By Steve Baltimore / July 31st, 2015
|Title||Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3|
|Release Date||June 30, 2015|
|Platform||3DS / Vita|
Being a fan of Musou games, when I got the a chance to check out Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 on the 3DS, I was pretty excited. This was my first title like this on the 3DS, so I was pretty interested to see how it well it worked on the system. Did I find another great Musou title to enjoy, or something better left on the shelf?
The story follows a samurai you make via the character creator joining various armies throughout feudal Japan. You will start out with Nobunaga Oda as he seeks to bring peace to the provinces through brute force. As you complete battles you will be treated to scenes with various officers and dialogue choices. These choices will allow you to build favor with each character and could lead to additional “What if” scenarios being unlocked. I really enjoyed seeing the interactions between the various officers. Thought it may not be the deepest or most well-written story I’ve seen, it was definitely entertaining.
The graphics look pretty good for a 3DS title. Even though the console lacks high resolution, the officer models look great with some decent detail. The hordes of generic enemies are not as detailed, but they get the job done. The environments are all nicely done and really impressed me. The biggest issue I found in this department is the draw distance is very small so you will not see enemies till they are pretty much on top of you. The animation looks a little jerky; you can tell some frames of animation have been dropped to get this running on the portable. This is only a minor issue, but you will notice it. One other thing that may turn off some users is the 3D effects look pretty bad here. I would recommend leaving the slider off for this one.
I always loved the soundtracks in these games, and this title is no expectation. It has that nice mix of metal and Eastern sounds that always gets your blood pumping for some combat. The game features quite a bit of Japanese dubbing and the voice actors do a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. The sound effects are pretty plain and just what you would expect from a title like this. Nice sword slash sounds, death wails, and basic environmental sounds.
The gameplay here is pretty much exactly what you expect from a title in this series. Hack down hordes of enemies and officers to complete goals and clear the map. If you’ve ever played a Musou game you are very familiar with this. Each officer, in addition to having normal attacks and combos, can use Rage Attacks, Hyper Attacks and Mighty Strikes to aid them in crushing their enemies. These are all really straightforward and easy to execute once you have met the conditions. So expect to be filling meters and racking up a lot of kills to perform these.
The biggest change in gameplay is that the map on the bottom screen will show you exactly were your playable officers are on the battlefield. You can tap their picture to switch to each of them instantly. I really love this feature since one of my issues with other Musou games is you have to run all the way across the map to complete an objective that may have a strict time limit. Now you can just tap on whomever is the closest to the objective and deal with it in an instant. I really felt this added a lot to this game because I felt more involved in all areas of the battle.
While I’m sure some would question how this game would control on the 3DS with only one analog input, I can safely say that it does very well. The controls are responsive and even with just the one input, the camera generally works really well. The game does support the Circle Pad Pro if you have one, but I didn’t have any issues playing on my “Old’ 3DS XL system.
The castle town is present here as well. It functions very much like in the other games. You upgrade and purchase new weapons, have tea parties to boost your favor with officers to earn special character events, and more. You can also put a number of officers in training so they will gain EXP, even if they are not in battle. There is also a challenge mode where you can earn points to exchange for in-game items such as weapons, upgrade materials, and much more.
While I could not recommend this game to everyone, I think fans of the series will find a lot here to love. There are plenty of varied maps and challenges, the story and character interactions are well-written and the soundtrack is great. I played this for around 25 hours and felt like it didn’t have much content nor as many options as it should have for the $39.99 price tag. The view distance and character animations were my other two big sticking points with this, but if your a fan of Musou games and can overlook the technical issues, this might just be your cup of tea.
Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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