UPDATE: Rising Star will be releasing the game in Europe at some point in 2012.
Making rice cakes. Bribing a cat. Finding an old lady's knickers. Spanking a radish thief. These aren't the sort of things you expect in a samurai game, but you find yourself performing a lot of bizarrely inconsequential tasks in Acquire's disappointing third entry in its cult series of flexible feudal narratives.
You're a mysterious ronin, a masterless samurai looking for purpose in Amana province during the turbulent Sengoku era. Drawing, as always, from Kurosawa's Yojimbo, the game drops you in the midst of a power struggle between two warring factions. On one side you have the Fujimori Clan, powerful and corrupt. On the other, you find the Ouka Clan, a roughshod gang of outcasts trying to overthrow Fujimori.
Trapped in the middle are the inhabitants of Takatane village, a peaceful farming community taxed to the hilt by Fujimori and brutalised by Ouka bandits. It's up to you whose side you want to take, depending on who you talk to, how you react to key events and which jobs you choose.
Acquire's PS3 action-adventure Way of the Samurai 3 is on its way to Xbox 360 in Japan.
PlayStation 3 games are beginning to penetrate the Japanese software charts, and finally nudge the ageing PS2 out of the equation.