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.
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.
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.