aka Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends outside of Japan.
Koei’s Samurai Warriors (Sengoku Musou) was a huge hit in Japan. It was only a matter of time until Koei released an expansion pack to the popular Samurai Warriors game just like they have for the Dynasty Warriors series. For fans, Sengoku Musou Moushouden is the expansion pack, but is it what fans have been waiting for?
If you wanted more characters and more levels Sengoku Musou Moushouden will fit the bill. The game gives four new playable generals in to the mix, which are completely different from each other. The first is Hideyoshi Hashiba who is a fast attacker with a lot of range. Ina is a princess warrior who attacks with a bow and arrow. Out of all the characters she uses the most ranged attacks and doesn’t even consume arrows. One of her first attacks has her shoot a barrage of arrows straight in the air, only to let them drop on surround enemies. Ina is the daughter of Honda who bears dragon armor. Honda, known as the "perfect warrior", attacks with a giant spear. He has a combo where he cuts through fields of enemies and then turns back around and slams all of them with his heavy spear. The most unique character of the bunch is Yoshimoto Imagawa. Normally he attacks with slow blade strikes, mixing his combos up every once in awhile by kicking a ball at groups of enemies. His special musou attack is sort of strange too, he puts his sword in front of him and starts dashing at enemies.
Each of the characters will play through a number of new stages. Instead of having the same dreary castle stages that were primarily present in the original game, you’ll be in a wider selection of environments. Even though Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends is running on the same code and graphics engine as the original the game looks much sharper due to a wider selection of environments. You can see much more environmental detail when you’re running around on grassy green hills than you can in the midst of a night battle. The game also has a decent amount of FMV sequences peppered throughout the game that look great too. There is a certain artistic quality that "Moushouden" has above the original game. Although there are new levels, the new levels aren’t nearly as long as some of the level in the original game. You won’t ever have to go indoors into and fight inside a base. You also won’t have to spend as much time navigating around buildings because you’re outside more often. This could be better or worse depending on how you liked the indoor levels in the original game.
Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends gives players the chance to upgrade their characters from the original title. You can load any of the characters from the first game and play through them to find the elusive sixth weapon. Each character’s sixth weapon is one of the game’s ultimate challenges to find. If you don’t want to search for the sixth weapon you can still link with the original title to play new stages with your favorite officers. In addition to the new characters you can also get all new abilities. One new ability adds your weapons element to your musou attack for a truly devastating amount of damage. Another ability allows you to block bullets, so those annoying gun troops won’t stand a chance anymore. Arguably, the strongest ability is that you can increase the damage you give as your combo gets longer. This ability is essential to have in the new difficulty level, chaos. To get through the sheer number of troops and stronger generals you’ll need all the new abilities you can get.
Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends has some extra expanded two player options. There are three all new versus modes you can play, besides the standard two player cooperative mode. One mode is your standard one on one battle. In this mode you’re in a small arena and you have to battle another general to the death. Koei has a couple of different arenas you can face off in. Some even have traps like bombs, which forces players to watch where they step instead of dashing towards the enemy. Another versus mode has both players placed in a level to see who can kill the most troops. Each troop only has a small amount of life so in a small time limit you’ll be able to score a couple of hundred kills. However, you must be quick because troops will be running towards a gate to escape your grasp. If they get past this gate you won’t be able to attack them anymore, so you’ll have to make a strategy to hit as many troops as possible.
For single players there isn’t as much offered, instead more taken away. The expansion pack doesn’t expand on the character creation mode found in the original Samurai Warriors. You can get a sixth weapon for the general you created, but you can’t make any new generals. Also with only four new characters to play through and handful of levels one player can get through the expansion disc quickly. The original content contained in the disc isn’t nearly as much as you would expect to see in the Xtreme Legends expansion packs for the Dynasty Warriors series. The only ever lasting single player challenge is for players to collect points to spend at the blacksmith. One of the abilities requires that players obtain 1,000,000 points (yes 1 million points) so they can break the limit for character stats. Since you only win 200 points for successfully completing a battle 1 million is a tough challenge.
Another problem with Sengoku Musou Moushouden is that it isn’t different from Sengoku Musou at all. You have the same gameplay as the original game. You’ll be in the middle of a giant battlefield with a specific goal like eliminate a certain general or close all the gates so no new troops enter. On top of accomplishing your mission you must successfully defend your top commander from death. If he is killed by the swarms of troops or by surrounding enemy generals it’s game over. Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends offers the same tactic options present in the first game, with not much else new. The combo system is pretty much the same, too. You can do different attacks by starting off with your standard attack (square button) and then switching to your heavy attack (triangle button). The combo system hasn’t been expanded much either. Pretty much Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends ends up being more of the same, but it’s more of the good stuff that fans of the series like.
Import Friendly? Literacy Level: 3
Even though Sengoku Musou Moushouden is completely in Japanese you can still play through the game with some patience. The gameplay is easy to learn even if you haven’t played Samurai Warriors or a Dynasty Warriors game before and the goals are simple enough to figure out. Also if you do have the US version of Samurai Warriors you may want to wait for this to come over to the US because your US save file is incompatible with Sengoku Musou Moushouden.
Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends has a release date of November, 15 2004.
+ Pros: Four new characters, more weapons and even more two player modes.
- Cons: No more create a character mode and easier scenarios.
Overall: If you already own and like Samurai Warriors, Xtreme Legends this is something you will love. However, if you’re expecting it to be a solid stand alone title, it doesn’t have that much to offer.
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