Reviews: Sengoku BASARA

Sengoku Basara > Samurai Warriors?

First, this is my first review here, and I start with saying that I don't consider myself a critic or something similar: I don't want to force my opinion on others here, but just explain my point of view.

As fan of japanese stuff in general and of good ol' fighting games, I took a great liking at Sengoku Basara, as I did with his "rival" series Samurai Warriors, who actually started my great love for Japan and japanese culture. As with basically everything in this universe, Sengoku Basara has his share of good things and bad things, though many fans prefer to ignore the latter.

On the bright side, the game sports excellent characters, both in design, powers and personality. They made a great job at making each character unique, with both cool badass warriors and laughable Butt Monkey characters like Ujimasa, Yoshimoto and Hideaki. And while there are few female characters they're at least interesting and well-made, especially Oichi. On the downside....

The gameplay itself is rather dull and repetitive, as your character use his arsenal to crush his way through hordes of soldiers from the start of the level to the end where the boss lies, lacking most of the challenge seen in Samurai Warriors (where at least you had some objective to complete). Furthermore the main characters barely changes through the series (with the notable exceptions of Ieyasu and Oichi): Masamune and Yukimura are still the boring invincible rivals costantly fighting each other, Nobunaga is still the boring almost invicible hero slayer that can't be redeemed and so on. It gets worse in the anime/manga adaptations, which seems to be unable to accept the concept of a female character actually besting a male one by herself.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't mean to bash SB or anything. I still think that is an average game and is still quite likeable, again mainly thanks to the awesome cast, but I still don't believe that it's so superior to Samurai Warriors (as many SB fans boast) because of the above-mentioned flaws. Basically, I consider them as equals, as both have their strong points and downsides.