Burnout Revenge Guide Xbox 360


As you all know I really enjoying racing around the track of Criterions old and beloved game Burnout Revenge, well a friend of mine wrote me a guide today for the forums over on xbox.com, and I enjoyed it so much he gave me permission to post it on XLN …. I hope you enjoy what you read, and I also hope it encourages you to go and buy the game. Which may I add is available on the Xbox Live Games Marketplace.

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I would like to gladly explain how to play Microsoft’s Xbox360 game “Burnout Revenge.” There are many things you will need to know in order to reach your acme. The basics or beginner levels are vital, you must know them, without them, success at this game is inconceivable. From the basics, I will move up the level of difficulty to intermediate. At this level you will learn many things that will greatly improve the way you play. The final level to performing well at “Burnout Revenge” is expert. This information is rarely learned from simply playing, but from months and years of experience at the game. Now, without further delay, I welcome you to my favorite game, “Burnout Revenge.”

You have started your first race; there are three different directions to choose from instantly, which way do you go? The first step I want you to do is learn the correct driving paths. In each city, level, track, in the direction of reverse, and forward, there is a specific and unique line (Driving Path) to take. There are many ways to go about learning these paths quickly. You, the driver can choose to follow your opponents. A second option, more tedious than the first, is to simply drive each track several times, until you can determine which driving path works best for you. You will notice, that as you learn the tracks you will wreck multiple times within one lap. There is not much I can say here. This particular part of the game can only be changed by the driver. My advice is to practice increasing your reflexes.

You have learned the correct lines, you have stopped crashing, but when taking sharp turns it appears you are losing incredible amounts of speed. In order to prevent this, you must do something called a drift. (Lightly tapping the breaks as you turn) When you are drifting, (Driving at full speed around a corner) you will notice that you are able to retain all your speed while you are going around a turn. With this tool drifting, it will help you further increase your level of play. To keep everything organized, I will also speak of the more advanced levels of drifting.

Now, if you have been drifting, you might have notice that your speed decreases slightly, not dramatically, but it is noticeable. Do not worry; there is a way to prevent this. The easiest way in the intermediate level of drifting is to hold your boost. When you do this, you are able to drift and retain your top speed while exiting the corner. With this, you will easily be able to notice, who knows this information and who does not. It may appear simple written on paper, but performing this in live situations becomes stressful because of the lack of boost.

The expert level of drifting is surprisingly much more difficult. This technique I now introduce to you is called boost drifting. (Gaining speed from drifting) This technique can be done whether or not you have large amounts of boost or very small amounts. The goal of this is to increase your speed after every possible turn. In order to perform this task, you must drift normally, half a second to a second later you must hit the break again, but at this instance, you must press the boost at the same time. If your speed has not risen above your normal limit, you have done this incorrectly.

As you perform drifts you will notice that the blue bar at the bottom of your screen slowly grows. This bar is known as either your boost or your boost bar. (Meter that slowly fills to increase top speed) Drifting is not the only method to increase this meter by far. When leaving the ground you gain air, this increases your meter. When you have situations when you barely avoid a wreck, you gain meter. Also, the most preferred way to gain meter is by achieving a takedown. (Successfully wrecking your opponent) Scoring a takedown is by far, the hardest method to increasing your meter, but it is also the most rewarding. With every takedown you achieve in a race your meter becomes longer. The longer your meter becomes, the more boost you are able to contain at one time. Be weary, with every wreck you have, your meter decreases.

This is the last information for the beginner, you are moving up. The last thing I must express is, be aware of your surroundings. During your races you are given many things to locate your opponent and yourself. The game gives you the exact amount of space between you and the driver either ahead or behind you. It is important to know this information at all times. Knowing where you stand among other drivers allows you to plan a strategy. You will eventually be able to compete against many people at one time, and hold your own if you are always aware.

