Sammy Studios at E3

Sammy Studios at E3

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 6/5/2003 for

I saw an awful lot of games at this year’s E3 but not once was I compelled to actually sit down and play any single one of them for an extended period of time; not until I laid my eyes up Seven Samurai 20XX that is. Based on the legendary film that was the basis for the classic American film the Magnificent Seven, Seven Samurai 20XX is an amazing 3rd person slasher that borrows elements from classics such as Devil May Cry, Shinobi and Strider and makes them its own.

What makes this game different from the dozens of other slashers out there? The combat. Simply put this game features one of the easiest, most intuitive, and not to mention addicting, combat systems to have ever been incorporated into a 3rd-person slasher. Fighting enemies is both challenging and rewarding at the same time. When you see another horde of enemies running at you you’ll feel feelings of joy as opposed to feelings of dread. It’s not like “oh dammit, I gotta kill more guys?” It’s actually more akin to “more guys? Hell yea! Bring em’ on!”

Players will be judged on style during combat via a ratings system that is comparable to that of Devil May Cry’s. This will force gamers to mix things up every once in awhile as opposed to going to the same well over and over again. There’s more at stake than just points though, performing a variety of moves will gradually build up a meter. When it fills you can bust out another sword for some dual-sword ass-kicking. Did we mention that the combat in this game is a hell of a lot of fun?

It’s not all action though, Meelad Sedat of Sammy Studios promises that the game will be story driven. In other words, endless minions won’t just be attacking you for no reason, there will be a true motive behind their actions. I can’t remember the finer details of the storyline but it obviously involves an evil force’s invasion of a town. After realizing that he can’t take on the invaders on his own, our hero sets out to assemble a team of samurais worthy of fighting alongside him. With the backing of Kurusawa’s son for the storyline and characters created by the man who designed the characters in the major motion picture The Fifth Element, you can be sure that this is a high profile quality in every respect.

With all of the games coming out this Holiday season it may be tough for Seven Samurai 20XX to make a name for itself but you can be sure that it escape our watchful eyes. Look for this one to make a huge splash on the PS2 in Q4 2003.
All right, so I never played the original Lethal Skies, but it won’t stop me from enjoying its impressive-looking sequel. Featuring new modes, new missions and a bevy of graphical upgrades, Sammy is looking to make you forget that Namco’s Ace Combat franchise even exists. From the look of things early on, it seems like they’re doing a damn fine job of doing so.

Walking that fine line between simulation and arcade-style gameplay, the game features flight physics that are both convincingly realistic and fun to play with at the same time. What this does is it gives you a great sense of the physics of flight, such as drag and lift, without weighing you down with the more intricate aspects of flight.

First impressions are always skin deep but thankfully Lethal Skies II delivers just the right amount of goods on the surface to draw in casual gamers. Each of the realistically modeled aircraft features parts that shift and move as you soar through the skies. In another nice touch the weapon payload is visible underneath the wings of the aircraft. Because you have a visible representation of your remaining munitions you won’t need to depend on on-screen gauges to inform you of your remaining payload.

Also new to this sequel are head-to-head multiplayer dogfight modes and missions that take place at night. I didn’t get a chance to see these features in action for an extended amount of time but I’m certain that they’ll turn out fine in the end. We'll find out when the game is released on the PS2 in September.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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