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August 18 2006
Genji: Days of the Blade - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
23/3/2007SonySonyGame Republic
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation

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Note the lack of fogging...
If you own a PS2 then you may be familiar with the 2005 title Genji - a title which was fantastic to play but also extremely short with Graham (who reviewed the game for us) mentioning a 6-7 hour completion time. This new PS3 game promises better graphics, more action, and a much longer game which continues the story from the first title.

Set three years after the last chapter of Genkuro Yoshitsune’s life, Genji: Days of the Blade (which is the games official title following confirmation in mid-August) continues to expand on the historical accounts of feudal Japan and the historical battle between the Genji Clan and the Heishi Clan.

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Flame effects are quite impressive.
Essentially Genji: Days of the Blade is presented as a “traditional” action/adventure gaming experience not too dissimlar to Capcom's superb Onimusha series. The main characters run around the levels which are swarming with enemies. These aren't your standard fodder, but the game also throws up some pretty mean boss encounters at times to keep you on your toes. The swordplay has been captured by Mitsuhiko Seike, Japan's finest sword fighter, provides the heart and soul of intense authentic action.

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Surrounded by enemies...
One of the key elements in this game is that it is possible to switch between four playable characters, at any time - Take advantage of each of the four characters’ unique fighting style or unleash devastating team-based fighting combos by interchanging characters between attacks. In the demo on the big screen at this years E3 show one character was used to flip over a giant crab like boss, before switching to a different character who attacked his weak spot on his underbelly. It's an interesting system that could add some strategy to the game, a game which the developers are now promising around 15 hours of gameplay, or twice that of the original PS2 title.

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Scoring 8 consecutive hits.
Graphically the game is very sharp and runs at 720p resolution. Some of the enemies, including the fantastic giant crab-like boss shown at the 2006 E3 show (which many people found rather amusing due to the claims of "original content" on the PS3) are a sight to behold. If there is one aspect I'm not sure about it's the tiny pauses when your character hits an enemy. It's only a fraction of a second and I'm not sure if it's deliberate, or if the game is having to load some data, but its something that we're likely, and hoping, to see fixed before release.

Genji: Days of the Blade is now set as a Japanese launch title on November 11, and will also be a launch title in America a couple of days later. As we all know European and Australian gamers will be waiting until March 2007 to get their hands on this title.