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Darkstar 15-04-2005 09:42:13

Musashi: Samurai Legend
Just finished this game up. And I have to say, lamest ending ever. The devs should have made it a straight cut scene, rather then insisting you hit 2 whole buttons at the end. Would have made the ending experience so much better.

Anyways, it's a nice little cell shaded Square Enix RPG game. A samuria wantabee gets dragged into a fantasy world and has to save the princess (repeatily) and incidentally, everyone else in the town. It's got a fun fighter game feel to it. It follows the TV martial arts and TV Sam legends pretty well. Like, you have to "Study" your opponents to learn how to fight, reading your opponents movements to counter-strike before they actually strike. That sort of thing. Don't worry, it's just basic button mashing.

I have only 2 real points of serious aggravation with this game. They are:
#1) Horrible camera behavior. It by default will slowly settle slightly off your six in a chase position. This behavior by itself is very aggravating, as the game actually depends on some things to be ON SCREEN for you to affect it, and this behavior will so screw that up. On top of that, the camera tries not to go through objects, like your toon's head, platforms, enemies, etc, so it will just instantaneously change. When you are doing some, this can cost you a "Game Over", make you miss "something important" and send you back to the start of the level, or just really piss you off as you were about to hit the Level Boss in his small vulnerable spot, but the view just changed so instead, you fall off the melodramatic battle platform, die, and have to start the battle over again. This drove me absolutely nuts, and I'm a fairly average fight and camera coordinator. This camera behavior forced me to replay several boss battles if the arena was "tight" or the boss "overly big", as the camera would flip POVS quite a lot. When you are dodging giant swords or super energy spears and the camera flips because you just dodged it and now it's behind your character (BUT NOT BLOCKING YOUR VIEW), that flip will screw up your "hit the tiny target with your new super cool attack" and have you charging into the darn thing you just dodged! Bad designers! Made me swear many times at your stupidity! Did you never actually PLAY your own damn game? Whoops... sorry. But it is one of the worst 3D camera behaviors I'd seen in a long, long time. Too much automatic changes despite option settings. Sigh.
#2) Many levels suffer from poor level/map designs. For instance, on one level, you do the standard platform jumps, while limited to single jumps, and the whole puzzle challenge depends on screen ARTIFACTING! That's right, it depends on you having the screen so it is pure N/S/E/W so nothing is aliased/jagged, and you having your character' off foot's last outer black pixel on the back edge of his foot on the foward edge of the platform you are jumping from (looks like you are standing on air). Then, you'd just land with the front of your character's toe outline's shadow on the platform you should land on (looks like you just landed on air). Lots, and lots, and lots of falling at that part. Ugho. It just looks weird, and would have been adequately challenging enough without making use of the "on air" visual.

There's several such bad level design decisions in the game. Most of them are in the later half. The only truly bad design decision in the first half of the game deals with an early boss, and no in game clues. Patient RPG players will try out everything and finally get it. Impatient ones can find a decent walkthrough/FAQ on the Net.

This would be an instant classic RPG/fighting game, if it wasn't for those two bits of aggravation. As it is, if you like basic RPGs and enjoy fighting games, it is a fun game. I won't mind my friends spotting that title in my game library. ;)

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 15-04-2005 11:49:34

Sorry, DS. Spellforce has the lamest ending ever - I already gave that award out in my review of it :D Total trash. :vom:

Darkstar 17-04-2005 03:10:23

Was just the ending lame and trash, or the whole game, Qaj?

Trust me, Musashi's ending would move from lame to average/cool if they had just not made you press two whole buttons. But the game itself is ok. ;)

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm 17-04-2005 05:24:23

The game is fairly bad too. It's got some good bits, but I think they forgot to create a good UI, balance the gameplay, or even playtest it adequately.

The ending capped it off, though. There's no way I'm playing it all the way through again just for that.

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