Review: Samurai Warriors 4 (PS Vita)

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Put Samurai Warriors 3 (Wii) and Samurai Warriors Chronicles (Nintendo 3DS) together–both of which I have–and you get this game.

Made by the same company that makes the Dynasty Warriors games and with the same blueprint, The Samurai Warriors games take players to the legendary Warring States, or Sengoku Period. The SW4 was released simultaneously for the Vita, PS3 and PS4 and has cross-save. If you have the Vita and PS4 version of the game for example, you can upload your progress on one console and access it on another. I currently only have the Vita version though I plan to buy the PS3 version sometime after Anime Boston.

 

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Now let’s talk about SW4 itself.

As you can see from the cover art, both Yukimora and his older brother Nobuyuki are playable characters this time. It was a long time coming given Nobuyuki’s significance in the historical record: The Sanada Brothers fought together under Shingen Takeda. After Takeda’s sudden death and subsequent crushing defeat at the hands of the Oda Army at Nagashino, the Sanada Clan came into their own and built Ueda Castle. They pledged alliegiance to Hideyoshi Hashiba (later Toyotomi) when he came to power after Oda’s death at Honnoji. When Hideyoshi suddenly passed away, Japan split in two: The Shogunate-backed Ieyasu and the Toyotomi-backed Mitsunari Ishida.

The fissure also split the Sanada brothers: Yukimora sided with Mitsunari while Nobuyuki sided with Ieyasu. The brothers clashed at the battle of Ueda Castle, which delayed the arrival of vital supplies for the Battle of Sekigahara. Ieyasu won the battle anyway but as punishment, Yukimora was placed under house arrest. For a warrior such as Yukimora, this was a fate worse than death. Yukimora escaped his confinement to take up arms against Ieyasu one more time in the Battle of Osaka Castle. That’s the last battle in the games so we’ll leave it at that.

The battle mechanics are mostly unchanged from SW3 though this time, you can have up to 6 items to use during battle. Those who played Samurai Warriors Chronicles (one of the 3DS’s launch titles) will recall you could bring up to 4 characters into battle at a time. The same idea applies to SW4 only it’s you and a partner. This will make alot of sense when you notice the nearly two-dozen new characters added to the game.

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For the first time since making his debut in Samurai Warriors 2, the Legendary Swordmaster returns in SW4. While not a part of the game’s Story Mode he is available to you from the beginning–as is his storied rival, Kojiro Sasaki.  You can use him in Free Battle or any of the other modes.

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Those who played Samurai Warriors Chronicles (3DS) should be familiar with these two characters. Yes, the ability to create and use Custom Characters of your own returns in SW4. The same stipulation as Musashi and Kojiro applies though their main use comes from the new Chronicle Mode in which you travel across Japan and meet the heroes (the characters in the game). You don’t get alot of EXP in Chronicle Mode in the beginninng so I reccommend leveling your Custom Character in Free Mode a bit to make things easier for you.

Let’s see…oh, right. There IS DLC. You know by now my policy on DLC so we’ll leave it at that. I will say the Weapon Sets–if you chose to buy them–are the most powerful in the game. All the stats are capped so even on a level 1 character you’ll make short work of prettymuch anything that moves. Buy them at the beginning and you’ll never need a new weapon ever. Same with the horses.

…Overall, I give Samurai Warriors 4 a 10/10. Like its big brother franchise Dynasty Warriors, SW4 has near-endless replay value. I cleared Story Mode in two weeks’ time. Chronicles…I know that’ll take much longer. That’s gonna have to wait alongside Dragonball Z: Battle of Z, though: I got back to FFX HD (after stopping to play Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, SW4, Tales of Hearts R and Battle of Z) and plan to play through the game until I beat it.

The Warriors games are the type of series most are too embarassed to admit they enjoy. After all, you’re basically a human lawnmower. It doesn’t get any more awesome than that!

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…Oh and getting a 9999-hit combo is definitely possible XD

One other thing before I forget:

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Yes, there is an Anime based on SW4. You can watch it on Crunchyroll. As soon as the series is done I will provide a review on my Anime Blog!

 

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