You have now reached the intermediate section of the guide. I will teach you the two common forms of driving. Every driver falls into one of these two categories. The racers on the game “Burnout Revenge” either fall into the passive driver category or the aggressive driver category. The passive driver is very calm, usually predictable, can easily adapt to any situation, and dislikes takedowns completely. Passive drivers are rare to find, but they do exist. The groups of racers most commonly found are the aggressive racers; this is the group that I belong too. As an aggressive racer you look for your target, your victim in every race. You are always looking to see who you can knock out for a takedown. If you fall into this group, getting a takedown does not satisfy you, you want your victory to look its finest. You strive for shunts (Hitting your opponent on his side) and vertical takedowns. (Landing on the roof of your opponent)

The intermediate section is fairly short, but knowing your enemy is half the game. Now, I introduce you to the expert part of my guide. I will teach you how to drift jump, (Gaining speed from ramps) and other forms similar to it. There are multiple methods, but first I will begin with this. In order to drift jump you simply tap the break as you leave a ramp and press the boost as you land. This is the easiest method out of the group. Another way to perform this would be to drive off a ramp normally, then when landing, at the same time tap the break so that your car begins drifting and press the boost. My preferred method of drift jumping would have to be this. Before you leave a ramp, drop the speed of your car to its normal level. Also, during this you must drift and boost off the ramp at the same time and then continue holding the boost when you land.

This is definitely the hardest way to drift jump, but like takedowns, it is the most satisfying. The amount of speed you obtain in every jump can not be matched by anyone who does not know this information. This is not as difficult as the last method, but may take a few tries. What I will teach you now is known as the harrier jump. (You are drifting off of small bumps in the road.) This technique can be applied anywhere there is a bump. Harrier jumps are performed by doing what you would do for a drift jump. Not every bump is meant for this method, although it is useful, there can be a negative affect if used in the wrong area. Now you have all the information to become champion at “Burnout Revenge”

The words in bold, italic and underlined are meant to help you. These are key words that the professionals use when racing. They have created short cuts in their speech in order to say a lot, in small amounts of time. Learning these words can help you understand their jargon. You will no longer be lost and confused about what they are saying. I hope this guide has helped you in many ways, thank you.

This was written for me by a close friend called Dogg GT … so big shout out to him and thank you.

Review: Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack


As many of you may have noticed, we haven’t had many reviews lately here on XLN, so when the opportunity arose to review the Halo Reach Defiant Map Pack, Mechanical R jumped at the chance, and we were all more than happy to hear what he had to say. The Defiant Map Pack is the second DLC map pack for Halo: Reach and was released on March 15th, for a cool 800 Microsoft Points. The map pack includes 3 new achievements that would amount to a total of 150 extra Gamerscore and two multiplayer maps, Condemned, Highlands and a Firefight map Unearthed. Well, enough from me, lets hear what Mechanical R thought of the DLC.

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Now ill admit, I haven’t played Halo Reach since Black Ops was launched. I enjoyed Reach a lot, but once a new shooter came out, it quickly diverted my interest. Though two games into reviewing this map pack and I had found myself in a Big Slayer Match, which had quickly turned into me fighting for a team three players down due to connection issues. We then 3v6’d our way through five more minutes of game play resulting in me being killed quite often, being enthusiastically tea bagged each and every time. Oh Halo Community. How I’ve missed you.

Frankly, I’m sad that I ever got out of Halo Reach, when Reach first hit the shelves I routinely found myself playing the game, checking for challenges on a daily basis and doing all I could to get those precious credits for my Spartan, however the steep upgrade hill shortly became a mountain and after awhile other priorities, and most notably, games took over my time.

So, ideally, I’m the perfect candidate for a Map Pack. Map Packs are generally released for such games for two major reasons. For those gamers who still haven’t taken Reach out of their disc drive yet, to keep multiplayer fresh and players gaming for more and me, I’m one of the games who have lost interest in the game over time, yet the enticement of new maps give me the excuse to dust off the old box and pop the game in for a few more blasts, usually. Almost always in my case, it works and grabs me back in the game for another good couple of months.

So with the Defiant map pack, our Halo Multiplayer experience is richened by an entire three maps. Two if you don’t play Firefight. But who doesn’t play Firefight? Sheesh.

Set on a space ship above the planet Reach, the map Condemned sees us running around a rather small circular map perfect for some objective based mayhem, or even a few slayer matches, it’s easy to get lost, so bring a fellow team mate.

