Review by tbcpancakes

"Not as Bad As Some Say, But Most Should Wait For a Sequel"

We've all heard it. The controls are too difficult, and the storyline sucks. Its really not as bad as some say it is though.

Graphics: Probably one of the prettier looking Wii launch titles, it still has some problems. Frame rate dips occassionally, but not often enough to be a major problem here. The only complaint is huge variability. In general, outdoor levels are AMAZING (for example, the first time you visit the dojo, the stream, rivers, and trees are breath taking with the traditional japanese architecture), but many of the indoor levels are only about average. I imagine it'll look way better in 480p with a component cable.

Controls: Argued by some as the worst part of the game, I found the controls acceptable. I played on medium sensitivity and short sword detection movements (in options), and I really wouldnt recommend any other settings. Sure, its awkward at first, but after about 1-2 hours, I had the controls down pretty well, and they weren't a problem for the rest of the game. The only real complaint about the controls I have is the melee attack; its the same motion as reload! (try imagining playing halo, and running up to someone, except reloading instead of melee attack)

Story: Pretty much non-existant and in my opinion the weakest part of the game. You have a girlfriend with a very powerful papa who gets into trouble. She gets kidnapped. You have to save her. You help papas friends, then save the girl. The end. (sorry if I spoiled that for anyone, but its so cliche'd that it really doesnt make a difference)

Gameplay: I really enjoyed the innovation and the gameplay itself on my first time playing through. As there are no difficulties (to my knowledge), replaying it is extremely easy, and you'll wonder how on earth you died in the first playthough.
(not to mention grieve over the loss of your time focus and sword mastering powerups)

Replayability/Multiplayer: WHY are there no selectable difficulties! By the end of the game, one or two sword katas can kill even the 'boss' of the game. The learning curve is steep in the beginning, then it flatlines and you are pretty much Neo vs a bunch of SWAT members. No joke. Multiplayer is only fun if you have 4 x $60 worth of wiimotes and nunchukas. About as fun as Goldeneye on N64 with 4 people, provided all of your friends are familiar with the controls.

Conclusion: A fun game provided you get used to the controls (took me about an hour or two) quickly, and forgive the occasional hiccup in frame rate. A good rental, but multiplayer and replayability is low, so if I had known, I would have rented it instead. If they could tighten the controls, provide online multiplayer with a lot modes (CTF etc.), and nail down the frame rate, this could have been one of the best Wii titles available. If you were like me, and knowing the flaws, bought the game and still enjoyed it, then go out and grab this game right now. If you don't have $50 burning a hole in your pocket, wait for a sequel.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/11/06

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