Review: Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada – A Tale Once Told, but Told Again

+Very heavy narrative discussing the Sanada Clan
+Combat scenarios outside of the classic maps is a blast
+Voice acting, as always, is superb

-Lackluster performance on standard PlayStation 4’s while in heavy combat scenarios
-Combat mechanics are growing repetitious and dated
-Needs redesigned maps, combat scenarios, and graphics engines.

If you’re a Japanese history buff or a fan of Samurai Warriors, there’s no doubt that you have read into the events of the samurai Masayuki Sanada as well as his sons. It’s a record in history that fills in much of Japan’s Warring States period and it’s a story that comes embalmed by triumph, tragedy, and a legacy that will be shared for ages. It’s a tale that has been delicately woven in and out of the franchise for over a decade and a half. It’s a story that publisher Koei Tecmo and developer Omega Force have been proud to share time and time again. It’s also a very element that has been criticized by both fans and the rest of the gaming industry for being repetitious as ever for the Warriors franchise. A franchise that has been been stated to suffer from a lack of innovation, one that has failed to mold itself into new and creative ways.

Luckily for Koei Tecmo and Omega Force, they’ve proved me wrong. They proved me wrong on the assumptions that I would once more pick up a controller and be sucked into the repetitious nature of hacking, slashing, and running my way through pre-scripted battlefields. That I would once more find myself drilling meaningless and repetitious combat scenarios into my own head. Again, and again, and again – I was proven wrong with Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada. It wasn’t until I reached a little over the halfway mark towards the three quarters way through mark would I find myself sure that their risk didn’t outweigh the reward.

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Review: Toukiden 2 – Where the Demon’s Roam

-The game foregoes the traditional Monster Hunter style approach for the open world
-Single-player is quite enjoyable as the story is much deeper than the previous entries
-Online cooperative is the highlight of the game thanks to the more difficult missions
-Carrying over characters is quite nice for those wanting to keep their character

Private lobbies don’t allow for player invites at this time
-Online does have minor syncing issues for players


Monster Hunter style games are a big deal for fans around the world. They love the challenge of fighting something bigger, meaner, and much stronger than they. It’s a fascination that has caused titles such as Freedom Wars, Monster Hunter, Soul Sacrifice, and now Toukiden 2 to flourish in the current day. They are a unique type of game that fans don’t just love, but enjoy. They are a type of title that approaches action-hunting games in an entirely unique and enjoyable way.

Among these titles comes the most unique approach to this genre – Toukiden 2 by famed Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force. Published by Koei Tecmo the game expands upon the style of games that the company publishes. Luckily for them, the game works quite well in doing so, and pulls once more from their unique take on the historical roots of Japan.

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Review: Berserk and the Band of the Hawk – A Band of Berserking Madmen

-Throws non-fans of Berserk right into the guts and glory of the 27 year old franchise
-Animation, sound, and design fit the world of Berserk perfectly
-Decently lengthy for the average Warriors and Beserk fan to enjoy

-Repetitious hack’n’slashing that offers little-to-no depth for story elements
-Non-campaign modes are incredibly short
-Character customizations are too incredibly close to the Warriors titles


Berserk is one of the longest running franchises out there. Having spanned more than 27 years of multifaceted formats ranging from OVA’s, anime series, and even mangas – it’s a series well worth a chance in the modern era of gaming. It’s also a difficult task to think of an anime that is best suited for Omega Force’s well vetted Warriors meta-series than this very one. Much like any character from say Samurai Warriors, Guts is a man that lives and breathes this genre quite well. With his large sword, hunger for blood filled battle, and his unique back story, many would take the fact Berserk and the Band of the Hawk would fit quite well into this meta.

Sadly, its a game that seems to  miss the point of what Berserk is all about. It’s a game that decided to take a one-dimensional approach to this rather large universe that animes, manga’s, and fanfics have helped bring to life. Instead, it’s a game that lead me to skipping through countless cutscenes since they were yanked straight from the anime, and placed right within the game. Granted I ended up having to go back and watch them for the sake of the review, needless to say, I regretted doing so as the core of the game is all about Guts, Griffith, Casca, and the rest of their band of mercenaries.


