Friday, January 20, 2006

Samurai Legend Musashi

Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PS2
2005 Square Enix, Ltd.

Samurai Legend Musashi Games
Samurai Legend Strategy Guides
Cover Description:
Cutting Edge Samurai Action! Step in and take care of business! Join Musashi on a hackin' and slashin' quest. Behold unique manga-shaded graphics. Learn and use enemy techniques. Rock to new music by the Surf Coasters.

Not exactly legendary. >>> by Demoncaller777

I'm a sucker for anything related to Miyamoto Musashi, and this game (being a little bit older) has been going down in price recently. I decided to pick it up, and was both impressed, and disappointed.

Gameplay: This is where Musashi Samurai Legend takes it's biggest hit. This game has about 30 or so techniques to use and learn, and learning is probably the coolest factor of gameplay here. As long as you're locked on to an enemy and he performs a technique that's learnable you learn it by pressing "Circle". This is a cool idea, but it ties in with one of Musashi's main problems. You almost never need to use these moves. Almost every enemy will die from your standard 5 slash combo that is learned at the beginning of the game. Only bosses will last from these combos, but then again, Musashi has some very intresting and difficult boss fights. The one that most stands out to me is the fight against Ashura where you must destroy all 8 of her swords, and then fight against her floating head, of which is using a sword as a spinal cord. However, not even the cool boss fights can save this game from being to repetitive. It's also to be noted that I died a few times due to camera difficulties, which is a major problem. You can move the camera how you like, but most of the time it's fairly unresponsive and can't get a good view anywhere. Musashi Samurai Legend also tried to spice things up by forcing Musashi to have to carry everyone he rescues. This is a cool first, but very quickly it devolves into a huge annoyance. You end up having to carry practically everyone, and while you're carrying someone you can only use two moves. I ended up just dropping the person to be rescued and killing the enemies and then going on my way, or just running past the enemies all together.

Story And Plot: Not a lot going on here. Just save princess, save maidens, save princess. That's basically it. If you know about the real life Musashi then there is a minor twist near the end of the story, but most people probably won't notice or won't care.

Visuals: Musashi Samurai Legend is most noted for it's unique graphics, and rightfully so. The entire game is a sight to be seen, and contains very impressive visuals. However, if you're turned off by cel-shading, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Characters: Not too much to say here, either. There are probably 10 or so actually important characters in the story, and very few of them are memorable. The most interesting characters are Ishtara and Gandrake, in my opinion, but Ishtara hardly does anything, and Gandrake only interacts with Musashi three or so times, despite being the main villain.

Sounds: At first I would listen to music while playing Musashi Samurai Legend, but one day I stopped to actually listen to the music and found it was truly beautiful. Songs like Aeolic Guardian are fantastic and I often listen to them even when I'm not playing the game. Also, Musashi has voice acting which...well, actually, it's really bad...but the symphonic sound track almost completely makes up for it.

Replay value: There is almost no reason to replay this game. There are no sidequests that you don't have to play during the story. And once you finish the game there is nothing else to do on that file, unless you want to finish getting all the techniques, of which you'll probably have most of towards the end of the game.

DIFFICULTY: Easy-moderate
RATINGS: Gameplay 5; Battle N/A; Story 6; Visuals 8; Characters 6; Sounds 9; Replay Value 3

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