(http://www.wots3.com/) For Mature Audience 17 and over. The highly anticipated hit title ‘Way of the Samurai 3’, originally released November 13th, 2008 is now finally available in the US for the first time.  You assume the role of a nameless samurai, the protogonist, during the Sengoku Period (mid 15th to 17th Century) in Amana.  The land is currently ruled by Lord Fujimori Shuzen.  Choose the faction in which you would like to side with.  Whether it’d be helping Fujimori clan continue ruling Amana, or help the Ouka clan regain presence in Amana, or lastly choose not to resort to violence by taking sides with the Takatane villagers.  The choice is yours as you decide your destiny and how the story will unfold.

(http://www.wots3.com/For Mature Audience 17 and over.  The highly anticipated hit title ‘Way of the Samurai 3’, originally released November 13th, 2008 is now finally available in the US for the first time.  You assume the role of a nameless samurai, the protogonist, during the Sengoku Period (mid 15th to 17th Century) in Amana.  The land is currently ruled by Lord Fujimori Shuzen.  Choose the faction in which you would like to side with.  Whether it’d be helping Fujimori clan continue ruling Amana, or help the Ouka clan regain presence in Amana, or lastly choose not to resort to violence by taking sides with the Takatane villagers.  The choice is yours as you decide your destiny and how the story will unfold.

  

Presentation:

The game comes with a great pick up and go style fashion to it making this title extremely appealing to many types of audiences.  Whether you’d like the game to be a long in duration or a quick short adventure you have the option to do so.  The limited size open world map system makes this a great entry level open world exploration game because the world is a manageable size and never seems overbearing at any point throughout the game.  The time system implemented within the game adds a whole new perspective to the game broken down into morning or night.  NPC characters and environments are presented differently throughout different times when you visit them.  For example if you were to visit a store late at night you will see that they have closed and boarded up their store or even a village will be deserted late at night because everyone has gone to bed already.  These are definitely some nice added details.  Furthermore, NPC’s will remember you and don’t have a tendency to speak a generic standard dialogue throughout any point of the game.

  

Gameplay:

The game is presented in an open world style playing style in a third person view as you travel from point to point through navigational help from your map.  Your actions by completing different missions are measured through samurai points.  So if you decide to perform dishonorable acts such as randomly hurting civilians you will be punished for it and not be rewarded as well during your game.  Little implementations within the game world such as the AI stealing your money or inventory makes the game world seem very realistic.  Keep in mind that as you play throughout your story you can choose to be good, evil or even neutral, the choices, conversations and battles you have with certain characters will alter the course of the story and your relations with others within the world leading to multiple possible endings.  No two game experiences will be the same.

  

Graphics:

‘Way of Samurai 3’ does not offer a photo realistic game engine, however, the customizability of the look and feel of your character really makes up for it.  Rewards and unlockable heads, outfits and accessories will be available as you continue to beat the game in different fashions.  After unlocking a few faces, it becomes fairly difficult to choose the next face that you want to be for your new adventure in Amana game as all the choices available are extremely great looking.  Its nice to see that all cinematic are created by the in game engine allowing all the custom work put into your character from weapons to outfits to be visible in all the cut scenes within the game.

  

Sound:

The music of the game is very well suited for the time period portrayed in the game.  There is a lot of Japanese string instrument and oriental music composures that sets the ambience.  The music is beautifully put together.  The mood of the music also dynamically changes according to the events in the game.  If you were to be walking around in the village or a town, the music would be calm and peaceful.  As you are engaged in a battle scene, the music turns into an upbeat and intense melody.  All the music adds to the overall experience.  The voiceovers of the characters are nicely implemented and adapted.  Although I prefer the original Japanese voiceover, the English voiceovers’ tone and emotions reflect the portrayed personality of each character.  None of the character’s English voices seem out of placed or mismatched for their roles.  Each character’s English voice truly feels authentic and non-exaggerative when driving the story forward. 

  

Longevity:

There is a good replay value to the game for you can beat it multiple times each time having a different storyline to your adventure.  Additionally, each time will only get easier for your previous skills and weapons from your last adventure carry over making your hard played hours pay off in your new adventure.  There are a large variety of sword stances such as top stance, side stance, ninja stance and much more.  As an added bonus if you are fortunate enough to find these items you can even partake combat with a radish or giant fish which is quite comedic.  Many additional skills can be learned with each stance to make combat much more interesting as you progress.  Another fun and unique feature to the game is the fact that you can create weapons such as sword and spears with the parts you find throughout the game world each having their own individual look and sets of skills and stats.  If tailoring and collecting weapons is within your interest you will get hours of game play in collecting the most rare parts, combining them to make the ultimate weapon.  Side jobs are another fun element to the game that is made available.  Within each part of every town, there are unique side missions that are quite fun from chopping vegetables to earn money to helping a civilian make sticky rice cakes.

  

Conclusion:

Whether you are a hardcore gamer or causal, this is a great pickup for any type of gamer because the game length of each adventure can be controlled through the player’s actions.  Although this is an open world exploration adventure game, the open world is not overbearingly large in size making it fun for anyone especially those who are intrigued with the samurai of the Sengoku period.  With the many side missions and activities built into the game you will have many endless hours of game play before you ever put this one down.

 

       

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