Much of this is due to the fact I was spoiled quite well with Omega Forces adaptions to the Warriors meta with Hyrule Warriors and Dragon Quest Heroes, which lead me whirling through well renowned worlds, and parading around as some of the best characters in the history of those franchises. The downside here is that these two games used the hallmark mechanics of the Dynasty Warriors franchise and did it even better. Berserk, however, is extremely limited on mission goals. All of these goals range from destroy, rescuing someone, and killing someone. Sounds simple, right? Well it is, and it’s irritating that one of the best anime franchises out there got this treatment.

Want to hunt down hidden objectives? That won’t happen. Want to find secret rooms like Hyrule Warriors? That’s not happening. Want to find different elements for your weapons like Dragon Quest Heroes? Let me laugh for you. It’s simply not happening, which is disappointing due to the games walking potential with such a deep, rich, and lush background that the Berserk franchise has. Even more-so because the game could have adapted quite well to the franchise over the span of 46 story chapters. Sadly, by 25, I wanted to quickly close the game and go back to enjoying the well-rounded Attack on Titan game that succeeded in bringing the anime to life via gaming.


The game is as one would expect. It’s surrounded in Guts’ need for revenge as well as his intense desire to kill anyone that gets in his way of what he’s searching for. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t even reward players for carrying through with this task, and doesn’t even offer the capability for players to change out Guts’ sword with upgraded ones. This is done via buffs that players can pick up by cutting enemies down. One of the best moments the game has to offer is one of the biggest downers. It revolves around sending Guts into a frenzy where amassing a bloody mess of over 1,000 bodies during each objective. This sense of completion is the most satisfying part in these rather lifeless missions that seem to serve almost little-to-no-purpose. sadly, the cutscenes become the most appealing part of the game over the course of the campaign.

While most missions will carry multiple objectives out of the one above, there are a few queues from other Warriors meta-driven games. Players will find mid-mission plot twists where the objectives will rapidly change so that a sub-objective comes to life. It’s here that players will find themselves flying through most of the games chapters in 10 minutes at most. Mission results don’t help to alleviate the pain of this games shortcomings. Missions as you would expect are rated using an alphabetic ranking system. Sadly, getting a “S” is mostly a long-forbidden dream that players will find themselves clamoring about to receive. Luckily the games intermissions are pulled from Berserk’s Golden Age where Berserk was coming up into a rise to fame.


If you are wondering how Guts’ repertoire is expressed? The game does it quite well through rather simple combos. You’ll find yourself constantly mashing square or triangle to use Guts’, Griffiths’, or even Casca’s combats in order to cut enemies down. While the occasional switch after so many presses of one button offers a sense of accomplishment, Guts or any of the others, show off their brutality by using his musuo-like mode. This mode allows Guts to build up his “ultimate” meter where he unleashes his rather devastating attacks in order to disperse enemies rather quickly. This also shows-off the fact the game follows the Warriors meta for mechanics quite closely.

While the novelty of playing famed characters exist, Free Mode is where players would probably want to go in order to enjoy the game at it fullest. Here is where you’ll be most disappointed since it only features previously cleared missions. Bummer, huh? At least you can try out the games supporting cast int his mode in order to see what they are made of. They all control rather similarly to Guts.

Beserk and the Band of the Hawk – PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC
Omega Force
Koei Tecmo
Cost: $59.99
Release Date:
Available Now

Each brings in their own blood-filled combat tactics in order to cut enemies down. Griffith serves as one of the more lustrous characters in the title. His ability to kill with his lethal grace is a prestige no-one-other has. He moves through the combat beautifully in his zigs, zags, and ultimately gracious movement. Casca on other hand is not as brutal as her colleagues. Her attacks are more like that of a ninja. She’s fast, she’s dangerous, and she implores the player to take advantage of this in order to take out dozens of troops at once.

