Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends - Review
Koei have really become a powerful developer since the PS2 first hit the shelves. Titles such as Kessen and Dynasty Warriors have received massive followings and while somewhat smaller Samurai Warriors was a game that still earned much respect. This title, Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends, is available now and is likely to generate much interest. While the developers would call this an expansion perhaps a more apt title would be "Special Edition" or "Directors Cut". Essentially it's the same game with some slight tweaking and a couple of bonuses - they being extra characters and weapons.
|The effects are quite nice.|
Essentially this is a hack and slash game set in sengoku Japan. The battlefields are large and it's not uncommon to defeat well over a hundred enemies in a single battle, sometimes many times that. The main inclusion for this game, and presumably the reason why owners of the original would splash out on this one, is for the new characters. Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends includes four in total, which compared to the nine extra characters in Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends is quite disappointing. Still the four new characters including Yoshimoto Imagawa, Tadakatsu Honda and Hideyoshi Hashiba and the gorgeous Ina are all worthy additions and quite entertaining with very different styles.
The Vs mode now has three new challenges to master: Duel, Sumo, and Gatekeeper. Duel allows two players to duke it out whiel Sumo alloes you to battle in Sumo style using two of the heavier characters. The object is to force oppoents out of the ring. Quite addictive actually. Finally Gatekeeper sees each player defending a gate from oncoming enemies. Other changes include a sixth weapon for each of the 19 characters in the game and a seperate musou gauge in 2-player co-op battles. There have also been some tweaks to the AI, a couple of new difficulty levels and a couple of new stages. The problem is that unless you're a die hard fan of the original you will hardly notice the changes to the game.
|Up to 98 KO's...|
Visuals in Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends are similar to Koei's past titles. There's still a very heavy fog and certainly the occasional slowdown. In fact, Koei's games are starting to look a little tired. Early in the Playstation 2's life they were something to behold, but given the passing of time, and the improvements made to so many other titles these games are starting to look a little on the dull side. Sadly it's a situation that isn't likely to be remedied until the next generation is unleashed in the next year or so.
In terms of sound this game isn't going to win any awards, that's for sure. The music is atmospheric and the game contains plenty of nice sound effects such as screams and the clang of weapons. The voice work in this game is as corny as ever so don't expect any brilliance in that regard.
|Pretty ordinary ground textures.|
Now before you write me off and say that I just don't like these types of games know that I do love the Dynasty Warriors and Kessen titles with the upcoming Dynasty Warriors 5 from Koei being a title of much interest. Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends just didn't do it for me. If you own Samurai Warriors there is absolutely no reason to purchase this title. Sure it has a couple of new characters and a couple of new weapons, but it hardly justifies the expense. If you didn't but the original, and you like Koei's other titles then it's probably worth a rent at least. Disappointing.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||Koei haven't been able to squeeze more out of the PS2 in years.||74%|
|SOUND||More clangs or swords and screams of battle then ever. OK music.||70%|
|GAMEPLAY||Quite enjoyable to play, but it's a case of been there done that.||70%|
|VALUE||If you own the previous game there is little reason to own this.||62%|
|OVERALL||Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends can only be recommeded to people who don't own the original. Gameplay is solid but the graphics engine should be better by now. A disappointing title overall.||68%|