Probably the main feature about Condemned is the central area of the map. This large area is in low gravity, causing most things to move a lot slower and you to jump a lot higher. This area is perfect for some good tactical play, but just don’t go in there alone, as there are plenty of places for enemies to hide and wait for you.

The last competitive map is Highlands; probably the latest best excuse to go for a cruise with your homies in a Warthog, the wide open central area promotes some good small vehicle combat, with tall buildings and large scenery for snipers to hide up in.

All the big players are involved, with the Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle, Grenade Launcher and the Spartan Laser appearing all in surprisingly easy to find locations, allowing for everyone to get involved in causing a little bit of Halo havoc. A good thing about the size of the map is that whilst it’s a large map, it’s not cluttered, allowing you to see the majority of the action wherever you may be. Providing you’re not cooped up in the bases on either side of the map. Meaning if you’ve got a Sniper Rifle or even the DMR, you’re big trouble for those trying to sneak about. Or if you’re having a mess about in a Warthog and someone stumbles over the Spartan Laser, then well. Yeah, you’ve pretty much had it.

The third map in the pack is our Firefight addition, known as Unearthed; it bares a similar resemblance to a map already on Reach called Holdout, with familiar structures. The only major difference between the two is in Unearthed we get a good bit of open area to go nuts with the provided Warthog with Rocket Launcher attachments. A perfect way to go a little crazy on those final few kills to make, or even when the harder enemies are around. All jump in and go for a firing session out in the sun. The firefight map boasts some new tactics worth trying out on when teaming up with friends.

Overall the map pack displays hints of something that might have been a little rushed. With lack of imaginative three achievements, compared to the seven for the Noble pack, these days 800 Microsoft Points can go a little further than that with a firefight map that’s a little less imaginative as I’d hoped and just two more maps. This second map pack doesn’t quite deliver as much of a punch as we may have hoped. But there is always room for some more improvement. But if Halo Reach is your video game idea of heaven, and you’re immune to the ‘oh too familiar scent’ of space marine junk, another map pack may just be what you need.

Review: Blade Kitten


When I initially wrote about Blade Kitten by Atari and Krome Studios in my news articles, I just knew that I wanted to play it, so when I was asked by Freeform Communication to review the game for the Xbox 360, well, of course you all know I just had to be the right person to do it. So find a nice quiet corner, and enjoy my Blade Kitten review.

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The game starts off with Kit Ballard, who is a rather cute pink-haired anime cat like character, a bit like my avatar, except she is a half-feline, half-human bounty hunter who is on a mission to find a dangerous criminal called Terra-Li. Now Terra-Li is located in a small planet known as Hollow Wish, but before you head on over to this crazy planet you have to meet Justice Kreel, now Kit isn’t that fond of Justice, not only is he a rival bounty hunter, he also destroyed Kit’s ship and stole the key. Now this key is no ordinary key, this key holds all the information of the bounties, and Kit really wants it back, and she will go to any lengths to get what it is she after.

Now with Kit being half-feline half-human this inevitably means that she boasts the abilities of both species, which brings an exciting and unique twist to this cute 2-D release. But saying that this is definately an old school platform which makes the game that bit more special because it definately isn’t something you seem to see that often these days, which is one of the main reasons I knew I was going to enjoy the game so much.

Now at the beginning stages of the game you’re introduced to the basic concepts of movement, which isn’t really a great deal to take in, especially as far as the controls are concerned. The controls are pretty much what you would expect from a platform game, run left, run right, jump, grab and attack, simple in theory I suppose. And all these controls come quickly into effect too, especially when you are instantly faced with some stiff opposition, the soldiers of Hollow Wish. Believe me too when I tell you that these soldiers mean business, and they go all out to stop you in your tracks. So you must do whatever it takes to battle your way through, and with all the acrobatic skills and weaponry that are on offer, Kit soon learns that the soldiers really aren’t upto that much, especially once you have mastered the cool slide element that she poses, the game really does become alot easier.

