Well, it’s November, and you know what that means: It’s a new month, and it’s time for another hack-and-slash, Japanese feudal era-set adventure game. This go-around, we have Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, and while it’s slightly better than other releases of this type, little separates it from the pack of mediocre-to-bad games.
Like September’s Samurai Warriors 3, the game involves traipsing through linear levels and combing your way through hordes of enemies. And I mean hordes. As in, it’s you versus hundreds and hundreds of anonymous foot soldiers. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), they pose absolutely no threat whatsoever, putting up no visible fight or employing no apparent artificial intelligence. It starts to feel like you’re mowing the lawn, which is never a good thing in an action game.
You’ll select a playable character from a line-up of warriors inspired by Japanese ninja and samurai, and will do battle against enemies in warring prefectures. The potential for this idea to be so cool and so badass is high, but it’s been used so many times (and in so many bad games), it’s been rendered a lifeless, dull, gray lump. The graphics and special moves are kind of cool-looking, but there’s simply not enough exciting content.
It feels like we’ve seen virtually every element of the gameplay. The features, like gaining experience points at the end of each level and equipping your character with new items, offer no complexity, depth or strategic thinking, and feel quite tacked-on. Another predicable (and predictably bad) addition is the atrocious voice acting. Basically, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes went down the checklist of things to include in a very played-out genre, making it a boring title that can be easily interchangeable with many of the other games out there that feel practically identical.