Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes on Blu-ray Impression

What’s better, the anime or the video game for Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes?

With Sengoku Basara hitting gaming systems and as an anime it would be easy for gamers to think they are mirrors of each other but oh how wrong this is. While the game has been met with mixed reviews the anime stands very well on its own. The focus is on two of the heroes seen in the game but the viewer gains a deeper understanding of these two, a connection the game just does not create. So why should gamers, those who purchased the game care, let’s take a look …

The Story – The Devil King, Nobunaga Oda, is on the march and not even his allies are safe. The long standing, respected rivalry or Shingen Takeda and Kenshin takes a backseat to the advances of Oda and the danger he poses to the country. Shingen’s right hand, fiery fighter Yukimura Sanada encounters a new rival in the Azure Dragon Masamune Date. Their epic battles shift focus as they both witness atrocities at Oda’s hands and clash with the Devil King in an epic final battle.

The story takes a more narrowed approached, one that puts the focus on two of the four playable characters from the game and offers gamers and anime fans a taste of action, a depth that is totally unique from the game. Watching this anime first will skew gamers to pick a few specific in-game characters but that’s a testament to the storytelling the anime pulls off. While the story points above have been simplified the actual anime is anything but. The relationship between Yukimura and Shingen is hilarious and the rivalry/relationship formed by Yukimura and Masamune is what really drives the show. There are many, many more characters and generals which fans of the franchise will love to see but know the focus is on our red and blue colored friends.

The Design & Animation – The characters retain their gaming look but its sharper, better in the anime. The style overall is not typical anime, it’s more fluid like seen in the game. The action is great and the animation flows better than in the game, it’s a joy to watch and reflects the action of the game without the sore thumbs. There are some liberties taken with the setting of feudal Japan but it’s a very enjoyable looking, moving anime that is all the better in HD.

Why Gamers Should Care – Watching the entire series, hearing the excellent voicework and seeing the bonds formed is done in a manner the game cannot create. For gamers that did connect with the characters in-game this will be a true treat to really see those characters in another light. For those not thrilled with the game, the anime offers a chance to see just how awesome Sengoku Basara is.

Overall Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes on Blu-ray is fun, lots and lots of fun to watch with some funny and memorable characters that ramps up the action, mixes in the drama and keeps it all moving in a package that looks great in HD and is the standard on how anime based on games should be done. Don’t just repeat the entire story and characters, do it unique, focus on a core set of characters and make it memorable. This the anime does in droves.

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