The platforms to the game are enormous, and you really do have to stop occasionally and just look around, because there are so many hidden areas to the game, and you do have to find these in order to find the Hex pieces that are generously hidden around. Hex is the games currency, and you will find these scattered all over the game, and some are worth more than others and are quite tricky to get too, you just have to stop and think for a minute. Just remember dont get lazy, these Hex pieces are needed, because you can use these to upgrade Kit’s weapons, costumes and general abilities, which does’nt really help you out i’m afraid to say, they just make the game look better. Now with all these Hex pieces to collect Kit needs someone to help her, mainly because some of them are just in places that simply cant be reached, so thats where Skiffy comes into effect. Now Skiffy is Kit’s sidekick and you can use him to do all the things that Kit simply cant do, like operate switches or collect awkward Hex pieces.

Once you do start getting through the levels, you do tend to get rather bored, and after a few hours of playing Blade Kitten it also does make you sit back and wonder, where is this game actually going, you just seem to be battling all these soldiers, and jumping from here to there, but not actually getting anywhere, and the humour of the game that seemed so bright and fun at the start, did start to become tiresome and slightly annoying. Even the interaction with other characters after a while was pretty pointless.

The game does however break up the boredom slightly with a few vehicle-type levels where you are riding a Chocobo type animal, but where are all the big battles? There are only a couple of major fights and the story does lose its steam about half-way through the campaign, which isn’t exactly epic in length to begin with. There isn’t really much reason to come back either, except to collect money, other than that there is very little to keep gamers coming back for more. Now don’t get me wrong Blade Kitten is a very good game, especially the visuals and the art style of the title, these will keep the game going strong on the Xbox Lve Arcade Marketplace if nothing else will. The colorful levels, characters and overall quirkiness of the world are definitely eye-catching. The frame rate takes a hit here and there, but it doesn’t really interfere with gameplay.

Blade Kitten definatley packs enough charm to make it worthy of a purchase for fans of the series, or action fans that enjoy the eccentric platformer. Kit is not going to become a household name, I doubt and I wouldn’t be surprised if the second episode even becomes available, which is a shame considering the cliffhanger ending, which I’m afraid you will have to discover for yourself, by downloading the game from the Marketplace.

7/10.

Review: Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess


Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess by Mediatonics is a combo-based vertically scrolling platformer, which is fast and frantic, but fun all at the same time. When I was initially asked to review this crazy game, I have to admit I was slightly sceptical, so please sit back, relax and hear my thoughts on the very popular Indie Game, which proves that anything is possible.

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When I loaded up Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess I took on the role of Duke, now Duke is a little vampire who is on a mission, and like most men, he just wants his fair maiden back, the princess. But to get his princess Duke has to discover which monster it was that actually stole herin the first place, and in order to do this, the Duke has to fight his way literally to the top. Which may seem easy for the first 2 levels, but when you get further up to the last level, which is only five may I add, the game does get harder, and alot more frustrating.

Now when you are ready to start the game, you are met by a monster, which is moving up the side of the screen and all you have to do is catch it and hit it three times. Sound easy? Well dont be fooled, this is alot harder than what it seems, there are many obstacles in Dukes way of reaching the monster. The Duke moves quite well, considering you only really need to learn how to make him jump, and when you have mastered that, the obstacles become not only easier, but also an asset to the game, each time the Duke lands on a platform it will increase his combo level, so the higher your combo level the more the game allows Duke to jump not only higher, but with alot more flair.

The graphical style of the game is top quality, it has a polished cartoon look to it, which im sure will appeal to all gamers, and the character design really brings a lot to the game too, the menus are easy to look through allowing a quick and easy navigation between them with only a few short loading times between cut scenes.

Now just as you are getting into this crazy game, and starting to really enjoy the concept of it, you suddenly realize that you are slightly addicted, so playing it even more doesn’t really become an option to you, but you have played the game now multiple times, and you have finally reached level five, and yes at this point, you do start becoming slightly disappointed with the game, especially after paying a whopping 240 Microsoft Points for it, so you would expect the game to have just that little bit more.

