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Genji: Days of the Blade Review - PS3

8
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 9 stars 9
Audio: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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Genji: Days of the Blade follows the story of Yoshitsune, Benkei, Shizuka, and Buson as they fight their way through the “Heishi” armies to restore peace and order to their lands. The game, set three years after its Playstation 2 predecessor Genji: Dawn of the Samurai is a Playstation 3 launch title set to show gamers just what to expect on Sony’s new console. Yes, it’s the game that includes the quotes, ‘Massive Damage’ and, ‘Giant Crab’, but on a more serious note, Genji offers a fresh new look at how gaming is meant to be, and what to look forward to on the Playstation 3.

Gameplay

So far, Genji has received mixed reviews from the US. We understand that some average gamers may have found the layout hard to adapt to, and the fixed camera angles don’t help much either (see graphics), but Genji is a fairly basic and enjoyable hack’n’slash, designed for ‘awe’ effects. There are two difficulties, Normal and Hard, and you can switch between them whenever you want in the settings menu. Normal is fairly easy as long as you pay attention to the items you are picking up, and upgrade your weapons at the right time. Hard is a little more challenging, but once you play the game through on Normal, you’ll be ready for the challenge.

The four characters you get to play as each have unique attacks and weapons. Yoshitsune has two swords, Benkei has a ridiculously oversized (but constantly amusing) mace, Shizuka, the lady of the house, has a hook-shot weapon, and lastly, Buson, the God of War who has come down from the heavens and brought back the villian, Kagekiyo from the first game, in order to use his body to assist the other three. Buson uses some of the biggest swords we’ve seen. All characters have five different weapons that you’ll get as you progress through the game. Some drop off bosses, others from chests. The weapons each get more powerful, but you may end up favouring certain weapons over others, as they each have unique attacks.

There’s almost not enough buttons to play Genji, you have to use the X button for both jumping and opening doors/chests. This can prove an issue when you enter a room that requires you to jump straight away. Triangle, Square and Circle are all hacking and slashing buttons though, which you’ll find quite easy to master. The SIXAXIS motion sensing featured in Genji allows you to jump around in different styles, once again, depending on which character you choose. Jolting the controller up will pull the character back, leaning the controller forward will push the character forward, and of course, you know the rest. The tilting takes a little bit of time to adjust to, but it offers ... (continued next page)