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Samurai Western is a game that is pretty well balanced between too short and too long. The 10 or so hours of gameplay (not including going back and trying to unlock all of the items), coupled with the fact that the missions are short enough to just pick the game up for a few minutes and actually accomplish something, makes this action RPG good for just about anyone.
Samurai Western is the third installment in the Way of the Samurai series, action games with a strong cult following. The game is pretty much what it sounds like. You play a samurai named Gojiro, who's on a quest to find his estranged brother who embraced the way of the gun over the sword and left for America to seek his fortune. He arrives in the New World, and you fight your way through the Old West in this game that's equal parts Magnificent Seven (which, incidentally, was based on The Seven Samurai), Tombstone, Trigun and Kill Bill. It's very stylish, and the action is hectic and enjoyable.
Game Over Online
Samurai Western could've been one of the great beat-'em-ups, if it had a little more variety to its gameplay. Special stages, like a train chase or a level spent on horseback, would've been great; so would the ability to pick up new weapons, Onimusha-style. (Even if Gojiro won't touch guns, that still leaves a wealth of options.) I can recommend Samurai Western to people who're looking for a halfway-decent rental or to the diehard Dynasty Warriors fans who're looking for a fix, but that's about it.
Despite the simple level objectives, occasionally bad voice acting, and some issues with the camera, Samurai Western is one of the most enjoyable action RPGs to have come out in recent memory, though the action can be as repetitive after about ten hours of play as it is addictive in the first few hours, Samurai Western is a fun game that could have been better if the nagging glitches would have been fixed and more variety were thrown in. If you were disappointed in Musashi Samurai Legend and are in the market for a new action RPG, Samurai Western will at least stave away the cravings for a week or two.
Game Freaks 365
Samurai Western comes out at a bad time. It launches the same day as San Andreas for the Xbox, Medal of Honor: European Assault, and comes shortly after the release of what will probably be the Game of the Year, God of War. The East-meets-West feel of the game is what makes it a charming hack 'n' slash action game. Other than that, it's about as strictly hack 'n' slash as they come. Definitely give this one a rent, but a buy should be out of the question.
Taken as a whole, Samurai Western is a very basic brawler with some novel concepts. The game is enjoyable for what it is ? shallow. Given that, the game is worth a play-through for fans of either the genre or the source material. There is bit here that if refined (make the dodges a test of skill, please) and given some variety would make a truly enjoyable game. A good rent or bargain bin purchase.
In the end if you are fan of spaghetti westerns like I am, or have a simple craving for some fast paced bloody good times then give Samurai Western a try. It never once tries to be something it's not and has a certain appeal to grasp fans of the niche genre. These are the kinds of games PS2 owners should be proud to call their own as they most likely would have never seen the light of day without it's massive user base. Being a huge fan of Rising Zan for the PSOne I recommend everyone give SW a shot, or should I say a slice!
The men standing in the middle of the dusty streets of the ghost town twitch their trigger fingers and spread out. Their opponent shows no sign of nervousness and does not take his steely gaze from the gunslingers that begin to sweat. Suddenly the men draw their six shooters and, before they can even pull the trigger, the lone man pulls out a long blade and is on them. Within seconds the man slices into these men and watches them drop to the ground. The man is a samurai and the men he killed were hardened gunslingers. Samurai Western on the PS2 brings us two different worlds but does it manage to be original and fun? Let’s just say it could have been better.
That last sentiment could apply to the whole game with the glaring exception of the dodge issue. This is the meeting of worlds that nobody asked for, but it is executed in a way that makes all who see it smile, despite the lack of any obvious humor. As the game progresses, you realize that while you've never thought about it, you wanted to see a samurai kick some Old West gunman tail. You'll wonder why you didn't spend your childhood dreaming of taking out 50 revolver-wielding outlaws with nothing but a blade. And inevitably, you'll wander away from the game, your right thumb and index finger sore, never to return, regardless of whether or not the end was reached. Your imagination can run as wild as it pleases, but one can only rapidly tap the same two buttons for so much time before returning to the game is out of the question.
What happened to Jackie Chan? His films used to be all about the exciting realism of martial arts and not the computer generated supermen or fruity pillow fighting. Some of his most recent films had me starting to like Jackie Chan movies less and less. These pictures included Rush Hour 2, The Tuxedo, The Medallion, and Shanghai Knights. Shanghai Knights in particular is the mediocre sequel to Shanghai Noon, the one movie of his released before this nonstop train of crap rolled in that I can actually say I enjoyed watching. The premise of a 19th Century Chinese Imperial Guard visiting the Western times of old made for some funny situations and great action when pairing together the master of stunts (Jackie Chan) and that goofy looking blonde with a demented nose (Owen Wilson).
Digital Entertainment News (den)
Samurai Western is one of those ’tweener games
that straddles genres, delivering action-oriented, almost platform-style fighting game play, but tossing in some RPG “elements” as well. The extent of these “elements” are that your character advances in levels as you advance through the game, giving you skill points to distribute to a handful of attributes such as power, life, MP, defense and so on. You also periodically gain new weapons and accessories, each of which carries penalties as well as advantages. The only real problem is that you can only equip one accessory at a time, so it falls well short of the RPG standard of full character customization.
Petite surprise que ce Samurai Western, s'offrant le rôle d'outsider à la prise de risque conséquente. Prenant le parti de mélanger deux genres bien distincts par le biais d'une modification radicale au sein d'une série bien installée, le soft de Spike réussi presque son pari. Plaisant à jouer et pétri d'actions de bravoures, il pêche néanmoins par une mauvaise exploitation de son gameplay et son aspect graphique discutable. Mais pour un jeu à prix moyen, et qui plus est sans prétention, Samurai Western se laisse apprécier... avec pas mal de recul. Quand Clint rencontre Musashi.
Game Informer Magazine
I enjoy a good Western every now and again, especially those with an interesting twist, which is why I was excited about Samurai Western. Taking on outlaws as a sword-slinging samurai is definitely a cool idea, but this game simply doesn't live up to its potential and falls prey to the problems that dog far too many third-person action titles.
Digital Press - Classic Video Games
Even through all the complaints, all the aggravation, and all the frustrations, Samurai Western still does what it does better than most games. Yes, it's tough to go back to such simplistic action gaming like this after the expansive God of War, but Western proves there is still a place for this style of game. They're easy to pick up, maintain the retro feel of the genre, and are fast paced enough to maintain interest. If you're a fan of beat-em-ups from their heyday, this is the type of game you've been craving for some time.
Video Game Talk
If Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone got together to make a video game... well, it wouldn't be this, but despite the knockdown factor and occasional camera issues, you could do worse than Samurai Western. Recommended.
The main samurai here is Gojiro Kiryuu who comes to America to find his brother, Raddo. Raddo has given up his sword and now works for big baddy Goldberg, a big fellow who bears an uncanny resemblance to Dr. Robotnik. Gojiro's path to Goldberg takes place in and around one small western town and involves a whole lot of dodging and slashing along the way.
Believe it or not, I was still motivated to keep playing, though not because of the actual gameplay. What had me interested were the between-level aspects. The samurai gains experience and levels, which give him points to distribute among attributes. He also picks up new weapons along the way, which represent some of Samurai Western's only variety. Swords alter your stats, your stances, and your abilities. One may require a two-handed, deep stance that offers strong striking, but takes away your ability to deflect bullets. Another may enable double-jumps, but lacks power.
Malgré un univers original et bien trouvé, Samurai Western, en plus de souffrir de nombreuses lacunes techniques, est beaucoup trop répétitif et lassant pour mériter votre attention. Malgré quelques détails sympathiques, comme le fait de pouvoir esquiver les balles et autres joyeusetés, rien n’y fait, l’intérêt diminue à chaque mission…
The developers of the Way of the Samurai series bring the East to the Old West in Samurai Western, pitting a lone swordsman against all manner of masked outlaws amid the tumblin' tumbleweeds. Unlike that series, though, this is a straightforward linear action game with no branching paths, no dialogue trees, and nothing to do but violently dismember lots and lots of enemies. While the fast-paced combat can be entertaining, its appeal is severely weighed down by the ridiculous amount of repetition in the battles, environments, and enemies and by the brain-dead opponent AI and bizarre design choices. There are a wealth of extras to unlock in this game, but only the most tolerant completists will make it that far.
Game Informer Magazine
While I'm certainly amenable to the campy concept of a samurai warrior cutting and slicing his way through the Wild West, Samurai Western displays severe problems in nearly every aspect of gameplay, from the wonky camera to the simplistic-yet-frustrating combat. Repetitive and aggravating every step of the way, I think this game should the the honorable thing and commit seppuku.
Samurai Western is perfectly balanced: between Samurai and Western, between sober and camp, and, unfortunately, between awesome and dull. Like many great games, it gives you a limited number of moves to handle the situations you find yourself in; unlike those games, it doesn't have the creativity to use those moves in novel or interesting ways beyond the first couple of stages.
Samurai Western could have been a stylish gallop through the Wild West, but it ends up yanking back on the reins, leaving you champing at the bit on a one-trick pony ride.