Forgotten Treasures – Way Of The Samurai

Forgotten Treasures – Way Of The Samurai

Available for: PlayStation 2

Imagine yourself in Feudal Japan; a land where the traditions of the east and technologies of the west are meeting for the first time.

Imagine yourself a Ronin (masterless) samurai searching for a path in life. Will you be honorable or will you use your deadly skills to strike fear into the hearts of everyone who hears of your name?

Then, imagine all that and put it into a game. That’s what Way of the Samurai offers its players, an open sandbox world that allows players to carve (pun intended) their name into the annals of Japanese history. More on Way of the Samurai after the break.

Japanese developers aren’t well known for open world games outside of Yakuza and Shenmue. Yet a fairly low-key developer, Acquire (known for the original Tenchu for PlayStation) released a Samurai game that allows its players to choose their own fate. Do they choose to defend a small village from the oppressive politicians and warring factions? Or do they choose to join the several warring factions for the chance to become the most feared warrior in Feudal Japan? The main character is a blank slate, a characterless ronin, until players personalize him or her into their very own warrior.

Every choice the player makes drastically changes the story and potential endgame. Because of the many different choices players can make, each player will always have a different storyline every playthrough. There are also multiple endings that bookened each game session depending on decisions the player made throughout the game.

Way of the Samurai allows its players to name and create their own Samurai from a number of body types, clothing, faces and hair. Not only that, but players can also unlock more than 40 customizable blades, from the deadly katana, to the infamous sickle, there’s no shortage of ways to cut and maim opponents.

However, A samurai game wouldn’t be worth its weight if its combat mechanics are horrible. Thankfully, Way of the Samurai’s combat-focused gameplay is quite deep and takes time to master. Each blade style changes the players fighting style; and to add to that, there are different stances for each fighting style (high, medium, low) as well as hidden killing moves that are specific to the weapon used.

For a PS2 game, the game still looks servicable even up to this day. It may not be the best looking PS2 game, but its use of colors, distinct Japanese art and character styles really bring the game to life. Audio is by far the worst part of the package since all dialogue is in text format, meaning there’s absolutely no voice-overs outside of the prologue and epilogue scenes.

In the end, players who are interested in Ronin and Samurai lore will love this game. Players will enjoy immersing themselves in a historical Japan where their every action begets a reaction from the game world itself.

– Highly Recommended!


About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on August 23, 2011, in Forgotten Treasures and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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