(3DS eShop)

Samurai Sword Destiny (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Samurai Sword Destiny Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

No ninja, no ninja, no

There's been a lot of ballyhoo about the death of the dedicated handheld at the hands of smartphones and tablets, and given the amount of doom-and-gloom headlines penned about portables in the past year it can be easy to think that the chair has been kicked so forcefully out from under them that it's shattered against the wall.

Samurai Sword Destiny has sprung from this new school of gaming, using buttons in a game that feels designed for touch, and if this level of quality will kill portables then really all Destiny does is prove that the handhelds we all know and love will do just fine for the time being.

Destiny is a fairly basic side-scrolling beat-'em-up that has more in common with mobile game Zombieville USA than, say, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Stages are little more than arenas where you spam the attack button against hordes of the same three enemy types, moving to the right when commanded. Defeating enemies earns you currency that can be used to level up your sword with new attacks and higher damage, or level up lead character Akane with health boosts and regenerations. You do have a charge attack that can fling you across the arena and damage enemies caught in between, but the grand majority of your time in battle will be spent mashing the main attack button over and over. And over.

There is the occasional forced running stage where you dodge falling boulders (indoors?) and slice arrows out of the air, as well as the rare boss battle, but it doesn't help stymie the overall feeling of flimsy, cheap gameplay. If you really love smashing attack then you can take on the Challenge and Survival modes, which are essentially the same kill-'em-all modes but with ever-so-slightly different win conditions. On the plus side, your character progression carries over across all modes, so if you find yourself stuck in the story and in need of more health or attack power then you can grind out some levels and then head back in.

Visually, Samurai Sword Destiny falls along a similar line as its gameplay: from a distance it looks artistically intriguing with a style that echoes Vanillaware's gorgeous Muramasa: The Demon Blade, but the lack of diversity cheapens the overall presentation. The stereoscopic effect is also a bit of a bugger on the eyes, opting to pop out of the screen in a funky way instead of provide depth like a diorama — it's worth noting that your mileage may vary on the 3D, but we found it to be of no particular novelty or benefit.

Conclusion

Samurai Sword Destiny twiddles between the line of mind-numbing and oddly enjoyable combat, in a compulsive kind of way. In the end, though, it's tough to shake the hollow feeling present in both the gameplay and presentation.

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User Comments (29)

fredtoy

#8

fredtoy said:

The moment I saw the first screenshot of this game I thought of a Muramasa wannabe.

eviLaTtenDant

#9

eviLaTtenDant said:

Sounds to me like it could be fun in short bursts. If it had suspend saves like in the VC games or at least saved after every stage / room that is. I'd say that for 2 € .this could have been a decent time-waster.
Still very low interest in this at the moment. Especially since the Survival mode in Thor on the DS should be about as fun as this one.

Link79

#11

Link79 said:

If you want something like this only way better stick with Muramasa.
This game is just a lame wannabe.

SpaceKappa

#12

SpaceKappa said:

Jon, I have to thank you for absolutely MAKING MY DAY with that subhead. Now I need to watch The Secret of the Ooze again. :)

Takosuke

#13

Takosuke said:

From the trailers this looked incredibly simplistic, I didn't have a lot of confidence for it really.

Though running from boulders while indoors sounds like something a Parodius stage would do.

joevox316

#14

joevox316 said:

NL defines a 4 game as having "Broken gameplay, bugs, bad control schemes, inflexible options." I don't really think this game deserves a 4. 5 maybe. It's certainly not buggy, and it's not broken. The button controls aren't too bad. So a 4 is a bit harsh methinks. The gameplay is your average brawler, and it's really quite fun if your a fan of that genre, and samurais, and feudal Japan. It isn't too great and it's rather repetitive (which I'm fine with if I get to wail on things with a sword), but it's a fun time waster that does in fact look good in 3D (I might not have liked it so much without 3D). =)

Geonjaha

#15

Geonjaha said:

@5 You get a pretty good idea about how good a game will be by just looking at it. As soon as I saw this I thought it looked cheap and horrible, and looking at Rolling Western it looks like a 9/10 great game. I dont think it'll have problems - I see it surpassing Pullbox :O.

ThomasBW84Admin

#16

ThomasBW84 said:

@SpaceKappa - I couldn't agree more. As a child of the 90's and Turtles addict that sub-heading put a smile on my face.

Shame about the game, though the review has reminded me to bust out Muramasa and play it again some time.

Knux

#17

Knux said:

And I'm so glad that I avoided buying this game until a review was out! I'll stick with Shinobi and Muramasa for my ninja needs.

cyclopticxander

#18

cyclopticxander said:

I'm actually glad I got this before the review, cause I actually kinda like it. All the criticisms here are basically true, but I just happen to find it fun repetitively grinding for upgrades

BulbasaurusRex

#19

BulbasaurusRex said:

Hmm, I'm not sure what to do about this one. I love beat-'em-ups, and I'm not that bothered by the repetativeness of the genre, plus I like pop-out 3D better than depth 3D. However, the grinding required in this game may be too boring for even me to handle.

mayhem13

#23

mayhem13 said:

Something about sidescrollers with big characters, usually have small gameplay...not alot, too simple. The 3D Effect of this game is really nice. Thats about all I liked of it. I think a four is a generous rating. This isn't an addictive simple game like some casual games are, its tedious, repetitive and probably the worst 3DS eShop game to date.

mayhem13

#24

mayhem13 said:

...oh wait, I just thought about Urban Champion...hmmm this vs 3D Urban Champion...a tie. There is a retro feel that is cool with Urban Champion and this has a nice 3D effect. No seriously, this isn't the world's worst game or anything, but its just not much of a game in the end.

nickcarney

#25

nickcarney said:

I played this while watching TV and had a blast. Would probably be boring on its own though. I would recommend it if you want something to play while watching TV too.

supertskill

#28

supertskill said:

this game is fun
if you have level 20 it is so fun
in the beggining it is boring
i said to my self why did i get this
but then i beat it and it was fun as crazy

OnionOverlord

#29

OnionOverlord said:

The game isn't too bad but the review score is fair. The game has some dubious design choices such as making the player fail over and over until they have enough skills bought to pass a certain point. It's a Kung Fu clone basically. The price should probably be lower for the kind of game it is but otherwise it's decent.

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