While the games sound, art quality, and appeal to the manga’s are almost on par, the game seems to miss the depth that Berserk is known for. While playing as the bloodlusted and battle experience Guts is a blast, it seems that the Warriors style meta misses its mark with Omega Force’s latest iteration. Luckily, there’s still room for improvement for the game on the sense of combat and adding depth via DLC. However, Omega Force’s more imaginative and more-accurate efforts seem to have been missed in this latest title. While story is what most of us will come here for, it seems this game won’t have that to offer and it will be one of those games that would have gratified itself better using a Ninja Gaiden style approach to the game in order to keep us entertained like the game should have at this point.

Our review is based upon a retail version of the game given to us by the games publisher. For our review, we used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.

 Final Score: 6 out of 10

About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Sit-Rep: Attack on Titan – Attacking Head On and Demolishing Everything

Offers an authentically fun Attack on Titan experience
Fans of the anime will enjoy the anime art style and storytelling approach
Offers multiple characters to play, each with their own unique play style
Animations and soundtrack look as if they are taken directly from the anime
P.S., you get to play in Eran’s titan form. Need we say more?

Combat can get monotonous
Farming for minerals means killing titans, not just searching
Targeting limbs on titans can be rather annoying and problematic


Attack on Titan has been considered one of the most fan favored anime franchises in recent years. Following steps in many ways to AMC’s The Walking DeadAttack on Titan follows suit with similar footsteps. Humanity is in shambles due to an enemy threat only known as “Titans”. These titans come in different shapes, different sizes, different abnormalities, and even different origins. What makes them bothersome isn’t the fact they are as lethal as ever, but also the fact their hunger for human limbs is almost insatiable.

Welcome to the world of Attack on Titan where the walls are falling and you are the last line of defense that humanity has. Taking the role of multiple characters in this lightning fast game is a spot you’ll discover yourself in most of the time. Fans of the series that have been following it since 2009 as a manga and others who have followed it since 2013 know what is coming. While this game could be compared to the 2013 disaster that landed on the Nintendo 3DS, this newest adaption has managed to redeem the franchise for the better as a game. This is a commonplace issue for licensed products of the genre. But the question remains  – can it portray the anime and manga narratives without relying on a bit of knowledge from source materials? That’s where we’re about to find out.

From Manga,to Anime, to Game – It’s Attack on Titan

It’s hard to justify an Attack on Titan game for the most part. Why? What the anime and the manga both did was amazing. They brought a unique look at a dystopian future and made it even more frightening by making all hope become lost. With humanity in its state of peril, there seemed no hope, but even in the darkest moments, there is light. For gaming? This light just happened to be Omega Force giving Attack on Titan a chance, which the Nintendo 3DS title did rather hopelessly.

While fun, it was troubled in every aspect of the word. But how do you do a game based on a franchise that has already had almost all its pivotal plots revealed? How do you keep with making a legit franchise into a licensed product such as a PlayStation 4 game under the same title? This is where famed publisher and developer duo Omega Force as well as Koei Tecmo come together and breath light into a franchise that’s already begun to unravel into a bigger story. Thanks to the story in place from both Manga and the Anime, Attack on Titan for PlayStation 4 wields a powerful story that follows the adventures of Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and Levi. Each character wields their own unique set of skills that they will carry into battle.


From Eren being a power house that can easily dismantle titans to Armin who can tactically bring titans to their knees with the aid of a squad. Meanwhile Mikasa is an expert at tearing titan’s apart with multiple precise attacks when landing her combo only to be an offset to Levi’s powerful charged attacks that sends him spiraling towards titan’s in a blazing fury of blades. Luckily for many of us that have seen the anime or read the manga, this sticks true to how each character plays out, each carrying their own unique traits, and carrying them out throughout the anime. This sticks true even for players wishing to take on Eren’s titan form that just obliterates almost any enemy near by.

