Dynasty Warriors, Warriors Orochi and Samurai Warriors, all of these series’ equate to one thing – mindlessly slashing your way through up to thousands of different enemies on screen at once whilst attempting to complete many of the objectives that the game throws at you.
While these games don’t usually offer much in the way of a story, Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 attempts to mix things up a bit in the hopes of giving players a true and reachable goal to attempt, the result however, is not good.
The game starts off with something of a first for the Samurai Warriors series, a character creation screen. For the first time the game allows players to craft a more personal story around the games world, and doing so with quite a good and concise character creation toolkit really set me in good stead with the game.
Once your character is created the game sets up it’s story, you start off as a mere soldier in the army of noted Japanese General, Nobunaga Oda, and over the course of the 60+ year time span, you work your way up the ranks to become a higher ranking member of his army – speaking to many different notable figures from Japanese history. The way the story builds up is fun and interesting and is well written.
Then it happened, after initially impressing, the game then became what it was destined to be – another repetitive hack and slash game. I found that all it really consisted of was pressing Square constantly to batter your way through wave after wave of enemies whilst characters give you random objectives to tackle.
The controls here are simple, Square (which is the button you’ll use most) is your basic attack, Triangle is your strong attack, whereas Circle activates your Musou gage which unleashes a strong attack which can take out a significant amount of enemies at once and the X button is jump – which I managed to strategically incorporate into my playing style when I found myself surrounded by perhaps too many enemies.
Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 doesn’t expect you to complete every objective that it has to offer – in fact this is where the game gains it’s replayability factor. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find all the objectives in a mission on your first go, in fact missions trigger under certain conditions, such as characters dying, enemy Generals escaping or you taking long enough in the level for them to appear.
Which brings up the next interesting idea that Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 brings to shake up the foundations of the series – character swapping. This happens when you have more than one playable General selected in a stage and by simply tapping the character on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, you’ll jump to them wherever they may be on the map and take control over their part of the battle.
In between battles, cutscenes unlock for players to watch, and these are interactive in a way that allows players to respond to whatever situation the cutscene presents. These cutscenes allow for your created character to bond with the games main cast and form relationships, which can in certain cases, turn the tide of battle when needed.
One of the worst things about this game is that as you continue to slaughter masses upon masses of enemies, you soon forget that there is a story to be told. It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on, and in some cases, you can actually downright skip any story elements that the game has to offer.
And that’s basically it in regards to the gameplay, it never changes throughout it’s 10-15 hour story campaign, which is possibly one of the biggest drags I’ve ever experienced in a Vita game. After countless missions I was sat thinking to myself, surely this one is the final mission, surely it’s finally over after this one, but nope, it kept giving me more and more to do.
Graphically the game looks OK, there’s nothing special in the way of graphics here, but it doesn’t look terrible – my main problem here though is that the game suffers from some awful slow down when there are quite a lot of enemies on the screen. In my opinion, for a series such as this where they have been making these games for quite a while, I felt that this was inexcusable.
The game’s soundtrack is one of the plus points of Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3, using classic Japanese instruments to give an authentic sound to the events of the game, as well as using faster rock music in the more action orientated parts of the stages – such as defeating the boss in the levels.
Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 really had everything it needed to shake up the foundation of the Warriors (or Musou) series of games, but it falls flat on it’s face by including a story that is uninteresting and can be easily ignored. Fans of the series may find something enjoyable within all of it’s nonsense but newcomers should consider sitting this one out.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I need a new Square button for my Vita.