Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes on PlayStation 3 Impression

The Sengoku Basara anime rocks, does the game?

A great anime does not always translate into great video gaming. Even with Dragon Ball Z’s successes on PlayStation 2 it had a fair share of failures while Naruto also went through growing pains on the PS2 only to finally shine on the current generation of systems. The advantage these two big hitters have over Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes on PlayStation 3 is pedigree. Naruto and Goku got to work through their growing pains, the stigma that haunts many an anime game here in the States. Sadly the promise seen in the Sengoku Basara anime does not translate in-game for a number of reasons and without the pedigree of a Naruto it’s a safe bet to assume it SB won’t get the chance to work out the kinks. Fans can dream but what makes this first title struggle? Let’s take a look …

Gameplay – Take control of one of multiple heroes (12 total) in 16th century Japan in battles and campaigns that will determine the future of the country. Each hero provides different story arcs in a larger scale campaign setting where gamers jump into battles third-person style where wave after wave of similar looking enemies attack. Gamers unleash special moves and take on boss battles in a style that will be instantly familiar to fans of the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Lots of running and fighting is what gamers can expected without much change to strategy no matter the level of game reached. The ability to play with another gamer keeps the formula a bit fresh but not by much.

Graphics – Dated looks don’t help endear Sengoku Basara to non-fans of the anime. This feels like a first-generation next-generation title where the developers put some thought into the re-imagined historical figures but no time on settings or the droves of enemies. All the action and style the anime brings is lost in-game. The Naruto and Dragon Ball games look great as they mimic the shows they are based on and this is a path that would have served Sengoku Basara very well.

Sound – Forgettable soundtrack and voice actors yelling a lot. Not a great formula for gamer’s audio pleasure.

Design – Uninspired design that mimics past titles of similar ilk but fails to innovate and bring to life the magic seen in the anime.

Miscellaneous – The anime rocks and while the game is repetitive and not super polished there is a charm to playing as those characters watched for hours in the anime. On the flip side for gamers with no taste of the anime go out now and experience so much more to this franchise and why this game is even close to relevant.

Overall Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes could have rocked if it only matched what the anime delivered. The repetitive gameplay on an old formula with no innovation and lackluster graphics keep the game from reaching the levels of the anime. Fans should give it a spin but sadly unless the anime is already in gamers DVD or Blu-ray library then just pass.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great show-turned-game! I always loved Dragon Ball Z and am glad to be able to play it as well. The coolest thing is that I found this article using my Logitech Revue and Google TV integrated with DISH. I just searched for Dragon Ball Z and got info about the game, show times, and channels it's playing on. I work for DISH Network so if you have any questions just ask.