Attack on Titan’s Unique Combat System Carries Over Quite Well

As one would expect, the most important thing for Attack on Titan to have is the weapons and the 3D maneuverability system using the gear they do. Whether it’s the swords that break away and have their blades replaced mid combat or the pressurized gas canisters being replaced as their gas pressures lower. However, how well does zipping across the screen to replace crippling blows to titans carry over?


Omega Force pulls it off quite well for such a complex system that would be translated over into a game. Zipping across the screen manages to work quite well as players take on each titan by setting their target by R1. Doing the R1/RB press switches players instantly into a combat targeting system that allows them to choose which part of a titan they wish to dismember. Whether it’s arms, legs or simply going for the killing blow by cutting off a titans nape of their neck.

The way Omega Force has implemented this makes combat smooth, fluid, and intuitive. It shows just how much attention the team put into their developing the game in order to make it follow the show as close as possible. This even goes to say the maps feel just as good, even if players will revisit areas like the Trost District a few more times than they’d want. Luckily for those looking for detail, the cables used when moving across the cityscapes or from titan to titan feel genuinely crafted as they don’t randomly appear, but only attach to nearby buildings, trees or fixtures.

Attack on Titan’s Camera, Attack Angles, and Titan’s Can be a Pain

As one wold expect, not everything is going to be work in the players or the developers favor when it comes to the fast paced title, players will eventually find shortcomings to gripe about. Unfortunately for Attack on Titan these become apparent within minutes of playing. Some of the biggest and most troublesome underlying issues are the ones that stare you in the face while playing.

It isn’t uncommon for players to find the camera getting stuck as players drop from dead titans or buildings being obliterated by one only to find the camera stuck. This means players will often find the camera chugging along the best it can while players drop down onto the roads, between houses, or just in general becoming a problem when being surrounded by groups of titans. Luckily the game does its best to make this problem none-existent by forcing players to keep on the move using their gear. If players are good enough at it, they’ll find themselves quickly adjusting to the games odd camera situations that tend to pop up.

As time progressed in our playthrough, the problems seemed less frequent as we learned to keep moving from building to building, and combining our attacks on each titan just as quick as the one before. But another large issue is one that stares you point blank in the face while titans are laying around with their arms and legs cut off. Players will often find themselves being bounced off these monstrosities more-often-than-not due to their positioning being wrong or the titan rolling around. Sometimes it’s things just as simple as titans crumbling buildings underneath them and obscuring the players angle so that they have to maneuver to higher grounds in order to attack their target.


Attack on Titan – PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, and Windows PC.
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Price: $59.99 USD
Released: Available Now

Closing Thoughts

Attack on Titan is a franchise that’s hard to make games and spin-offs for due to how carefully crafted the writers, artists, and directors are. Luckily, the game fills all the needed spots whether its the beautifully crafted anime-style engine that makes the game look like a high-end 3D anime or the soundtrack that’s been pulled directly from the anime. Attack on Titan succeeds in most areas where the previous Nintendo 3DS title failed.

All though much of the screen is cluttered by the HUD, mission status, equipment menu, health, map, allies, etc, Attack on Titan is a beautiful masterpiece that shows it belongs right where it’s at on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Whether it’s players zipping across the map to the official soundtrack or watching the anime-like cutscenes that are dubbed over in the original Japanese voice-tracking, Attack on Titan is a game that won’t leave fans disappointed as they find themselves completing the main campaign.

While the game does have a multiplayer, it isn’t much different from the main game, which is nice when taking a break from the story and wanting to mow down titans with a pal or two. Overall, the game is just as one would expect and hope to see for a game under the Attack on Titan licensing allowing Omega Force to take a long awaited pat to the back as we wait to see more of the franchise come from their studio.

Our review is based upon a version provided to us by the games publisher.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.

 Final Score: 7 out of 10

About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.