Nintendo’s booth at E3 was packed to the brim with fantastic games and long lines. People were waiting hours to get their hands on the 3DS and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. But, in the middle of the chaos, oddly sat Samurai Warriors 3.
For those unfamiliar with the series, the title focuses on hack-and-slash gameplay and takes place during the Sengoku period of Japanese history. You choose between an assortment of warriors and then take to the battlefields to dismantle any and all foes that obstruct your path.
The title caught my eye from a distance because of the crisp visuals, with main characters sporting a fair amount of detail. For instance, warriors may wear intricately designed arm guards or belts. Unfortunately, the care for your heroes fails to be seen in enemies and environments. The battlefield I demoed contained redundant, robotic foes and a rather barren locale.
The title, in general, felt lacking. The special attacks and combos were underwhelming, especially in comparison to Capcom’s Sengoku Basara: Samurai Warriors. The battling may have felt a bit boring because of the title’s pacing. I wanted to move quickly between action pieces, but instead the character movements slogged along.
My demo guide let me know that calling a stead was possible to speed up the process. This was welcoming news, until controlling the horse. The majestic animal unrealistically turns on a dime and feels nothing like one would expect. Even so, I did enjoy dismantling enemies atop my stead, slicing and dicing those below me.
But the couple moments of pleasure quickly faded. The demo failed to keep me entertained for more than 10 minutes, which worries me about the final product. Hopefully, other game modes and cooperative play (including Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection) enhance the experience. Also, getting a sense of scale and story was difficult in the limited playtime, which could further improve the game.
Samurai Warriors 3 ships Sept. 27 for Wii.