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Samurai Sword Destiny Review

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On 01/14/2012 at 09:17 PM by Nick DiMola

It’s a shame these visuals were squandered on such a shallow game.

Not Recommended.

Given the touch screen of the 3DS, it’s no surprise that iOS game, Samurai Sword Destiny has made its way to the Nintendo eShop. What’s also unsurprising is just how shallow the experience is, given Destiny’s original home. With a combination of two level types, players will find themselves either slashing arrows and avoiding boulders during forced progression, or dispatching a variety of foes by continuously slashing back and forth until all enemies are defeated. It’s a mindless timewaster that doesn’t command its price.

Samurai Sword Destiny is built with RPG sensibilities at mind, despite its action-oriented gameplay. Before entering any of the game’s three modes, you’ll have the opportunity to spend coins to upgrade both protagonist, Akane, and her katana in order to more effectively battle the awaiting foes. This proves to be the most engaging portion of the game as it’s great to build up Akane, hit the battlefield, and realize how much stronger you’ve become.

Unfortunately, the actual gameplay is anything but. Set on a simple 2D plane, players will find themselves moving left to right with no impediments along the way. No platforming, no level design, just a flat plane, a plethora of enemies and two unique attacks to take them down. Worse, the game’s rarely a challenge. At first I was under the impression that constant death was necessary in order to gather coins and upgrade Akane before you could proceed onward. While this does prove true to a degree as the game progresses onward, utilizing the game’s signature move properly is all that’s necessary.

Using the stylus, you can swipe to send Akane flying across the screen, slicing everything in her path. Eventually you realize you can simply move left to right continuously in order to easily defeat every enemy in your way. The move can also be executed by holding a button and pushing a direction with the D-pad or circle pad, but it’s not quite as effective. On the flipside, using the stylus makes it tough to use the (single) button-based combo, effectively making it useless in the heat of a battle. Those that do choose to use the stylus will eventually need to adjust when reaching boss battles, which do require a small degree of strategy.

The forced progression levels are all a matter of memorization, and after failing the first time through, it’s easy to avoid dropping boulders and slice incoming arrows on time. These help offset the one-dimensional action levels, but aren’t interesting enough to change the overall quality of the experience.

While the game’s hand-drawn visuals and effective 3D are appealing, they don’t elevate the shallow game to anything worthy of your dollars. With the eShop growing each week, your Nintendo Points are better spent on something with a degree of depth and strategy.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



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