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- SAMURAI WARRIORS: Spirit of Sanada
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is a spin-off of the beloved hack and slash Musou games, specifically the Japan-centric Samurai series. Despite being a spin-off of Samurai Warriors, it borrows from across the franchise, including the engine of Samurai Warriors 4 and mechanics from even expansions such as Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends to create a rather unique game in the series.
It seem like this would be a niche title, but in fact, it is one of the best entry points for newcomers to Musou games. Most Musou games depict a broad story across multiple perspectives in large-scale warfare, but Spirit of Sanada takes the same decades-long Japanese period that is featured in the main Samurai Warriors series and zooms in on a specific family that plays an important role in it.
It’s the same warring period, but with a smaller and more intimate focus. This makes the game feel more central and story-driven, with a very strict beginning, middle, and end. These changes make the game more approachable to newbies to the franchise, while giving veterans so much more of the lore and history the series is known for. As this is perfect for newcomers and a little different than what veterans might expect, it can be overwhelming at first with all the different systems. For those just getting started, here’s five tips that will help you get your bearings.
1. Working as a Team
Despite featuring a smaller set of playable characters, Spirit of Sanada still gives you some freedom when it comes to picking your team for battle. After a couple of chapters, the game begins to open up more, allowing for different combinations of teams and making you decide who to go with. Each person is varied greatly; some faster while others are slower. Though the story will pick your main character for you most of the time, the rest is ultimately up to you.
Regardless of your team, there are some universal tips that will get you completing missions in the optimal way. Right from the start, it can be easy to forget that you have the ability to switch between your party at a moment’s notice by simply pressing the options button on your controller. Battlefields are spaced out, only getting more complex as the story continues. Thus, you should always keep your team spread apart, tackling different areas at once. Every battle has your main objective(s) followed by several sub-objectives that will grant you major bonuses and experience.
It is nigh impossible to accomplish all of these solely with one person. You will have to switch between your team often enough to keep them on the right track. You don’t have to worry too much, though, as the A.I. is surprisingly smart and will work towards goals as long as you lead them in the right direction. At the same time, they will get hit a lot more than you will, so always keep an eye on the bottom left corner as it lists all of your party member’s health bars.
2. Getting Stronger
It is best to have a favorite character that you will main in every battle. Since they will be the person that you tackle the most challenging objectives and bosses with, knowing the ins-and-outs of them is required. However, focusing on just one character takes a significant toll on the rest of the team as they will miss out on crucial XP, causing them to eventually underperform in missions.
Thankfully, Spirit of Sanada has a way of counteracting this. The dojo can be accessed outside of battle in your main hub town. There, you are able to train any of your current officers or party members. The currency used to do this is a special party XP that is gained from winning battles. By the time you unlock this partway into the second chapter, you will already have enough XP to level up backup party members several times. We recommend saving it up until you have nailed down your core team, so you know who will benefit from training the most.
Besides the dojo, you can power up your main party members at the blacksmith in the town. This feature is available right from the start of the game, allowing you to upgrade your weapon with money and materials. Money is gained from completing battles, exploration, and side quests. Materials are a little harder to come by, forcing you to explore the countryside to find most of them. But once you’ve discovered a type of material, it will become available for unlimited purchase at the town’s shop. Upgrades vary from enhancing attack speed to damage, so decide what you prefer.
3. Farming Frenzy
Mini-games are a major part of the additional content that will keep you playing. Of them, farming and fishing are the biggest. Farming, in particular, is simple but engaging and rewarding enough to encourage continuous use. Before you can begin your agriculture endeavors, you must first acquire seeds. These are gathered from exploring the countryside outside of battle and picking up the glowing blue orbs scattered throughout the environment.
Seeds can then be planted in the fields on the far western side of the hub town. Once planted, you immediately jump into a mini-game where you have to mash the X button as quickly as possible until you fill up the bar. The game times you as you do this, and the faster you do it, the better quality the product will end up becoming. Harvesting said product requires a bit of time. The best thing to do is either go out and explore, or complete a battle. Upon returning, the plant will be ready to harvest.
4. Bait and Switch
When not wanting to farm, the fishing mini-game is located by the river. After talking to the old fisherman, you will be able to fish anytime you’d like. Like you would expect, fishing requires bait before you able to catch the right fish. The game grants you a free bait that is useable three times before having to wait to use it again. Other bait of different grades is available for purchase or found in the environment like seeds.
Once you have your bait, you let your hook loose and wait for a fish to come. When the fish bites, you begin the mini-game that anyone familiar with Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing will recognize. A cursor will start going across a bar from the left side. At the far right end is a red section that should be your primary objective. Your goal is press X when the cursor lands in the red part. You only get one shot, as it does not start over, meaning you’ll lose your bait if you miss.
Getting it in this perfect zone lands you an extra fish, doubling your efforts. This is extremely beneficial in making more money and giving gifts to allies. Certain side-quests will ask you to obtain a specific fish. If you don’t know how to get it, pay attention to the star grade of it. For example: if it is a two-star fish, you need a two-star bait to catch it.
5. Quick Tips
Here are a few final tips to set you on the right path:
- You can change any of the controls–even your attacks–in the settings to your liking by pressing options, going to General, then Settings, and Controls.
- The game teaches you a lot, so it is easy to forget the specifics. If you need a reminder of something, you can access info and all nearly 80 tutorials about the game right underneath the Controls tab.
- The Sanada Clan Chronicles section in the main menu hosts all the info you could ever want about the historical people, places, and events the game is based on.
- Each explorable area has its own optional objectives like “gather 20 materials” that reward you with Sanada Coins used to turn the tide of battles. These can be accomplished at anytime.
- While the explorable environments are available regardless of chapter, battles are not, so make sure to replay and complete desired objectives before moving on.