REVIEW: Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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Title Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada
Developer Omega Force
Publisher Koei Tecmo
Release Date May 23rd 2017
Genre Musou, Hack n Slash
Platform PlayStation 4. Steam
Age Rating Teen
Official Website

I have been a fan of the Samurai Warriors series for many years now. There’s just something about Musou style games and the stories told in both this series and Dynasty Warriors that always seems to draw me back into them. When a chance came along to check out the latest entry in the franchise, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada I jumped on it. Let’s see if this latest entry can get my blood pumping for some classic Musou action!

The story follows the exploits of the Sanada Clan throughout their turbulent history. You begin the game as Masayuki Sanada as he struggles to keep his lands and his clan safe from harm by whatever means necessary. The primary focus in this tale, however, is the story of his son, Yukimuri Sanada. You will see his entire life from the time he was a boy watching his father to his heroic end.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada | Father and Son

This is certainly one epic tale, and honestly it’s one of my favorite stories told in the franchise so far. There are plenty of plot twists and turns, which is what you would expect from a game set in this time period in Japan. Where this game focuses on a few main characters I felt more connected to them than I did to the players in other series entries. I was honestly taken back by what an emotional ride this story is. I won’t soon forget this tale of conviction, heroism, and tragedy!

Graphically, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada has not changed from the previous series titles on the PlayStation 4. Character models look nice on the PlayStation 4 and have quite a bit of detail. The environments are nicely done as well. Each stage is well represented, there are castle stages, open field combat areas, and more. These environments will change depending on what season the battle is taking place. The draw distance is really good, so you can see a lot of the map if you have an unobstructed view, and the framerate stays pretty solid even if there are hundreds of enemies on the screen.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada | Battle

If you’ve played any of the previous entries for the series, even though they are dubbed in English you’ve likely gotten pretty used to the Japanese voice cast by now. It seems most of them have returned to reprise their roles this time around as well. I know some people complain these games are not dubbed, but I’ve gotten so used to the Japanese voice cast it would feel odd any other way. The music is fantastic here as well. Mix some metal with traditional Japanese folks music and you got one kick ass soundtrack to slay thousandss of foes to, and you will slay thousands of foes.

Most of the major gameplay elements remain unchanged in Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada. You will still take the field of combat and use two button combos to slays hundreds or thousands of foes on each map while meeting certain objectives. You can control up to two generals on each map and switch back and forth between the two on the fly. This helps you cover ground more quickly when trying to meet timed objectives.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada | Chacha and Yukimura

There are a couple new additions to the gameplay here as well, one of them being a day and night cycle. This can have a great effect on combat since it becomes harder to find objectives in the dark, and red zone areas have stronger enemies in the daytime. The other major new addition is the “Six Coins” feature. These coins will allow the player to use stratagems during combat that can greatly turn the tide of battle. These can include showing the location of enemy officers on the map, healing units, delaying the advance of an enemy officer and much more. These stratagems are earned by completing tasks in the Castle Town for the NPC or by achieving certain feats in combat. Since the major battles in this game are Mulit Stage battles, bonuses from one battle will carry over to the next, giving you an advantage in the next fight.

Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada | Musou

Another major addition to this title are Castle Towns. These towns works as hubs for your army. Here you can upgrade your weapons, take on quests for townspeople to earn rewards, and many other services. Some of the quests the NPCs give you will require you to explore certain areas. These exploration maps are an excellent source of materials to upgrade weapons, make new medicines and more. You may also be required to meet certain objectives on these to progress the story forward. I found this to be a chore most of the time as I just wanted to jump back into the major story battles rather than gather items or hunt down a few enemies on a smaller map. The tasks you have to perform late in the game to progress the story in these sections are really tedious and actually drag the game down a bit.

I have to say I really enjoyed my time with Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada. The stratagems add new depth to classic Musou style gameplay. The story here was simply amazing, and if I could spoil it I could probably talk for hours about what an emotional ride it was and how I will not soon forget these amazing characters. For its $49.99 price you get about 35 hours of content, and while this game doesn’t revolutionize the genre, if you’re a fan you simply cannot go wrong here.

Review Score

Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.