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Samurai Warriors 4-II

Samurai Warriors 4-II

It's a sequel, but not a direct one and it doesn't live up to its predecessor.

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Samurai Warriors is one of the more interesting branches in Koei's long-lasting series of so-called Musou titles. Within the series we have seen, for example, the adventures of heroes from the One Piece anime, and last year even Link and Zelda, but in Samurai Warriors the events in the game are based on real events from Japan's history.

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Or at least this is true to an extent. The characters and events are real, but what actually happens in the game isn't that true to the battles that took place in feudal Japan (Sengoku period). The basic idea of all musou-games is to hack and slash through hundreds of enemies, all within the framework of any given mission. Therefore the heroes can take down thousands of opponents before the battles are over.

The simple but surprisingly deep mechanic has only gotten better over the years, so even though the basic idea is to smash through anything that moves, the game also tests the player in other ways. Should we barge through the horde of enemies or change to another hero and flank the enemy's barracks? Even though it sounds simple, in the heat of the battle, it really can be a puzzle to solve, and a very entertaining one at that.

Despite its name, Samurai Warriors 4-II is not a direct sequel to the year-old Samurai Warriors 4, but rather a re-imagining of the game and its content. The story is all new, and there's one completely new character. At the same time Koei has dropped the excellent Chronicles mode in favour of a much inferior Endurance mode, where the players duty is to climb through a huge tower, floor after floor, mission after mission.

The good ol' grinding has always been one of the most polarising aspects of the Warriors series, as leveling up the array of characters and weapons has been a central part of all the games. Therefore a hundred hours of gameplay has never been enough for completion in any of the games. 4-II pushes the grind even further. Even if you do complete Endurance with one character, getting the best gear requires the completion of the tower with the others, and there's over 30 characters. You don't have to start the tower over every time, but as the floors get really hard really fast, each and every character has to be pushed through the bottom door of the tower for the first time.

Samurai Warriors 4-IISamurai Warriors 4-II

Whereas the Chronicles in the previous game offered varying battles, and Adventure in Hyrule Warriors a fun Zelda-influenced jaunt, the tower is simply boring. The story lasts only for five battles for each character, so those missions are over fairly soon. To complete each difficulty and to open each character, Endurance is basically mandatory.

For the rest, other parts the game are identical to the previous release. The game still looks very good, the maps are huge, enemies are plentiful and the combat mechanic is at its peak. But even though the stories are interesting, 4-II just doesn't capture the player's interest as it should. The whole Warriors saga was finally getting rid of the monotonous repetition, but this latest entry brings it back.

The biggest crime that Samurai Warriors 4-II commits is the biggest one a video game can: it's a completely pointless release. Only a year has passed since the last game, and the more strategic and deeper Samurai Warriors 4: Empires and Dragon Quest Heroes are just around the corner.

Hyrule Warriors and Pirate Warriors 3 are much more absorbing games, and they come with much more interesting modes to play. To top that off, the previous game can now be found at a discounted price. Samurai Warriors 4-II can only be recommended if the aching in your musou-tooth can't be otherwise soothed.

Samurai Warriors 4-II
Samurai Warriors 4-II
Samurai Warriors 4-II
Samurai Warriors 4-II
Samurai Warriors 4-II
06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
+
Maintained high production values, Plenty to do.
-
The Tower of Endurance offers mostly frustration, Monotonous grinding, A largely unnecessary release.
overall score
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Samurai Warriors 4-IIScore

Samurai Warriors 4-II

REVIEW. Written by Tero Kerttula

"The game still looks very good, the maps are huge, enemies are plentiful and the combat mechanic is at its peak."



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