles Review

Pressing the same button over and over is fun, somehow

Samurai Warriors: Chronicles: First impressions matter. If you took Samurai Warriors: Chronicles on a first date, you'd head home after an awkward peck on the cheek, thinking it was shallow and uninteresting. Give it a chance and it blossoms into a challenging and enjoyable game, albeit one that never really breaks free of the restrictions of its limited combat system and AI.

Chronicles can briefly be described as a hack and slash set in feudal Japan. You're thrust into the timespan known as the Warring States era, and must head out into battle to vanquish foes.

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It starts out very simply. The first few battles are little more than running around hammering Y (and occasionally X) in order to slice up enemy captains and swing the wider battle in your favour. Thankfully you get more characters a little later on, as well as more weapons and different ways to approach the battle.

A Sworded Affair

The touchscreen hosts a map, upon which you're asked to direct the flow of battle by reacting to enemy movements. Usually, this means focusing your team's efforts on a certain enemy, or spreading your characters about the place in order to protect different strongholds from invasion by opposing forces.

Switching between characters in different locations adds much-needed variety to hand-to-hand combat, and as the battle gets more frantic, messages pop up advising you on where you need to be next, or if a certain character is struggling.

Directing troops to danger areas while simultaneously getting down and dirty in man-to-man combat makes Chronicles an exercise in multi-tasking as well as button-bashing.

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Unfortunately, the combat system and opponent AI feel like they're from another era. Move sets are extremely basic, and the average enemy boasts sub-Jedward intelligence levels.

Chronicles is a good game hobbled by ancient AI and combat. Many will dismiss it after a few minutes, but persevere and it's an enjoyable hack 'em up that offers a big challenge.


9 comments so far...
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  1. DFawkes Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 11:44

    If I may offer people interested in buying this a suggestion, make sure you don't play it on the easiest setting. Warriors games have always been quite lenient in what you can get away with on Easy - there are some great combos there, but on Easy you'll never need them. Bump it up and you'll require use of combos more, such as ones that stun, ones that allow you to juggle enemy generals, and ones that clear standard troops faster.

    There's plenty of depth to be had for those that want it, it's just not necessary on Easy - in fact on Easy it'll mostly slow you down!

  2. SammyDodger Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 12:47

    I Love Warrior games but I knew it wouldn't get a good score as they are understandably bad compared to most modern games. It's just a shame that they don't put more effort into improving things and it's a shame that there aren't many other games like this. I mean sure you have your God of War and other similar games but none of them tend to involve two huge armies fighting each other with a bazillion enemies on screen at one.

  3. imbusydoctorwho Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 14:17

    Not bad score.
    Might get when price comes down.

  4. mushroomchow Thursday 24th Mar 2011 at 15:25

    Well i kinda predicted this review, seeing as you reviewed the Wii version which this is very similar to. I'm still going to persevere and buy it though. I think if you only play the game in shorter sittings, as a handheld is naturally suited to, the combat system will seem less dull and you could add 20% to that score. The same would apply if you ramped up the difficulty setting. BUY IT FOLKS. :)

  5. chrissomerry Friday 25th Mar 2011 at 15:24

    I agree with what DFawkes has said - Dynasty Warriors games can be extremely 1 dimensional in easy mode (but I still like easy mode regardless), but in higher difficulties they start to shine, as the player suddenly realises for themselves why the average AI doesn't rush in. A great example would be Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 (Gundam Musou), which becomes a very deep game in hard mode, as even a couple of normal soldiers can quite easily take you out, and storming a large group of soldiers requires constant movement and combo attacks. Earlier versions of the series (Dynasty/Samurai/Gundam) like the PSP ones don't seem to have as much depth though only because it's harder to manage on older tech.

    I guess though that in the west, we normally have easy mode as the mode players start off on, where as in Japan, it's as if everyone automatically starts at the highest difficulty, or at least that'd explain why they give better reviews to Dynasty/Samurai Warriors ;)

    Anyway, I preordered it only because there aren't many other games with much play length coming out on release date...

  6. MARION64WII Friday 25th Mar 2011 at 21:39

    Very underated! At least 80% to 90% max. The combos are great, it looks nice, the story is rather good and I prefer it over street fighter. (though I do like the anime scenes when you complete arcade as a character) sure the AI is a bit stupid but it's great on hard mode and the weapons are interesting.

  7. Komodo_Wolfgang Sunday 27th Mar 2011 at 01:29

    I think Samurai warriors is worth atleast a 75% Ok the AI is totaly stupid (who sits down in the middle of a battlefield?) but the cinematics and changing storyline make this have a huge replay value, then theres character customisation and how lengthy it is, Ive been playing it on easy all day and got to chapter 2 just a few hours ago. Plus, the music on its kinda cool 0.o

  8. NEO.BAHAMUT Monday 28th Mar 2011 at 13:26

    Harsh review and harsh score, ONM. This game deserves alot more than the score you gave it.. I suppose if Mario was in the game, it would have got 90%+ and a Gold Award, huh?

  9. Mirachel Tuesday 29th Mar 2011 at 12:09

    I can't get off this game! The reviews i read for this game before getting it makes me think if they were actually for this game cause i cant fault many things in it!
    Also I'm in need of some help, i can equip my character with different armor and weapons now, which is an amazing feature, but one thing.... How do i get the armor and weapons? All i got is Lightweight armor... :lol:

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