So how do I rate Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess? Well when I first started playing the game, and I could’nt get past the third level, I would have rated the game 7/10, but when I mastered it and reached the end very quickly, my rating dropped to a mere 5/10. This game is way to short, which in my opinion is a shame, because there is so much room for improvement, and longer levels and more of them, would be a great place to start.

Review: Space Ark


Space Ark was released on the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace on June the 16th, and I have to admit, when I was covering the game in the news, over the previous weeks, I was really looking forward to playing it. This great single/multiplayer game by Strawdog Studios is the ideal game for you to keep your hand and eye co-ordinatin in top form, and I also have to add, that if you have any anger issues, then stay clear of Space Ark, why? Because this is one fast paced game that will test your reflexes and patience to the max. I know this, because I experienced the anger and tears first hand when my 11 year old daughter tried to conquer this cute and colourful game. To find out how I got on in this totally psychedelic game, please, sit back, relax, and enjoy my review. I will also anounce a little competition at the end of my review, where you could win your own copy of Space Ark.

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Strawdog Studios’ Space Ark is here, and when I downloaded the game from the Xbox Live Marketplace, I just knew from the beginning that the game seemed somewhat familiar, this is Arkanoid I thought, revamped with a distinctly 2010 look, but wait, it’s also Rainbow Islands, Bomb Jack, Lunar Lander and Katamari Damacy all filtered through shades of Rez. Unsurprisingly though, it does all tie together rather nicely. I wouldn’t exactly say that the game was unique, but it is definately a good game to have in your arcade collection, and at a cool 800 Microsoft Points, its even more worth it.

Now unlike most of the games mentioned above, Space Ark is a level-based arcade collectathon. You are in control of a jelly bean looking bounce-pad, which you move from left to right with the left analogue stick and the height of your thrust-controlled bounce is controlled with the right, now each short stage requires the clearance of the hexagonal shapes which are arranged in various coloured patterns in the sky. Bouncing your chosen ‘Arkonaut’ into a group of same-colour shapes attaches a visible combo chain, whilst falling on the floor however, smashes it into pieces and creates a Sonic-style scramble to collect all your hard work as fast as you can before it all disappears. Life-saving power-ups are also uncovered by smashing into breakable blocks, and high scores are the primary drive here in this game, so keeping your character constantly bouncing around is the main key.

Your ‘Arkonaut’ is the cutest thing ever, and as you progress through the 168 levels, that are generously spread across 5 worlds, your Arkonaut will change, getting cuter, and cuter, there are 28 Arkonauts to collect in total, and its fun trying to get the best one, my personal best was the tiger cub, it was just too cute.

Now its ok saying that the Arkonaut is cute, and that the game looks great, I am only at the begining of the game, and so far so simple, but several factors quickly complicate matters and make for hectic juggling acts. Environmental elements such as flippers and bouncy clouds serve as obstacles or platforms, I’d prefer to say that they were obstacles, because all they did was get in the way, and I found it annoying when my Arkonaut was bouncing in the same place continuously, in fact I did restart a few of the levels just because of this. The ever increasing fruit frequently also starts to fall from the sky, which did tempt me to split my focus between catching my Arkonaut or risking all for a higher score, and you do always think you will make it, but you never do, and unless you know your quick enough to recapture your score, I wouldn’t risk it.

The game really does get harder and harder as you progress through the levels, and although it wasn’t quite as addictive as I had first hoped, I did really enjoy playing Space Ark. My daughter enjoyed the game, once she had learnt the concept of it, but the tears did flow and I knew then that the game definately had an addiction factor to it somewhere. There are perfect ranks to aim for on Space Ark, and its fun trying to catch some of the top scorers up, and with the ever-present friend leaderboards to conquer and a few more game modes to delve into, im sure you will enjoy this great platform game.

I have to rate Space Ark 7/10

Review: Samurai Shodown Sen


I’ve read a few reviews over the past few weeks and I thought that when I do my review, it definately needs to be different from the others. Now, I know everyone has there own opinion and I respect that to the fullest, but it doesn’t mean that I agree with them, so when I read the reviews that said that Samurai Shodown Sen by Rising Star Games wasn’t upto much, I definately had to disagree with them.

