Samurai: Way of the Warrior in Review – a bloody good time

Samurai 1There’s something immediately visually appealing about Samurai: Way of the Warrior. Yes it’s got a bit of a cartoonish look, cell shaded and very reminiscent of the recent Zelda game for the Nintendo DS – but at the same time, it’s a bloody and violent game, far more visceral than you’d get from big N. What kind of game does this all add up to? Read on to find out.

App Description

Set in the middle of the Sengoku period, play as Daisuke Shimada, a wandering samurai who travels around Japan. During the most dangerous times, Daisuke must ultimately defeat the mad and awful Daimyo Hattoro, who rules the province.

  • First hack and slash game developed specifically to leverage the iPhone.
  • Visit unique environments in the Japan in a feudal 16th century setting.
  • Unlock all combo attacks and master your skills.
  • Original comic storytelling.
  • Special Dojo mode. Fight in the arena sparing enemies in the rounds.
  • Original soundtrack.
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The ways in which Samurai can be compared to Zelda on the DS don’t end with the cell shaded look – it also has a very similar control scheme as well. Some folks will find it to be not precise enough, using your finger to direct your Samurai and slashing your finger in different directions on then screen to have him perform different types of attacks – but I rarely had any difficulty with it. I’d say my largest complaint is that it’s very difficult to get your Samurai to dodge – the same finger movement is used as if you’re attacking, and most times the game will read it as an attack. I’d almost rather see a ‘tap’ for a dodge, or an onscreen button for that move. But otherwise, there are different combinations of moves your Samurai will do based on the slashes you do, and more are opened the further you progress into the game.

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The game itself plays more like an overhead Ninja Gaiden or other hack ‘n slash games. There are levels, and they are not wide open areas for exploration like in a Zelda game, though they do provide for some off the beaten paths and wandering around to ensure you find each enemy. You cannot proceed into the next area until you’ve beaten all the enemies in the one you’re playing, but frankly, I wouldn’t need the incentive to wander around anyway, it’s nice to explore and see what else you might find; little islands accessible by small boardwalks, hidden statues of Buddha – all wonderfully presented. There is a comic book like cut scene that progresses the story between each major area of the game, which also keeps the feel of the game consistent throughout.

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The difficulty in the third area ramps up significantly from the first two, but once you’ve become adjusted it stays pretty consistent from there to the end of the game. And one way to get better is to practice in the Dojo – where you face wave after wave of enemies and can practice the new moves you’ve achieved. There’s nothing better than literally splitting your enemy in half, like right out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon, or slashing his head off like popping the head off a daisy – blood splattering all over, even up onto your screen (making it seem like it splattered the inside of your iDevice as it stays for a few moments in place, even as you wander around). Really there’s nothing not to dislike about Samurai: Way of the Warrior, and I can’t help but give it a Kiss It rating.


App Summary
Title: Samurai: Way of the Warrior (v1.0.1) Developer: Mad Finger Games
Price: $2.99 (on sale $0.99) App Size: 43.9 MB
  • Fantastic cell shaded graphics
  • Lots of killing moves
  • Multiple levels
  • Somewhat limited control scheme
  • Sharp difficulty increase in level 3


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