Join our Discord to chat with fellow friendly gamers and our knowledgeable contributors!

Way of the Samurai Reviews (PlayStation 2)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Historically Interesting, but not a masterpiece by a long shot. Kyle Levesque (935) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
good game....way too short! matt moore (26) 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars
THIS GAME IS FUN!!!! Cody Robinson (4) 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 2.5
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.1
Effectiveness How effective the educational game is when it comes to teaching (does the player actually learn anything, etc.) 3.0
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.9
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.4
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.0
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.5
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation)
Overall User Score (14 votes) 3.4

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GamePro (US) (May 31, 2002)
Way of the Samurai is a uniquely great game in its own composed, disciplined manner - the video game equivalent of a critically acclaimed art house indie film in a sea full of summer blockbusters. Don't be surprised if a small, dedicated flock of disciples come to learn its Way.
GameSpy (Jun 19, 2002)
Way of the Samurai is a tough game to classify. It's clearly an action title, but it has the open-ended plot potential of an RPG, and requires the combo memorizing and button mashing of a fighting game. Unlike most attempts at combining gaming styles, this hybrid of genres really works. Despite some clunky inventory management and some frustrating camera angles, this'll be a game that you'll go back to whenever you're up for a couple of hours of mayhem and swordplay.
IGN (Jun 04, 2002)
While Acquire's Way of the Samurai is perhaps not as good a game as Tenchu was, it is as good a ronin simulator as that was a ninja simulator. You can maybe chalk up some of its comparative shortcomings to the choice of subject matter, then -- wandering samurai are fun, but most would agree that ninja are much more so. Nevertheless, it's quite a good game in its own right, if you're willing to look past some faults in its graphics and camera control.
Gaming Target (Jul 15, 2002)
You are a samurai. A lost soul, who’s come across Rokkotsu Pass. The area is torn with disaster. Samurai clans have turned against each other, and the government is pressing for all their land, even if it means the extermination of the ancient samurai culture. Samurai have lost their use and need in this evolving country, only you can decide your future. Will you become a legendary master of the blade, or just be known as a wandering psychotic? Can you go down in history?
76 (Oct 07, 2002)
Schade, schade: Way of the Samurai hat mich mit seiner nicht-linearen Story, in der jede Entscheidung Auswirkungen hat und das machtpolitische Gefüge erschüttern kann, so richtig begeistert. Auch die vielen Schwerter und taktischen Kämpfe werden jeden Samurai-Liebhaber zufrieden stellen. Aber was haben sich die Entwickler nur bei dieser mageren Kulisse und den Stilbrüchen wie Comicsprechblasen und schneller, moderner Musik gedacht? Wenn man damit das Thema des Spiels, altes Japan trifft neues, unterstreichen wollte, war das für mich ein atmosphärischer Fehlgriff. Und schließlich ist die Spielzeit viel zu kurz: Eines von sechs möglichen Enden bekommt man schon nach zwei Stunden präsentiert. Auch der freispielbare Kampfmodus kann die Langzeitmotivation nicht großartig steigern. Unterm Strich bleibt ein höchst unterhaltsamer, aber viel zu kurzer Samurai-Quickie, der in Sachen Kampfsystem fast an die Klasse Kengos herankommt, aber optisch weit hinter Onimusha liegt.
GameSpot (Jun 10, 2002)
Fans of the Tenchu series have been waiting for Acquire's first PlayStation 2 game with no small degree of interest, while a new developer works on creating Tenchu III. Acquire has tackled a different, although similar, theme with Way of the Samurai: Instead of playing as a ninja in feudal Japan, you act as a masterless samurai, or ronin. It would be easy to assume that Way of the Samurai might play much like Tenchu without the stealth aspect, but in fact they're distinctly different games. This one's most notable features are its branching storyline and, to a lesser extent, its complex combat system. Way of the Samurai is short and doesn't look like much, but it's an unusual game that can be a lot of fun.
70 (UK) (Sep 27, 2002)
Way of the Samurai is a short game, but it boasts a lot of replay value. If your goal is simply to clear it, then you might as well pick something else up off the shelf, but if you can stomach a few loose ends and some sub-cartoon dialogue, you'll find a decent amount of value and entertainment in the latest Fresh Games title from Eidos. And unlike the last pair, this one really is fresh, and really is worth owning in most respects.
Way of the Samurai caters to the same crowd that loved Bushido Blade, Kengo: Master of Bushido and their ilk. Fairly technical from a combat point of view, this is as far from a button-slapping arcade title as you’re likely to get without sounding like an idiot for making the comparison. Featuring a multi-path branching storyline, a Battle mode for multiplayer and options to form a sword collection that must have rivaled certain Shoguns, there’s lots of replayability here. While the combat mechanics aren’t as involved as Bushido Blade, the combat system is solid, and there are RPG-lite elements to add to the mix. Again, Way of the Samurai isn’t for everyone, as the graphics aren’t exactly stellar and the sound could have used a lot of tweaking, but if you’re looking for an excellent sword fighter steeped in Japanese culture, look no further.
70 (Sep 25, 2002)
Un titre très ambitieux mais qui n'a pas bénéficié d'assez de moyens pour atteindre complètement son but. Les amateurs devront pallier les quelques lacunes techniques et la faible durée de vie du jeu pour profiter pleinement des qualités ludiques de ce titre et de la liberté totale d'actions qu'il offre, mais l'expérience vaut le détour.
PSX Extreme (Jun 15, 2002)
While Way of the Samurai has enough to leave the average gamer satisfied, it lacks that one mystery ingredient that makes for a "can't miss" game. Its interesting storyline and cool battle system are enough to overshadow most of its shortcomings, but overall the game leaves a lot to be desired. Those who are looking for a samurai/ninja title to add to their library will enjoy Way of the Samurai, while others may want to rent first.
Netjak (Oct 04, 2002)
The game wasn't very strong on the story, so don’t expect to be involved in a gripping story or anything(in fact, don’t plan on being involved in anything related to this game). As you traverse the Rokkotsu Pass, you’ll encounter various Samurais from different Clans that depending on if you win or lose in a battle with them, will accept defeat and ask you to join their clan or will do something to you like tie you up on the train tracks or something. In fact, a majority of the game moves along by talking to different people and depending on what you say, will affect the outcome of something that’ll happen next.
Thunderbolt Games (Aug 31, 2004)
Playing through Way of the Samurai unlocks a battle mode for you and a friend, but it’s still missing something, and just remains average, which is the main fault of the game. It could have been such an amazing and innovative game, but instead lots of small problems launch a fatal blow to the game from which it can not recover. The game is worthy of a shot if you can get it for really cheap or you rent it, but I can safely say it's not going to be your favorite.
Gameplay RPG (Apr, 2002)
Non, croyez-moi, ce jeu est indigne de toute PlayStation 2 qui se respecte, comme il l'est presque de ce magazine et de cette rubrique.