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The Samurai Shodown series is back, and with its first mainstream console 3D entry being introduced on the Xbox 360, this great game will take you to a whole new dimension to battle in, which brings with it two dozen fighters to battle with. Thirteen of which are classic fighters from past Samurai Shodown games, but eleven of them are totally new, and they fit in extremely well with the older ones. Now the Samurai Shodown series was a personal favourite in the early ‘90s, it was easily the best-playing 2D weapons-based fighter on the market, and the first two games have held up etremely well over time.

Samurai Shodown Sen still provides players with a very enjoyable game, but this 3D incarnation just doesn’t play as smoothly as the previous 2D entries did. The back-and-forth weapons-based combat is still very fast, but its still no way as smooth as it was in prior games. I also found that the characters didn’t jump as well as what I had eagerly expected, unlike other fighting games, you can’t jump forward and do an attack as easily as what you would like, and no matter what character you use, you still can’t jump very high, which is quite annoying when you start battling it out in the later stages. You can control your character with either the d-pad or left stick, which I found quite easy to use, although the left stick is more arcade-ish and feels a little more natural to use. The controls are also very simple, consisting of the traditional vertical and horizontal slashes with some of the special moves being executed by simply tapping the triggers and bumpers. There is also a special button, but the core experience really feels more like a button masher and less strategically inclined. This is readily apparent when playing against another player as skill rarely plays a part in the matches.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the game is having to elaborate unblockable moves, these moves are also readily available with the push of one button, which can very easily kill the game for new players. Another major change is heavy attacks being able to drop opponents in just a few shots, while they do take forever to execute, and leave you open to attack if you miss, when they do hit you, it is awesomely satisfying. This addition of a Bushido Blade-esque gameplay setup, where a few perfectly-landed shots at just the right time in the right part of the body that can kill in three hits, certainly is a change from the norm for the series. If you’re in the final round, doing this will also make your opponent lose a limb, which is quite amusing to watch, especially seeing as this is the first Samurai Shodown game to actually have so much violence and gore involved in it.

Now while i’m on the subject of losing limbs, Samurai Shodown Sen is rated ‘M’ for a very good reason, and if you thought that other fighting games were gruesome, wait until you see what you can do here, not only can you slice of your opponents arms, legs and hands, you can also slice of there heads, feeling queazy yet? Well what if I told you that once you have severed a limb, the details of he game will delve even further by showing you the actual wound caused to the body, so instead of just seeing the wound, you can actually see inside the arm that is still attached to the body. It’s quite grotesque, and for some reason seems alot more disturbing when it’s done to the female characters, but it definitely fits the game well and it doesn‘t make the ‘M’ rating seem too harsh.

I spent most of my time battling the CPU because the online community was quite scarce at the time, and I’m not sure if it will see much growth really, simply because the offline modes available are very challenging. The modes include Story, Versus, Survival, and Practice. The single player game consists of a series of opponents with some bewildering cut scenes and eccentric dialogue in between them, and if you don’t mind long loading times between th ematches, then this is the mode for you. There are literally several screens showcasing various items that all take way too long to load, and you can have upwards of 30 seconds of downtime between matches. Even after installing the game to the hard drive the loading times were entirely unacceptable for a game that focuses so much on fast-paced action.

Of course the only real reason to finish the story mode is to earn the Achievements associated with beating it with each character, or to unlock the hidden characters. When you bump up the difficulty prepare to be in for a world of frustration as the AI is not intended to lose at all on Expert, which makes the game really difficult to master. I however have to admit, I did find it very hard, so I tried focusing on just one character at a time. Hanzo, was my favourite player of choice for most of the game, although each character is readily available from the start for any of the game modes. As you are in the menu and you hover over each character, you are given a very brief description of them along with a single word that describes their style of fighting — be it Power, Speed, Skill, or Tricky as in the case of Hanzo due to his ability to teleport and his swift kicks.

