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Every once in a while a game comes along where, just based on the title alone, it seems like a home run. Eduardo the Samurai Toaster is one of those games. Come on, it's a toaster whoís a samurai. How could that not be cool? Unfortunately, it isn't, and after a run through it is clear it does not live up to expectations.
Upon first launching the game, players are taken to a title screen where Eduardo sits patiently waiting. Players are then forced to walk through the credits with nothing to do other than look at the names on the screen and practice pastry launching. A small portion of the credits can be skipped by pausing the game and selecting a menu option, but there is no way to launch directly into the game.
The controls for the game are handled NES style, with the Wii Remote held sideways. The 2 button is used to fire pastries from the toaster's body and the 1 button causes Eduardo to jump. Pastries can be fired in any direction using the D-pad.
Eduardo the Samurai Toaster is a side scrolling platform shooter. It blends elements with a traditional platform game with elements of Gradius style shooters. Things go downhill almost immediately, though, as the shooting induces carpal tunnel problems. Rather than being able to hold down the fire button, like is common in most shooters, players are required to press the fire button for every shot. What's more, every enemy takes multiple hits before they die, and players can expect to face dozens of enemies at a time. Randomly throughout levels, players will also be forced to stop and fight a mini boss that is accompanied by more smaller enemies as well. Breaks from the action are few and far between.
The level design itself is also very uninspired. Platforms are placed very randomly throughout the levels, and thereís no cohesiveness within the levels. On top of that, about halfway through the game, the game abruptly changes from a platformer to an aerial shooter as Eduardo takes to the skies. This is a sort of jarring change, especially after spending time getting used to the platforming gameplay.
The art design is very appealing at first, but it becomes very repetitive, very quickly. Many of the levels use the same assets. They are all drawn very well, but after seeing the same platform dozens of times the lack of creative depth becomes evident. Everything seems like a cookie cutter was used and levels were pressed out, mixed around the thrown together. The music, what little there is, seems equally uninspired and quite forgettable.
Eduardo the Samurai Toaster is a game that can be as difficult or as easy as players want it to be. The designers give the option to change the number of lives players are allowed at the beginning of your play session. They also gave the ability for infinite lives. If players run out of health they can press the 1 button and are deposited in the same spot where they died and continue on. Without using that feature it is almost impossible to finish due to the sheer volume of enemy encounters, but with infinite lives it seems too easy to progress. There really is no happy medium.
The game is also pretty short, as most gamers will be able to play through the entire game in one sitting. Adding some value is the ability to have up to four people playing together and each assume the role of three other unnamed toasters who have the exact same abilities as Eduardo. The game does become a bit more fun with multiple players due to them taking some of the button pressing load, but the difficulty does not scale with the number of players, meaning the game with four players is substantially easier than with two.
Initial impressions were of a decent game with a catchy title and clever art design. This was quickly stripped away by the repetitive levels and painful controls. Itís very hard to recommend this title to anyone of any age because it so uninteresting after two or three levels. There is no score kept, no online leaderboards to compare with friends, and no story to tie everything together. Those are things that have become almost a must-have with this style of game. In the end, itís not a game that many will find fun unless the prospect of repetitive injuries is appealing.
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