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Samurai Warriors 2: Empires (PlayStation 2)

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59
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

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The Press Says

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
80
GamersHell.com
If you're a big fan of the 'Warriors' games and you're looking for more, then I think you should pick this one up. It improves on the format already established in the previous games, and the strategy level adds another dimension to the game. At the same time, if you've burned out on the series, maybe you should avoid it as it's still the same game.
70
GameSpy
If you've long-since grown tired of this series, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires won't do anything to win you back. Those still addicted, however, will appreciate being able to get some strategizing on in ancient Japan. There might not be any innovation here, but there's still some fun to be had. Just don't expect much more than what you're used to getting.
70
TotalPlayStation
The double-edged sword of the Warriors series means that with each new iteration, you're given the chance to jump into the fray, but there's never really any new reason (at least not one compelling enough to offset the tried-but-true gameplay) to run out and jump in if you abstained years ago. I know it's a weak sauce review, but it's the truth; this is a game that will persuade no one, but entertain all those that are already part of the fold. If you are, congrats, you should pick this up, as the mix of strategy and action is more than enticing, but if you hate the series... well, one more copy for the rest of us, and $30 saved for you. Win/win, no?
63
GameSpot
On its own merits, Samurai Warriors 2: Empires is yet another better-than-the-original-version update, simply because of the engaging strategy elements. But it's not enough this time around to make it a qualifiedly good game, and it's never going to be again until Koei snaps the series out of its current rut.
60
Console Obsession
So, we are left with a game that looks OK, sounds fine, has some strategic depth and does start to become interesting as the campaign to take over Japan progresses. However, it can only really be recommended to die-hard Koei fans.
60
Softpedia
If you want quality samurai action, watch one of Kurosawa's movies. If you want a decent strategy game combined with the elements of a third person action game, well....you could try Samurai Warriors 2 Empires, but I won't guarantee you'll like it. Doing extremely well in the strategy field, the game fails a bit too much in the action department not being able to deliver an experience that's unique enough to set the game apart from hundreds of other samurai-filled titles.
60
Jeuxvideo.com
Si la sortie d'un nouvel opus de Samurai Warriors ou de Dynasty Warriors n'est plus synonyme d'événement, c'est déjà parce que la multiplication des épisodes ne peut finir que par lasser même les plus fervents défenseurs de la série. Ce titre se contente de copier Dynasty Warriors 5 : Empires en le transposant dans le cadre du Japon, c'est-à-dire en ajoutant une importante dimension stratégique aux phases de combat traditionnelles. Dommage que les épisodes s'enchaînent sans corriger les erreurs des volets précédents.
58
Cheat Code Central
With as much experience KOEI has had with their Dynasty and Samurai series you would think that the nuisances of this latest installment would not even appear. Unfortunately, they do, and, because of this, the Samurai Warriors 2: Empires feels more like a first generation PS2 title than a title nearing the end of the PS2 system. However, if you can get past the voice acting, lack of advancements to the core fighting system, and almost boring micromanagement features, then this latest installment was designed for you. Of course, if you're looking for a new installment into your Japanese history game collection then this is it, and you're in for hours of mindless button mashing fun.
50
1UP
And it will inevitably get said polish when Koei decides to make a true next-gen sequel (not a warmed-over PS2 port on the Xbox 360). But even then, if the basic play mechanics remain unchanged, that sequel will remain as tired and familiar as this one.
40
GameCell UK
Samurai Warriors 2 Empires isn't a game that is entirely without merit, the problem is that those merits are rather too well worn now. There's not too many, if any other series of games where you can slaughter hundreds of soldiers in a few minutes, the problem is that there's no need to buy this version of the game over any recent previous one.
30
Gamestyle
How is it that Koei continually escape censure for rolling out a game that, save for a few new bells and whistles, is essentially the same as every other game in the series? This sort of behaviour might almost be acceptable if the gameplay that Koei trots out with every new release in the series was any good. But its not. Its tedious button mashing which is more likely to give you repetitive strain injury than any actual enjoyment, now joined by a largely ineffective strategy element. Avoid.