Review

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Stuck in a strange realm somewhere between a sequel & an expansion, Samurai Warriors 4-II is, in many ways, a follow up lớn last year"s superb Samurai Warriors 4 – but it"s certainly not the inevitable Samurai Warriors 5. It borrows characters, stages, music, mechanics, voice acting, & even artwork from 2015"s historical hack & slasher, but to call it an enhanced edition isn"t accurate either, since its general structure is totally different. Hey, it"s no wonder people get confused when it comes lớn musou titles.

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So let"s just start by jotting down what Samurai Warriors 4-II actually includes. Its main draw is story mode, which, instead of following the narratives of particular clans, follows the tales of individual characters. Unsurprisingly, this augments the events of Japan"s warring period with a more personal feel, as you get lớn know the involved samurai and watch their legends unfold.

As with Samurai Warriors 4, the plot is paved with cutscenes that play out in between each battle, & it"s all done rather well. Plenty of dialogue fleshes out the personalities to lớn a reasonable degree, and each scenario is padded out just enough so that you know what it is you"re fighting for. There are 12 different stories khổng lồ see in total, and although there"s some overlap with a few characters, they all tend khổng lồ follow particular narrative themes which make them distinct.


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Our only quarrel with 4-II"s story mode is the fact that in order to lớn understand exactly what"s going on, you"ll likely need prior knowledge of the historical period. Samurai Warriors 4"s story mode worked so well because it was spread across the bigger picture, và although you could argue that 4-II"s focus on individuals is more engaging, it"s not nearly as welcoming to lớn newcomers. With that in mind, those who have already played the original release will likely get more out of this. Still, story mode is a lengthy, polished component, và watching how each individual plot weaves into the overarching narrative is interesting, especially if you"re a fan of Japanese history.

The game"s most original addition comes in the size of survival mode, which is a little more in-depth than its name may lead you lớn believe. Taking place inside a castle that hosts countless floors, you"re tasked with clearing as many of them as you can. On each level, you"re given a specific objective, & when it"s completed, the door to the next floor opens up. You may have khổng lồ beat down a mix number of troops, or you may be challenged by a certain named officer. Unlike the big, relatively xuất hiện battlefields found in story mode, survival"s cramped spaces tell you all that you need to know: this is a mode for quick and dirty action, which subsequently means that it complements the rest of the release quite nicely.


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Survival mode may not have the epic storylines or the vast fields of war, but it does have plenty of reason khổng lồ keep you coming back. Clearing particular levels of the castle grants you bonuses, and as you work your way up, you"ll uncover more and more additional stuff. All the while, you"ll be looting increasingly rare weapons và items that can be used across the whole game, which means that it"s an efficient và enjoyable way khổng lồ beef up your favourite characters.

If a straightforward dungeon crawl isn"t you thing, optional variables are also on hand to demo your skills. For example, you can take part in a gold rush mode, which tasks you with collecting as much money from your foes as possible by giving them a good whack, or you could try your luck at time attack, which, as you can probably guess, is all about slaughtering your enemies as swiftly as you can. Survival mode as a whole isn"t the most ambitious component that we"ve seen in a Warriors title, but it is an addictive addition that can prove to be a welcome change of pace.


Story mode & survival mode combine khổng lồ create a neat package, but it doesn"t quite feel like 4-II"s offering is on the same scale as Samurai Warriors 4"s gigantic amount of content, which included the incredibly meaty chronicle mode, and, as mentioned, the vast story. Again, this is why it"s hard to categorise 4-II – it"s more of the same, but it does enough khổng lồ stand as its own release.

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There are things that this latest outing does better than its predecessor, however. While gameplay is mostly the same as you switch between two selected characters, complete objectives during battle, & carve your way through hordes of enemy troops, refinements have been made lớn one-on-one duels, và by và large, the game demands a slightly more methodical approach.

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As with the previous instalment, 4-II differentiates fights with tough samurai from brawls with lesser soldiers by giving you two separate means of attack. Mapped to lớn triangle, hyper attacks cut through rank & file troops like butter, but officers will shrug them off like they"re nothing. Against these boss-like rivals, you"ll have to lớn push square for normal attacks, and throw in the odd tap of triangle to unleash more powerful charge attacks that tie into your combos.


It goes without saying that this system forces you to lớn actually think about what moves you"re using rather than just mashing the controller, và here, things are taken a step further with button prompts that pop up during the heat of combat. While blocking, for instance, your foe may attempt to break your guard with a dash, và at that point, time will slow for a split second, and you"ll have an opportunity to lớn hit the displayed input & smack them away, or you might even be prompted khổng lồ perform a counterattack if your adversary is about to lớn unleash a special move. It"s a simple mechanic that"s not quite prevalent enough lớn have an impact on the game"s balance, but it keeps duels feeling enjoyably tense, particularly during high difficulty missions.

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4-II also does away with the last title"s somewhat convoluted weapon nâng cấp system. Jewels that were used khổng lồ power up certain armament attributes are cast aside, and in their place is the ability to lớn fuse weapons together in order khổng lồ forge stronger versions. The new system creates a much more satisfying progression loop, và stumbling across an especially rare implement of destruction feels great since you know that it"s going to be put to lớn good use one way or another. Likewise, it"s worth mentioning that you can, er, fuse horses, too. We"re not entirely sure how this works in a realistic sense, but lượt thích weapons, you can combine your steeds to lớn create more reliable beasts that sport better statistics.

Conclusion


Although it"s hard khổng lồ pinpoint Samurai Warriors 4-II"s true purpose, it"s still a great musou title that carries on the spirit of the fantastic Samurai Warriors 4. Fans of the series who are up for more of the same can"t go wrong, while newcomers will be safe in the knowledge that, in terms of gameplay, this is the best that the franchise has lớn offer. Rather than a reforged sword, 4-II is more of a secondary blade – và its edge is just as sharp.

Great 8/10

Scoring PolicyReview copy provided by Koei Tecmo


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Robert"s been a dedicated PlayStation fan hâm mộ since the days of Tekken 2, và he still loves a good dust up. When he"s not practising combos, he"s usually getting lost in the latest 100-hour RPG, or, y"know, replaying The Witcher 3.


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Fri 2nd Oct 2015

I really love Warriors Franchise and I"d own more than 15 titles from Koei"s flagship, but I can"t play Samurai Warriors 4 again after get platinum on the first game.


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Fri 2nd Oct 2015

Still have this one in the wrapping, been hesitant to mở cửa it up. This đánh giá helped, will be trying out local co-op story mode tonight.


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Fri 2nd Oct 2015

I want this one, though we"ll see if I have time between wrapping up Dynasty Warriors 8 và starting Arslan when it comes out.

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Fri 2nd Oct 2015

I still haven"t finished the incredible Samurai Warriors 4 and I still need to lớn get rồng Quest Heroes. I"ll get this when its -50% lượt thích I did with SW4.


Sun 4th Oct 2015

So if I were lớn buy one, vày I get Samurai Warriors 4 or 4-II? Or vị I wait for empires?