Hmmm.. I wonder what game I should review next? *looks through my 3DS folders* Hmmm.. *sees VVVVVV* Nah. *sees Pushmo* No. *sees Fun! Fun! Minigold Touch!* Oh hell no, I already raged about that! *sees 3D Classics: Urban Champion* Uhh, I’ll re-review that later.. *sees Photo Dojo* Naw. *sees Sakura Samurai, then remembers how the game played out* Eh, f*** it.
Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword
Released on February 2, 2012
Developer: Grounding Inc.
Now, I’m gonna go and say this: I got this game as a gold Club Nintendo 2013 reward, and you know what? This is the first 3DS eShop game title, and I know I’m sounding like this, but I didn’t feel like reviewing this game. But you know what? Why not! I mean, I need to do more reviews, so I need to find some to review and re-review! Anyways, let’s start.
Now, the plot’s nothing new at any sense of the word: A princess gets kidnapped, go save her. However, saying that, for this game at least, is just a big lie for this game. The princess is more of a goddess princess that actually brings life to the cherry blossom trees of the Feudal Ea of Japan, and some evil kidnaps, or goddessnap, her, which causes disorder and war for the people and killing the trees. That’s actually a creative incentive for her role, other than to just be some jailbait *cough* Peach! *cough* But what about you, the main character of the game? What is your name? Where did you come from? Were you raised by the Kappa master that trained you? Well, there just took the Dragon Quest approach: You come from out of nowhere, you are nameless, and where in fresh Hell is that written in the prophecy?
I would like to just say that unlike other games that would have fast-paced action (no, CoD does not count), this title is different. Instead on swiftly going against A-holes with blind fury and combos, Sakura Samurai is more of a precision-oriented title, which to me is both good and bad. I’ll talk about the gripes soon, but I don’t want to let the s*** hit the fan. The controls are: Circle Pad to move, A to strike, B and any direction to dodge, L or R to change camera directions if NOT in battle, and one of the directional buttons to use one of the four items, of which each has a limited max usage cap.
However, while we are the subject of the A button, in any other game, you can attack enemies with ease, unless they are guarding, in which you have to wait unless they let their guard down, or you perform a guard-breaking move. Here, you are not allowed to cut your enemies like butter! Here, you have to dodge the enemy attack first, and then immediately afterward, attack about 1-3 times. Note that in action games, you do have to also dodge enemy attacks to avoid taking damage, which makes sense. In Bayonetta (PLEASE note I haven’t got the game yet, and I really want to play it), when you avoid an enemy attack at the last second, you activate Witch Time, which slows enemies down and has you combo the enemies more. In this game, dodging at the last second just scores you one precision point, in which, I will gripe soon enough. There are three towns, and they are technically the same ones, which serves 4 purposes: to save the game, to upgrade your sword once per town, to purchase items, and to collect stamps to upgrade your special attack ...if you so choose.
...which brings me to my serious gripe with this game, so here it comes: the Precision Points. They are completely meaningless! As I said before, dodging at the last second will score you one point, and they can build up. Does it do anything if you keep building it up? Yeah, but hold on a second, Bruce Lee! What happens if you DO get hit? Or moreover, what happens if you get hit, have your attack blocked, and block an enemy attack? All of your precision points are GONE! I hate this! In Bayonetta, you have to avoid getting hit one in the entirety of any level to get a Pure Platinum trophy, along beating it with the fastest time and the best amount of combos, and getting hit costs you that opportunity, and you have to start the level over for another shot! At least it’s gratifying that if you are a pro at it, you can get Pure Platinums all across the board, but in Sakura Samurai, if your Precision Points are at, lets say, 50. How much do you end up losing? 3? 5? 10? Nope.avi, you lose ALL of them! It’s BULL-
*image of me chopping off a bridge is shown, while it says “Please stand by” is shown*
My god in the nine spheres of Paradise, that there is most horrendous punishment you can undertake, if you are trying to get the max of 99! But now I should explain the use for it. When you enter the shop, you will be asked to cash in the Precision Points for gold, so you’ll be able to buy any of the following items: Pink rice cakes to restore your health, frogs to stun enemies, kunais to throw at enemies from a distance, whetstones to restore your sword’s condition, a kappa amulet that is what it is: a phoenix down, and one I have to say about how silly-sounding and silly-looking it is: The Invisible Feather Cloak of Invincibility, which is useful for not taking damage, but look how silly the name is. That’s long and stupid, but how it looks is MORE ridiculous: it’s just sparkles! Yeah, wrap you head around it: sparkles that prevents you from taking damage! Nintendo’s high!
The graphics are nice, especially when it takes place in the Feudal Era, and the 3D does make it more presentable, the music nice, and sound is good, and while I am talking about graphics, the character models for the enemies are good, while the models for the NPCs are... ...oddball at best.
Look, sorry if the gripe went overboard, but again, I just didn’t feel like reviewing it, but I got to give out my opinion on it. Are there any extras? Well, what you get during gameplay are 30, 50, and 100-man battles, where you take out said number of enemies, and the Rock Garden, which is also pointless and meaningless, but with no rage included. All this Rock Garden was is to dedicate the number of steps you took on your 3DS’s pedometer to make the sakura trees bloom. That’s it, no kinds of decorations, no streetpass function, nothing to make the Rock Garden feature any appealing! When I get a game, I wanted something that can have purpose to exist for Streetpass, but this has no point in existing! And besides, the only thing you get for beating the game is to beat it again on a harder setting!
To wrap this up, Sakura Samurai is as dull as the blade itself: a 16.5 out of 25. I know that everyone’s going to crucify me for giving a Nintendo game a bad rep, but I don’t think that this is the kind of game for ME. I hate the Precision Point mechanic, the evade-and-attack method isn’t appealing to me, but it’s not appalling in any stretch, it’s a good game on the 3DS eShop for $8, but I got it for free for being a Club Nintendo 2013 Gold member, so I guess you may call that a freebie. But even then, it’s not the game for me, but it was the only one of the Gold status reward list, so I had no other choice.