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Samurai Warrior 4 Empires

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Samurai Warrior 4 Empires (SW4E) was always destined to deliver massive battles on a scale only able to be described as monumental. It is due to its pedigree, that which is donned by its development team and publisher. We have Koei Tecmo and Omega Force respectively to thank for that. Between them boasting massive amounts of experience who boast many titles and series in this genre, a genre that can be said is standing the test of time. It is the empire addition to this game that genuinely steps up the games enjoyment but more on that later.

From the onset you assume the role of a clan leader with a specific goal, whether it be one of domination via force or by other means. You start off with a militaristic castle with a couple of rooms for you to occupy with some personnel from your current army. These rooms range from military and diplomacy type directives. Each character has his or her own abilities not only in combat but also something they can bring to the diplomacy table.


Each "turn" is broken up into two main sections the political phase and the combat phase. In the political phase the player spends the allocated directives for his or her given level, these decisions range from resource gathering, troop recruiting, alliance forming and relationship building to name a few. Once completed with this phase you then move on to the combat phase where you are taken to a map of Japan and decide on whether to invade a neighbouring clan or defend against a pending attack, the way this preparation phase is set out rally reminded me of the likes of the Risk board game. At this point it is completely optional whether to engage in battle or just hold back for another season. Whilst bring up the season I must add that each turn takes place in one whole season.

If one does decide to go forth to battle there are a few things that need to be considered. Each deployment of a hero will cost resources so the more allies the higher the price in gold. There is also a mission timer to take in to consideration, more time can be added to the game timer for a cost of food or time can be reduced in order to preserve this resource. So now we have a party organised and allotted an amount of food we are spending on the endeavour, now to battle yes? No. Now we must set our battlefield tactics, this can be done for the group or for the individual just depends on how deep you are willing to go to ensure victory. Selecting music is always an option and if this doesn't remind me more of a Chinese restaurant than the scent of chicken noodle soup nothing will. Battle begin.

This is most obviously the real meat and veg of the title, massive strategic battles over a large map. Friendly and enemy main bases are at adjacent ends of the map and the main objective is to defend yours or claim the enemies. To gain an advantage and in return make it easier to claim the enemies strong hold you can take down smaller enemy encampments en-route to the main base this in turn reducing the number of generals along the way in turn making the final showdown a much easy victory. Without being able to go into great detail for there is genuinely a mammoth amount of content in the way of characters, weapons and abilities, I can go on to elaborate in summation. Square was light attack and Triangle was heavy and or dashing attack and when used in specific but different combinations can be utilised to clean an area out or deliver heavy damage to a particular target.


The most visually pleasing aspect of battle is when enough damage has been inflicted with normal and heavy attacks and your power bar fills up. Using circle enabled your special melee ability which more often than not inflicted quite a heavy amount of damage. Another also very impressive aspect is that not once did I see a generic special move or ability, every move was coupled to the specific character, their attributes and their choice of weapon. There were one handed, two handed, projectile and magic weapons that all acted and performed in their own unique way. It is really quite boggling just how much individualisation that has been included in this game. All this considered only added to the depth of character creation. This once again did not feel generic with each cut scene that would include your created character feels as if was developed and included like a main characters, every aspect just felt so fluent.

One thing that was at the forefront of this game at every turn was its noble and honourable feel, respect was at the heart of this game whether it be among allies and enemies alike. Forging friends and enemies alike is met with courtesy and respect. The music, attire and voice acting really retain the Japanese origin of this game but the subtitles more than efficiently convey everything in English, still enabling western players to get involved and immersed.


All in all this was a very satisfying experience and I recommend for it for veterans and new comers to this strategic fighter genre. I would love any feedback or questions below or alternatively you can contact us across at our Facebook page.

Cheers Red

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