Five minutes in, your arms start to ache slightly. Half-an-hour in, your arms are cramping up and you're starting to question your own fitness. Over an hour on, the game is on pause as you're rolling around the floor clutching your burning forearms and staring at Wii Fit for a less agonising, less strenuous gaming experience. Samurai Warriors: Katana will hurt you.
In a novel twist on the age-old hack n slash gameplay, you're now swinging the Wii Remote to replicate sword slashes. Everything is first person, movement is on rails for the majority of levels and you can aim where your sword goes. It's Samurai Warriors, only slightly different.
Way Of The Samurai
Make that slightly different and very tiring, both in a physical sense and gameplay sense. The controls aren't too accurate so what often starts as a confident downwards swing for a flashy stun attack quickly degenerates into a frantic updownupdownupdown explosion of movement as you try to get any attack to register while your opponent slowly raises his sword for the kill. As if it wasn't tiring enough already being forced to wave the remote once per attack, waving it a further three or four times adds insult to upper forearm injury.
Samurai Warriors is also far too repetitive, with the addition of Musou Attacks, shielded enemies, alternate routes, bosses with weak spots and power ups not really doing much to mix up the basic premise of attack, attack and attack. It never feels that you have real influence or say over the proceedings, so even though you're waving the Wii Remote around like a loon, you feel strangely detached from the carnage. With missions that rarely stray from the killing everyone objectives - hey, this is still Samurai Warriors - it doesn't take long for boredom to set in either.
What's odd about Katana is that it is very good at providing high-energy bursts of entertainment in short, sharp doses. What it's not good at is making sure your arms and brain don't exhaust themselves before the game does. You'd be better off renting this game and we're saying that for the sake of your physical well-being as well as your wallet...