On the whole Samurai Shodown: Sen was very interesting to play, although difficult at times, it did make me want to continue and play more, and once I got into it, I did find it very difficult to put the controller down. Samurai Showdown: Sen is not a terrible game, but it’s also not a fantastic game. Although I have to admit I did enjoy the kick-back to old-school design and simplistic gameplay. There is a however a severe lack of polish here and it certainly does show. But still if you love fighting games, and have been a massive fan of the series I highly recommend that you give a try.

Review: Way of the Samurai 3


When I initially covered Way of the Samurai 3 by UFO Interactive games in a few news articles, I was excited at the thought of playing it. I have never had the pleasure before, as it was initially a PC game, so when I heard it was arriving on the Xbox 360 I just knew that I had to experience the gameplay. Set in the year 1560 during the Sengoku era, Way of the Samurai 3 is an open-world single-player action game that blends hack-n-slash, single-and multi-character battles with the soul of an RPG. So what did I really think of this title? Read my review and see for yourself.

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You initially start the game in feudal Japan during the Sengoku era, with numerous warlords battling it out for the territory. You’re role to start with is as a wandering samurai, who stumbles into Amana, a once peaceful countryside which is now sadly torn apart by war. There are three main storylines for you to explore, with each being completely different. There are also plenty of townsfolk to interact with, and with their witty dialogue you can trigger subplot storylines that will drive you to continue playing. The most intriguing aspect of Way of the Samurai 3 is its design as an open adventure that gives you complete control over your destiny, you’re completely free to join any faction or you can go the other way and make a living out of beating villagers with sticks. Which I subsequently found quite amusing.

The game mainly focuses on a cause-and-effect mechanic, prompting you to perform certain actions during key moments, such as bowing in apology or sheathing your weapon. This makes something simple, such as drawing your sword, a problem because it has both immediate and unforeseen consequences. This also keeps the action enticing because it affects how the game infact ends. It’s also rather disappointing that your interactive options are so limited, because they really do come in handy.

The combats in the game are basic, they are easy to use and very fast-paced, which means however after a few battles, you do find that it starts getting rather repetitive and somewhat boring. You can however do pretty much whatever you want in the game, when you talk to someone, you have the choice to either fight them mid-conversation or simply listen to them, regardless of who they are. It seems that you can kill almost anyone in the game except for the children, off course. You can even draw your weapon during cut-scenes too if you decide you’d rather slice everyone to bits that is. You find too that once you have killed someone in the game, that’s it, they remain dead throughout the remainder of the game. However, there are certain characters that will simply be replaced by another, doing exactly the same thing, like the recruiter for the Fujimori clan, for example. So you do have to be careful who you slay and who you dont.

Then we have the Weapon Customization and Abilities, here we get to craft our very own unique weapons, from over 200 different parts and materials available, it’s quite easy to start creating the ultimate weapon that suits your taste and fighting style too. You can create lethal blades, spears, pole axes and much more while discovering new abilities and skills with increased use. Performing different feats will reward you with Samurai Points and a Title, which in turn will unlock new features and characters within the game. Fight honorably in the way of the samurai, live your life as a bandit or strive to uphold the government. These choices will net different points and values, encouraging multiple play throughs to unlock all features and content.

Way of the Samurai 3 is a game with role-playing elements that will take you back into the ancient world of the samurai. Its most distinctive feature is it’s interesting focus on cause-and-effect relationships, which it promotes very nicely by rewarding you for either good behavior and then also punishing you for doing acts of reckless villainy. Unfortunately, the gameplay is rather complicated, and it certainly did’nt help by having an annoying camera and an occasionally sluggish frame rate. The repetitive combat and quests in the game also severely lessen your motivation to replay the game, which is a shame because you really do need to play this game more than once.

The interactivity options of the game also remain quite outdated, which subsequently means that I did’nt enjoy the game as much as I thought I would. Underneath the sub-par graphics, glitchy camera and dodgy mechanics there’s a great game waiting to be unearthed (and given a bigger budget), I feel this game could be alot better. The period feel and the sense of a real world environment with its own rules and culture comes across well. But without the gameplay to back it up all the fine ideas and enthusiasm just fade away into another frustrating and quickly repetitive misfire. Which means I had to score it:

6/10.

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