Capcom’s Sengoku BASARA series, as with their Monster Hunter series, hasn’t really caught on in North America or Europe. After the original release, titled Devil Kings in Western markets, the series never re-emerged overseas. Capcom is giving the series another chance with Sengoku Basara 3, which is being titled Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes in North America and Europe. With other titles like Konami’s Dynasty Warriors dominating the niche market that is the hack and slash title, Sengoku BASARA really needs some sort of catch to be more than just another hack and slash.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Right off the bat, it’s hard to tell any difference between Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes and traditional titles in the Dynasty Warriors series. Players move across a map spamming the square button to mow through enemies along with a special attack here or there. As with Dynasty Warriors, most of the enemies are simply mindless fodder until you get to the later portion of the map where the player will fight against a sometimes challenging General fight. The formula is pretty much identical to Dynasty Warriors.
Players are given a few special moves to mix up combat. Each character has a simple combo, three special moves, and a BASARA move. Essentially, combat comes down to mashing the square button until the combo is completed than using a special move based off the current situation you are in after your combo. Surrounded? Use an area of effect move. Only one enemy in front of you? Do a strong forward attack. As you combo and use special moves, a BASARA gauge will fill up. Eventually, it will fill up to full and the player can use their BASARA move, which lets players perform a glorified combo. There is also a “Hero Mode,” which is essentially bullet time.
When it comes down to it, based off the demo, it seems like the title is just going to be just another hack and slash. The only real difference is the title has an anime style and a light sense of humor. There is plenty of laughable dialog and voice acting, but Dynasty Warriors covers that too. The only real benefit that seems to come from the anime style is that the developers were given a little bit more creative freedom in terms of character design and creating unique attack methods for each character.
Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes was fun to play, but it seems like an experience you can get from any Dynasty Warriors title on the market at a much cheaper price. That being said, if you are a Dynasty Warriors fan, you probably won’t be disappointed when Sengoku BASARA: Samurai Heroes hits the market. Hopefully the full title has more variety than your typical hack and slash, but that may not be a bad thing that it doesn’t. Hack and Slash titles like Sengoku BASARA: Samurai heroes has its market and they are definitely delivering an experience to them. We will just have to wait and see if Capcom can effectively market Samurai Heroes to that crowd when the title launches next month on both PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii.