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So while people often complain about successive iterations of the Warriors games as if you're only allowed to make sequels to sports games, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires really does offer something substantially different to previous titles in the series. As the first application of the Empires formula to the arguably more appealing Japanese setting of the Samurai Warriors games, it's distinct from both the purely battlefield action of the Samurai Warriors titles, and the solely Chinese setting of the previous Empires games. So the only niggle is not that this doesn't sufficiently differentiate itself from previous games in the series. No, the only niggle is that the combat camera angle is too low. And that's not really much of a niggle. So sure, it may not everybody's cup of Japanese green tea. But it's another decent title in a decent series of games.
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.
MS Xbox World
If you purchased Samurai Warriors 2 not so long ago then you might feel a little short changed as their isn’t really much more on offer here to separate the two games when you get down to the heart of the gameplay. That said, if you are a fan of the series then obviously this is a welcome addition and one that will most certainly keep you entertained until the next game comes out. Samurai Warriors 2 Empires offers lots of characters to play with, plenty of options for added depth and finger numbing action. If you have never played any of these games before then Samurai Warriors 2 Empires would be a good start. Empires is a step in the right direction for these types of games yet I can’t help but feel like there should be more to spice things up a little; especially in terms of the game’s combat.
Samurai Warriors 2: Empires is a solid game with slight changes to the formula introduced in Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires. The game is good enough for what it is supposed to do, but KOEI really needs to start making more dramatic changes with these yearly releases across the board. But for fans that want a lot of combat and a little strategy, this Empires game serves its intended purpose..
Planet Xbox 360
Samurai Warriors 2 Empires has a reduced price point of $40 USD. Despite the attractive price, the game does not meet $40 standards. My suggestion to Koei is develop a game for strategy geeks like me that love to obsess over how much rice I’m harvesting, and one for gamers that love the button mashing variety (though a serious retooling of Empires’ combat would be needed). Empires is entirely unfocused and excels at nothing. There’s very little redeeming value to this title whatsoever. Other than price, the only positive thing I can say about Empires is my review is finished, and I don’t have to play it anymore.
G4 TV: X-Play
At the end of the day, Samurai Warriors 2: Empires is the same old Samurai Warriors game with a bit of strategy pasted between battles. The new features are not enough to draw strategy fans into the fold, but they might just be what longtime fans of the series need to keep going with the genre. For those that love every iteration of this hack-and-slash series, the game serves up more of the same. For those that are growing weary of it, this game is worth a look.
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.
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.
Once your kingdom begins to grow and abilities are upgraded the game takes on slightly more, if monotonous, charm. But ultimately Empires continues Koei’s long-standing "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" credo when it comes to Warriors games. Which, when you've made the same game nine times in a row, has us adopting the philosophy "been there, done that."
Another sub-par Warriors release, adding only one new mode but demanding 40 dollars. If you're a fan of the series, it may be worth it. Otherwise, pick up one of the older titles cheaper.
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.
On the bright side, Koei is humble enough to only charge forty bucks for Samurai Warriors 2 Empires. All trivial matters of price-points aside, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires is yet another reason for the fanatics of Omega’s Warriors Empires franchise to demand a full-priced, built-from-the-ground-up, next-gen hack n’ strat.
So, Samurai Warriors 2 Empires is another Samurai Warriors game. Which is to say that it’s another Dynasty Warriors game, and that’s pretty much all you can say about it. The joy you can derive from playing it ultimately stems from your own tolerance in buying the exact same game over and over again.
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.
The A.V. Club
Civil War recreation for dummies.
Anyone who upgraded to the 360 expecting the same thing has instead gotten titles where features inexplicably disappear and graphics improvements only come at the expense of gameplay sophistication. If nothing else, the sorry state of Samurai Warriors 2 on the 360 is just an object lesson in how completely the outdated PS2 hardware still rules the Japanese development scene. Until this changes, Japanese developers seem unlikely to produce games that fully use the potential the 360 officers. When they do, they'll probably be PS3 ports rushed out the door with the American market in mind.
It’s very hard to recommend this game, not only do the combination of strategy and button mashing not sit well together, but the game is exactly the same as the PlayStation 2 version. If you have an interest in Japanese history it might be worth picking up, but if you have access to a PS2 you would be better off going with that version and saving yourself a bit of money.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
The definition of average. It's the same game we've been playing for years, and we really, really want to see this concept evolve into true next-gen gaming.
Samurai Warriors 2: Empire is pretty much a dire, tiresome experience with only one saving grace. The impressive strategy section and length of the empire mode soon give way to the abomination that are the battle confrontations. Leave it on the shelf where it belongs.
In fact I can't be bothered to go on. Anyone who buys this is an idiot. I wish artistic license would have allowed me to start and end the review in as many words.