Samurai Warriors: Katana
Here we have the first Samurai Warriors title for Wii and the silliest game in the series yet. The controls, the mini-games, the boss fights, the visuals, the storyline, the music - all of these things are extremely silly. And Samurai Warriors: Katana is sort of enjoyable, in a silly way.
It's a first-person on-rails shooter and sword fighter. You take on the role of a warrior who has volunteered to help a Japanese warlord do war on other Japanese warlords, most of whom wear silly hats.
Much of your time is spent despatching wave after wave of identical enemies with your katana. The primary attack involves aiming at the target on their chests then pressing A as if you were playing some sort of feudal-Japan-themed version of Duck Hunt. For the secondary attack, you swish the remote about like a sword.
This is all very silly. Many groups of enemies can be felled simply by ignoring the A button and doing the swishy bit. You don't even have to do proper sword movements; just waggling it from side to side will work. For the most part enemies are spectacularly stupid and easy to defeat, and you'll rarely need to block. The frequent boss battles are a bit more complicated and do require you to block and time your attacks more carefully, but none pose much of a challenge.
The silliness peaks when you've filled your Musou meter (by attacking enemies, as if you have a choice) and unleash a Musou attack. This involves waggling your remote around in any old direction as furiously as possible. All the enemies on screen will die in perfect unison and their image will shatter into pieces as if you've just thrown the remote into the telly.
Later on in the game you get ranged weapons such as a bow and arrow, spear and gun. It's a basic lightgun mechanic involving a reticule and the trigger button. This makes a nice change from endlessly waggling the remote but that's about it.
The mini-games are very silly. There's one where you have to steer a horse by tilting the remote, and one where you have to run by waggling the remote and nunchuk up and down, Mario and Sonic and Asterix at the Olympics-style. There's a silly RPG bit between missions which allows you to buy rice cakes and new swords and all that sort of thing. It's possible to ignore this almost completely.
Everything about the game's presentation is silly. The ridiculous pumping electronica soundtrack is straight out of 1994. The feudal Japanese warlords say things like "Alriiight!" and "Gadzooks!" They offer silly comments on your performance such as, "I do not mean to be rude, but you are completely useless."
Ultimately, Samurai Warriors: Katana is not very good. It's sort of enjoyable because swishing a sword and firing a gun and seeing off billions of stupid enemies without having to think about it too much can be fun. Not fun for long, though, and not the kind of fun it's worth spending 30 or 40 quid on.
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