Shin

Genji: Dawn of the Samurai

Game Title: Genji Dawn of the Samurai
Console: Playstation 2
No. of Players: 1
Genre: Fighting/Adventure
Published by: Game Republic
Developed by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: September 2005
Age: 17+ (Mainly due to blood and violence)

Story
85/100

The story in Genji Dawn of the Samurai offers players a trip back into feudal with a mix of history and Japanese folk lore. The story focuses on a young samurai named Yoshitsune Minamoto, who lived peacefully in the mountains, until he was dragged into this epic adventure to save Japan, or at least Kyoto.

At the time Japan was in a great war between the warlords and their clans. One clan, the Heishi, rose to power because they used mystical jewels called Amahagane. The Amahagane gives the user god like powers, and know the Heishi clan plans on taking control of Japan by force and enslaving it’s people.

The chief of the Tamayori Clan, the clan designated to guard the Amahagane, sends for the young samurai to help him in his quest to protect Gozen Shizuka, who is the prietest that can fuse the Amahagane to make an even more powerful one. Yoshitsune decides that it’s time to bring to Japan and decides to help.

He know begins his travels throughout the region. He meets up with a warrior-monk named Benkei Musashibo. Benkei too is on a quest to destroy the Heishi clan. At first Benkei sees Yoshitsune as the enemy and battles him but after a quick battle (which you playing as Yoshitsune must win) Benkei joins up with Yoshitsune and together they join forces.

They will travel the country side and collect Amahagane and fight the Heishi along the way. Eventually leading up the final battle that will decide the faith of Japan.

Really you’re typical hero story. -_-

Gameplay
75/100

The gameplay is pretty much your standard fighting adventure game with a few perks that apply to the story.

You have your basic hack n’ slash like most fighting games. You can jump and do several combos. It’s all really been done before but what makes it difference is the Kamui effect. Which is the ability to use the Amahagane effect in battle. It’s really simple by just pressing a button (L1) you will use the Kamui to slow down your opponent(s) and if you press the square button at the right time you do a super finishing move that would do massive damage, if not kill your opponent. Mastering the Kamui ability is key to defeating bad guys and collecting secret items used for creating stronger weapons. It’s not hard to master at all since the game will tell you when to hit the square button.

Most of the time you’ll be fighting several enemies at once (hint: if you use the Kamui while fighting many enemies at once and you slay them all you’ll get a score depending on how well you did), but occasionally you’ll face bosses where it’s one on one. Boss battles are important because they mostly have a special item that you can get if you slay using the kamui.

Outside of battles you will be traveling from town to town. The towns are really small and there isn’t much of adventure since you just click the town/village and you “travel” there. It’s really was disappointing if you wanted more of adventure and exploring to the game, but the game really is all about the fighting.

Now your partnership with Benki is important because certain places will require you to travel with one or the other to get through. All you will have to do is go to the saving point and talk to Benki (or Yoshitsune if you are playing with Benki at the time) and say you want to switch.

Both players have their advantages and disadvantages. While Yoshitsune is small and fast, he has low defense. Benki is large and slow, but his defense is pretty high. Yoshitsune can jump to dodge attacks and do a aerial attack while Benki has the ability to slaw his club and do massise damage. You can finish the game with either character, so it really comes down to which character you perform better with.

The game is very easy, evening bosses go down with your standard hack n’ slash. So it’s really good for those that want simple with not much difficulty but likes the blood and stuff.

Something some people might find annoying is that fact that the entire game is in Japanese, with english subtitles. The only thing is the font sucks I had to squint to read it properly. So shame game developers! Shame!

Graphics
85/100

The graphics are relatively good in this game. The cut-scenes are the best. Actual game play looks really nice. The character designs are nicely done and very detailed. Dialog between the characters however isn’t so great but there isn’t much of that. There is lots of blood and gore and it isn’t always done in the most tasteful of ways.

The environment is nice in some areas and in others it looks thrown together but tolerable.

Controls & Camera
85/100

The controls are easy to handle and get accustomed to. The most shocking thing was that you talk with the “O” button and not the “X” which I’ve grown so accustomed to. The controls flow pretty well and once you get the hang of it you’ll be slashing in no time. Yay for violence! I should point out when you go into battle an invisible wall is created you are forced into a set area so your freedom becomes limited.

While you don’t have any control of the camera function it’s alright. The camera changes depending on which area you are in and it won’t change. Sometimes there will be enemies that you can’t see on the scene because of the point of view of the camera so you might have to look around, but most of the time it isn’t a problem.

Replayability
60/100

This is where the game reaches a low point. Aside from the fact that the game finishes really quickly and is fairly short (a day or two at most to complete) there isn’t anything to do once you’re done. You’ll unlock the movie gallery if you beat the game in normal and you’ll unlock the character gallery if you do it in Hard mode (the difference in Hard mode is you can’t buy items or weapon upgrades). But that’s really. There really isn’t any place to explore or things secret stages to unlock in the game. It makes me think that I should have rented instead of spending 30 dollars on this game. My bad.

Overall

80/100

This was a really nice game and I enjoyed playing it but the fact that it was so short and didn’t really have anything to do after you finished left me a bit disappointed. The game didn’t have any side quest or secret stages that you could do to pass the time, but that wouldn’t have been necessary if the game had a decent long enough game to keep you busy.

There was a lot of unused potential here because the game brought up a lot questions that it could have answered or at least explored if it took the time. I was like “Wait, it’s over already but what about …”

It was a good game the few hours that I played and finished it I just would have like if there was more to it.

By Cherubim

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.