It’s not often that I get a new game to play on my 3DS, but when I do it’s because I’ve been given the game for free to review. I should probably buy more games since it does have some great titles, but as I don’t get games from Nintendo I miss out on a lot because I can’t justify buying games for the handheld console when I rarely spend time on it. Due to the lack of time I spend on it, (which increased slightly when I realised it now has an Anime channel), it means I don’t tend to keep an eye on new game releases unless it is a Pokemon game or the sequel/spin-off of a game I’ve previously played like the Fire Emblem or Professor Layton series.
So when I was offered a copy of Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3 for the 3DS I snapped up the offer because I’ve been a fan of games like this and Dynasty Warriors since I first played them. However with so much action going on these hack ‘n slash type games, I was warey as to whether the console could keep up in 3D or if the graphics would become blurred and ruin the gameplay experience.
But, before we get onto that I’ll start with the game story. For those familiar with either of the series mentioned above, you’ll know that the same stories get regurgitated every year with the occasional small modifications to make it look like people are getting a new game. This is no different really, the story in Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3 takes place as usual in 16th Century Japan where several warlords fight to unite the country together. However in Chronicles 3 it has been made a much more personal experience as you get to create your own Samurai Warrior who starts the game as a General in the army Oda Clan, before becoming somewhat of a mercenary and joining different forces to help them achieve their goals.
The whole create our own character thing has been done before though on games like this, so what makes this more special? Well the fact that you no longer just fight alongside your allies. Instead with Chronicles 3 you can touch the bottom screen to switch character and take control of your allies which is great fun. This comes in handy when you have an objective on the opposite side of the map where your ally is, or if you can see they’re struggling ou can intervene and wipe the enemy section out before moving back to your personal character. As well as this you can also give your allies commands to where you want them to go; need to flank the enemy? Then send them the opposite way to you. Need a position defending? Just assign an ally to the spot and they’ll soon be on there way. Don’t think this will get you out of sticky situations though, if you’re in a battle and low on health (pretty close to death) then switching character may seem an easy way out, but your character remains in that battle while you switch, and personally a human controlled hero is better than an AI one so survival chances are higher if you stick the battle out.
As for the other aspects of the game everything remains pretty much the same; you go in and beat the living daylights out of your enemies, in return you get Gold for weapons and XP which levels you up and makes you stronger. The best way to get the most out of each mission is to go around killing enemy generals as a victory against them will leave you with rewards such as weapons, in-game health boosts and other useful things. You should also look to complete as many objectives that pop up as possible because again it comes in handy for extra XP to make our hero stronger. Also, for those who are wondering, the weapons work in the same way as some of the more recent titles from the franchises where each weapon now has an element assigned to it (Heaven, Earth or Man) that work in a rock, paper, scissors kind of fashion during battle, so one will always be better or worse than weapons of a different element.
As for the graphics which were my main concern, the devs have genuinely done an ok job considering the hardware they work with. The environments don’t look that much worse than the console games and detail on characters is pretty high, but it’s best to experience all this on a 2D view. Why? Well 3D mode isn’t the best, you do get some blurriness and it can strain your eyes trying to focus on so much action at once, it seemed to be a little less blurry when it came to cut scenes though so you can still enjoy 3D features occasionally, but for me it was more comfortable on 2D. Other than that though I can’t really fault the game because I thoroughly enjoyed playing it and loved the new feature of switching between allies.
So overall, this is a game which fans of these hack ‘n slash style games will really enjoy. It has a great new feature which you’ve never experienced before in the Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors Universe and it gives you a new way to play the game. It’s especially great for those of a tactical mind like mine where you can send allies and their troops to locations on the map to help you win the battle. I really hope they adopt this feature to some of the bigger console games because it would be nice to jump from area to area in a battle, instead of riding across the map for a couple of minutes. The quality of the 3D did let it down a bit for me though and gave me a headache so when using 3D I could do more than a mission or two at a time before I needed to rest. Who knows, maybe I just need some glasses. Still, the game is worth it for me, and I can now see myself spending a little more time on my 3DS.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.