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iPhone Game Review: Samurai II: Vengeance
      #39007 - 11/02/10 03:16 PM

iPhone Game Review: Samurai II: Vengeance
Reviewed by JadeDragon

The last time we saw Daisuke Shimada chasing after the evil Hattoro in Samurai: Way of the Warrior, we were left with a desire of wanting to see more of Daisuke's story. Madfinger Games knows this, and now they not only bring us the next chapters of Daisuke?s adventure but also better and more fluid game control and levels. If you have been waiting to see what Daisuke's up to lately, don't miss his latest adventure, Samurai II: Vengeance.

Gameplay

The sequel plays again in a gorgeous 3D world that looks like out of a stylish Japanese movie. Your hero will travel through beautifully created levels, hacking and slicing with his trusty katana, leaving a bloody trail behind him. Each level isn't that long but is packed with intense fighting. When you've killed all the enemies in a level, the game will prompt you to move on. Level design makes the gameplay feel fluid, giving you enough to do yet moving you along nicely. Like in the last game, you can interact with the environment in Vengeance where you can crush breakable items, search and retrieve items, and gets hurt by nicely placed traps like meat grinders, swing saws, spiked floor and more. Again continuing the tradition from the last Samurai game, Vengeance tells the Samurai?s story with beautifully hand drawn anime-style comic panels. These in-between-missions panels are artwork onto itself and will certain please those who fell in love with the style in the first game.



All that eye-catching level design and stylishly created environment don?t take away the core of this game?s attraction: real fluid, console level quality brawler fighting. You get close up and personal with your sword wielding enemies and enjoy watching them fall under the spell of your katana. Yes, there is still blood in this game. If that?s one of the attractions you liked in the first game, you are treated to more of it in this sequel. But if you are a bit squeamish before bloody scene, you might not be to put off as the blood scenes are very well done in an artistic way that while blood is splashing everything it feels distant somehow, and it disappears after a few moments. New to the sequel is the Dojo Challenge fighting mode where you can hone your control and fighting skills again endless number of enemies.

Controls are super fluid now in Vengeance, even better than in the first Samurai. The combo slashes take little effort to learn and master, movements are easily controls with the virtual d-pad. There are still moves that are targeted to a single enemy and those that are meant to use to take down a group. It takes very little time for you to switch between these moves that they become second nature. This is so well done that while you do lots of intense fighting, but you will mostly pay attention to the environment where you need to explore and let fighting naturally take place. It?s one of the best control schemes we?ve seen in an iOS brawler. The Unity 3D engine used in this game has become very efficient, and the developer claims the game runs at 60 fps on the iPhone 4G and iPod 4 gen, and it certainly looks it.



Samurai II has support for Apple?s Game Center and lists all your achievements there including when you finish all seven chapters of the game, performed certain combos, finished the game in different difficulty levels.

Graphics

Complimenting the story telling and the fluid gameplay is the eye-popping graphics. You walk through the levels as though you are actually there. Environments look beautiful with leaves falling off the trees and nicely drawn villages, sky fortress and more. The artists who create the visuals in game deserve as much credit as the code writers for the success of the games, as they have created a colorful yet moody world of a lone warrior on a quest for justice and revenge.

Sound

Samurai II has both background music and sound effects. The BGM features Asian style flute and string instruments and it sounds more calm and serene which balances off the mayhem of the gameplay. The music goes well with the visual, and if it wasn?t for the blood and swords played out on the screen, you will swear that you are on a Japanese mountain resort. Sound effects takes the center stage when there is fighting going on, and you will get the full sword clashing, swooshing and men grunting.



Conclusion

The first impression you will get when you pick up Samurai II: Vengeance is that the game?s console quality in many ways. The gameplay is very well designed and controls are tight. You will love the fighting and want more at the end of the journey. Graphics and audio help create a world that?s not only highly styled but also interactive with the character. Samurai Way of the Warrior should get this game right away and relive the glorious sword slashing Samurai way of life again. For the uninitiated, run to the App Store now and get the game. You won?t want to turn back!

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - The graphics is a visual feast that you will want to slow down the game once in a while to check out the scenary.
Sound: - 5 - Great music composition mixed with men grunting and sword clashing.
Controls: - 5 - Three-button fighting controls are tight and easy to master. D-pad controls movement well.
Gameplay: - 5 - One of the best brawler fighter on the iOS!



Playing Hints and Tips:

- If you want to master the controls before getting into the story, check out the Dojo mode where you have endless supply of enemies to hone your skill on.

- Make sure you check all items in the level for breakables and items.

- If the game has given you the all clear, trace your steps back. There is an area you?ve missed.

App Facts:

Developer: Madfinger Games
Release Date: Oct 26, 2010
Price: $2.99
Buy App: Samurai II: Vengeance

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