Review – Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: Wii, PS3
Genre: Hack n Slash
Release Date: Out Now

The Sengoku Basara series has been a japan exclusive for quite some time now. With the increasing popularity of the series, including the anime, Capcom have finally decided to bring it overseas. This actually isn’t Basara’s first release outside of Japan though, as back in 2006, Devil Kings was released. The game was changed to have a darker tone and all ties to japanese history were removed. The game did poorly, but Capcom have learned from their mistake. Did Capcom get it right this time? Hit the jump to find out.

As if the title doesn’t explain it well enough, the Basara games are based on the Sengoku period of japanese history. Each character is based on their historical counterpart, except with a little Capcom flavour added to their personalities. With the Basara series, there isn’t exactly a canon storyline. You choose your character and you lead them to victory. Date Masamune is often considered the main character/poster boy of the series, so if anything, his storyline would be the closest thing to canon. But does it really matter? No, not at all.

It’s easy to end up comparing the series to the Samurai/Dynasty Warriors games, and to be honest, they’re very similar. Basara works like this; you pick your character, you choose who you want to fight, you take over their land and advance. Most of the time your objective is pretty straight forward but you’ll also be given certain objectives such as protecting your base or stopping enemy back up from arriving. It can get a little strategic but nothing overwhelming.

Your average level consists of running around a full 3D area taking over enemy camps and defeating army’s as you make your way to the battle with the end of level boss. The on-screen map shows where enemy forces are so you won’t find yourself lost or struggling for time, thankfully. Scattered throughout areas are treasure chests which include either health, power ups, items or money. You’ll receive a nice bonus for getting chests so be sure to open as many as you can! Just don’t go expecting a Zelda-like pose.

To give the game that “over the top” Capcom feel, you have the Basara and Hero gauges. When these are full, you can activate special moves to give you an advantage on the battlefield. Using the Basara gauge unleashes your Basara art, which is a swift and powerful move that deals more than plenty damage. Activating Hero Time slows down time and increases your attack rate, allowing you to chain up combos at greater speeds. Using these two together starts up your Ultimate Basara, a combination between Basara and Hero Time. You can probably guess what this does. Each character’s Basara move is different, but equally entertaining to watch.

Depending on how well you do in a level, you are awarded items and materials. These are based on things such as number of enemies defeated and your combo meter. Items can be equipped to your selected character to raise their stats and give them extra support with statuses like extra experience and higher luck rates. Materials can be forged together to create new items, as long as you have the required amount and enough money. Some items can only be obtained via materials so collect as much as you can. There’s even an amusing item which plays the theme song in-game. Just too bad we got an engrish version.

Now, this is where my only negative comes in. Basara features full voice acting in both gameplay and cutscenes. What’s so bad about this? Capcom only included english voices. The english voice cast isn’t bad at all, but I would have at least liked the option to select the original Japanese voices. A lot of people will be coming to Samurai Heroes from the anime, so it’s a big change for those not used to the english track. I understand they wanted to keep the content the same in both versions but Basara just feels weird in english. It might just be me though.

I must give credit to Capcom, they’ve packed so much into this game it’s unbelievable. If you take into consideration that this game is also available on the Wii, it becomes even more a surprise. Right off the bat, you’re going to get a good 100+ hours of gameplay if you decide to go through and finish the story modes for everyone. That time is extended even more if you challenge yourself to collecting every item and getting 100% on all character stories. It may be quite repetitive, but it’s fun. If you’re planning on picking this game up, be sure to have a few hours spare.

At its core, Basara is just another hack n slash. Just another button masher. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t satisfying. I’m extremely happy that Capcom decided to give us the game in its original form instead of butchering the most interesting aspect. It might not teach you much about the Sengoku period, but I sure learned one thing. Date Masamune is so bad ass it hurts.

Final Score – 8/10

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re a hack n slash fan then Sengoku Basara will become your best friend. If the lack of Japanese voices doesn’t put you off then Put Ya Guns On! This is one game you don’t want to pass up on.

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One Response to “Review – Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes”

  1. […] of Honour, and the upcoming Dead Space 2, which isn’t out until next year. Capcom will have Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, as well as Marvel vs Capcom 3 playable, which for many fans will be the first chance to give the […]

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