Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword Review

Eurogamer is slightly embarrassed to present the first in what we hope will be an extremely occasional series: Reviews That Fell Down the Back of the Sofa. This review of 3DS download game Sakura Samurai was commissioned when it appeared on the North American eShop all the way back in February. We decided to wait for it to appear in Europe before we published the review. We waited. Then we waited some more. Then we got bored and forgot about it. Then we remembered and felt silly. So here, in a spirit of morbid curiosity if nothing else, it is...

Dodge, block, attack and uppercut.

It was but four simple moves that allowed scrappy Little Mac to reign champion in the classic Punch-Out!!. Pattern recognition, practice, and eventual proficiency made it a hypnotic bout of will and perseverance. Nintendo's recent eShop offering [er... make that not so recent -Ed.], Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, strongly evokes the seminal boxing title with a similar limited move set and an emphasis on mastering each foe's tells in order to pull off the appropriate counter-attack. Unfortunately, it fundamentally misunderstands what made Punch-Out such a winner.

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