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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Samurai Warriors: State of War Member Review for the PSP

tom- By:
tom-
04/26/06
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action 
PLAYERS  
PUBLISHER KOEI 
DEVELOPER Omega Force 
RELEASE DATE  

Its been said that war is Hell, and if you imagine it from the viewpoint of one of the faceless thousands you'll kill in Samurai Warriors, its easy to believe.

Based in the “warring states periodí¢â‚¬? of Japanese history, Samurai Warriors: State of War tells the stories of nineteen combatants involved in the conflicts. Whether fighting for the Oda Army, Tokugawa Army, Eastern or Western forces, you will battle for the control of Japan.

Part strategy, part action game, you must move your character across numerous grids through enemy territory, fighting for control of each square. Upon entering battle, Samurai Warriors: State of War pits you against entire armies, killing your way through crowds as you play through each character's story. The controls are identical to those seen in Koei's popular Dynasty Warriors series, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Despite being initially easy to unlock, the control scheme quickly shows how shallow it is. Also, the PSP's lack of a true analog stick makes the control a bit uncomfortable in longer stretches.

Visually, the game is on par with most current PSP games. The view is wider and more comfortable than that of the PSP Dynasty Warriors title, but the two share armies of vanishing warriors who seem to fade in and out of sight fairly randomly. Fortunately, they never do much beside running and standing, so cheap shots happen, but not very often. The environments are generally plain and are repeated frequently from grid square to grid square.

What the game lacks in depth and polish, it makes up for in content bulk. With a total of nineteen playable characters, each with a set of story campaigns, Samurai Warriors will keep you occupied, if not thoroughly entertained.

While some developers have managed to show the uniqueness of the PSP, others have flooded it with slack jawed ports from home consoles. With Samurai Warriors: State of War, Koei straddles the line between a fully realized PSP title and a half hearted port. They've delivered quick paced game play suited perfectly for a portable, but left other elements more properly attuned to a home console. Much to my chagrin, Samurai Warriors joined the lengthy roster of PSP games which don't offer online multiplayer, and instead only offer the underwhelming experience of Ad-Hoc multiplayer. In the end, the war was well fought, but for $40, the cost overpowered the benefits.

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