Genji: Dawn of the Samurai

Review

posted 11/14/2005 by Matt Mirkovich
other articles by Matt Mirkovich
One Page Platforms: PS2
In an attempt to spice things up however, Gaming Republic saw fit to implement a little bit of the Matrix formula into their game. Yoshitsune and Benkei have an ability called Kamui which allows them to see the moves of their opponents, basically slow down time. The more Kamui that you use the slower your opponents will move, and as your opponent draws near the square button will appear below your character given them the opportunity at a one hit kill. Some monsters will also drop special items that can be used for making new stronger weapons or armor when you hit them with a Kamui attack. One of the pluses to the combat system is how free it is, once you start attack an enemy you are free to branch off and attack another enemy by moving the left analog stick in the direction of your target and hitting one of the attack buttons. However there isn’t a whole lot of variety to these attacks which causes them to get old very fast. Couple this with the very small variety of enemies that you will be fighting and you can see why I’m rough on this game.

A heavy emphasis has been placed on exploration, Benkei and Yoshitsune each have their own areas to explore but there are a few times where their paths cross and you can check out areas that the other character previously explored, this usually results in finding new items and weapons. The amount of exploration isn’t a major focus but it is a nice distraction from mowing down enemies.

I don’t know if this is to compensate for the weak game play but this game is also awfully short. My first play through clocked in at just under seven hours and that was with an hour on pause. The game consists of three chapters the last of which is a rehash of a previous area only with cosmetic changes. The story rushes along at a very brisk pace and has a few detours, but it is over very quickly, and a lot of the characters in the story seem to just, blink out of existence, this left the game feeling very incomplete to me. The PS3 sequel that is due will hopefully elaborate more on the story. Also the opening cinema made it seem like there was more than one general fighting for the Heishi, hopefully more generals will be introduced in the future. In terms of extras there really isn’t a whole lot that this game has going for it, a voice collection, harder difficulty, and the option to play the game with the last clear data, very bare bones with nothing that makes me want to play through again.

After completing Genji: Dawn of the Samurai I came away feeling like the game was way too short, but perfect for the weekend. If you’ve got a weekend to kill then I really could not think of a better game, even with the flaws present in the game. The look and feel of the game is what draws you in but ultimately it is the shallow game play that makes the game a slight chore to play, coupled with the lack of extra content and you have a game that really is over before it feels like it should be over. Eventually this game will reach Greatest Hits status and at that point I would highly recommend picking it up, but at forty bones there are a few other games you can pick up that offer a bit more robust an experience.



C+
A fun, flawed and very short game that would be a perfect weekend rental.


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