Capcom's Sengoku Basara series doesn't have quite the same level of name recognition for Western audiences as Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games, but if you've spent any time with Koei's games, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes will immediately bring them to mind. Samurai Heroes is all about making you an incredibly powerful warrior and giving you hundreds of enemy soldiers to mow down. Alas, this mindless hack-and-slash action quickly grows tiresome, and you'll find yourself longing for more substantial and rewarding gameplay long before you succeed in uniting or conquering 16th-century Japan.
6282495Ieyasu seeks to usher in a new era of peace and understanding by punching people.None
Following the death of the tyrannical conqueror Hideyoshi at the hands of Ieyasu Tokugawa, Japan is a country divided into numerous warring factions. Ieyasu seeks to use his fists to punch Japan right into a new era of peace and unity, while Mitsunari Ishida is obsessed with avenging the defeat of his former lord. But although historic figures such as Ieyasu Tokugawa and Masamune Date loom large in this tale, this is no historically accurate retelling of Japanese history. Samurai Heroes takes a gleefully anachronistic approach to its subject matter. On these battlefields, you might fight alongside warriors in mechanical suits or clash with enemies wielding chainsaws and miniguns. The characters you can control are larger than life and possessed of incredibly intense emotions, making bold and frequently absurd declarations of heroism and vengeance as they easily chop down enemy soldiers by the hundreds. Each of them also has a strong sense of style, wearing some vivid and outlandish outfits, and many of them have let their hairstylists get a little too creative.
On each large battlefield, you aim to defeat an enemy general. As you make your way to the general's position, you're impeded by hundreds of cookie-cutter soldiers who swarm around you like ants and patiently stand around until you put several of them at a time out of their misery with a few pushes of the attack buttons. There's a certain short-lived satisfaction that comes from effortlessly slaughtering hundreds of enemies as a tremendously overpowered warrior who can pull off one stylish move after another without breaking a sweat. But it's so easy and mindless that any fleeting joy this action might provide evaporates before you finish even one battle. It's hard to feel good about single-handedly defeating squads of riflemen when they often fire at where you were standing 10 seconds ago or for slaughtering soldiers who seem eager to taste the edge of your blade. If you chain together enough hits in a row, the game praises you with words like "Awesome!!" and "Radical!!!" However, this is hollow praise because earning it requires so little effort.
Yes, you can change things up a bit by stringing together your warrior's two standard attacks to perform different combos or do nifty things like juggle enemies in midair, but while this may help you defeat the opposing hordes even more quickly, it's never necessary. Against the rank-and-file enemy soldiers you spend the overwhelming majority of your time fighting, you can literally just tap the standard attack button over and over again to easily be victorious. You're also sometimes presented with new objectives like destroying incense burners that bring enemy soldiers back to life or opening water gates to reduce enemy morale, but these don't actually make the action any more varied or exciting. You accomplish these goals the same way you do almost everything else in the game: by walking up to someone or something and tapping the attack buttons a number of times. At times, you can also hop on a horse to cover ground more quickly or to race an opposing general to some destination, but this aspect is as disappointing as everything else about the game. You can plow unhindered through rows of shield-wielding soldiers, and enemy horsemen who charge in your general direction frequently miss you by several feet on either side. Truly, your opponents are idiots. After each battle, you're rewarded with spoils with which you can craft accessories to give you bonuses, making you an even more efficient killing machine in future battles.
Your attacks look stylish and powerful, but aren't any fun to pull off.