SAMURAI WITH A SLOW HAND.Byline: Redmond Carolipio Staff Writer
I ENJOYED ``Genji: Dawn of the Samurai samurai (sä'mrī`), knights of feudal Japan, retainers of the daimyo. This aristocratic warrior class arose during the 12th-century wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans and was .'' Unfortunately, it's because it reminded me of something else.
The biggest problem that plagues Sony's tale of samurai and magic is that it comes a few years after ``Onimusha,'' which was Capcom's tale of samurai and magic. The ``Genji'' experience takes a different and less adventurous road to the same destination.
While the two games feature different characters, stories and play mechanics, the similarities between them are almost scary. That's not a huge shock considering one of the game's designers worked on ``Onimusha.'' Both titles feature ``chosen'' heroes, plenty of swords and sorcery sorcery: see incantation; magic; spell; witchcraft.
Sorrow (See GRIEF.)
finds a spell that makes objects do the cleanup work. [Fr. , and story lines rooted in Japanese history.
The story of ``Genji'' is loosely based on the Taira-Minamoto War in Japan's late 1100s, when the Genji clan was subdued sub·due
tr.v. sub·dued, sub·du·ing, sub·dues
1. To conquer and subjugate; vanquish. See Synonyms at defeat.
2. To quiet or bring under control by physical force or persuasion; make tractable.
3. by Kiyomori Taira, the head of the Taira clan
Taira (平) is a Japanese clan name.
In reference to Japanese history, along with Minamoto, Taira was a hereditary clan name bestowed by the emperors of the Heian Period to . Not surprisingly, Kiyomori is presented as the game's main villain.
Capcom did the same thing in ``Onimusha'' with Nobunaga Oda, who was painted in ancient accounts as the Shaq Diesel of Japanese warlords Warlords may refer to:
But Capcom also used that game to establish the tradition of applying gaming mythos my·thos
n. pl. my·thoi
3. The pattern of basic values and attitudes of a people, characteristically transmitted through myths and the arts. to historical figures - in the real world, Nobunaga is just a great warlord warlord, in modern Chinese history, autonomous regional military commander. In the political chaos following the death (1916) of republican China's first president and commander in chief, Yüan Shih-kai, central authority fell to the provincial military governors . In gaming, he's an invincible demon general.
``Genji'' follows suit, portraying Kiyomori and his Heishi army as the benefactors of magic stones Magic Stones is a game based on Celtic mythology, and is a mix between a roleplaying games and a Card game created by Winter Wolves. It is released as shareware for the Macintosh and Windows platforms. Plot
The game has no defined plot. that grant immense power to those who wield them. The game's opening cinema screens show one of the Heishi generals using this power to annihilate an·ni·hi·late
v. an·ni·hi·lat·ed, an·ni·hi·lat·ing, an·ni·hi·lates
a. To destroy completely: The naval force was annihilated during the attack. an army by himself.
To fight the Heishi, you get the choice of two characters: Yoshitsune, the sword-wielding last member of the Genji clan, and Benkei, a big, heavy-hitting monk armed with a giant club.
Both heroes also know how to use the magic stones, which provides them the ability to control time.
It is with this power that the game begins to forge its own identity. Instead of using the time-slowing concept as a way to elude e·lude
tr.v. e·lud·ed, e·lud·ing, e·ludes
1. To evade or escape from, as by daring, cleverness, or skill: The suspect continues to elude the police.
2. enemies, ``Genji'' uses it as the ultimate counterattacking tool.
The power, called ``kamui,'' essentially slows enemies to a crawl and lets the player know the best time to strike, via a flashing button icon below the character.
Time it right, and you can take out a group of 12 guys with just a few sword strokes. Otherwise, you're stuck blocking and swinging for a few minutes longer than you need to.
Players have to use ``kamui'' early and often, as they are constantly surrounded by packs of enemies. It's a plus, as every chance to trigger the feature is a chance to look and feel like a master.
Fighting in the game is a beauty to watch, as the swordplay animations were done by motion capturing Japan's top swordsman, who was also Ken Watanabe's stunt double in the movie ``The Last Samurai.'' The game also features some very well-crafted scenery.
But enjoy it while you can. The game takes about eight hours to complete, which is way too short for a game that houses this much history. As a result, the game starves for character development. You are essentially left with the knowledge of who's good and who's bad. Anything more deep would require an investment ``Genji'' chooses not to make.
``Genji'' left me feeling more like I watched a good television episode instead of a full samurai epic. It certainly looked the part. But then again, so did ``Onimusha,'' and I still haven't forgotten it.
GENJI: DAWN OF THE SAMURAI - Two stars
Rated: M for Mature.
In a nutshell: OK but familiar.
no caption (GENJI: DAWN OF THE SAMURAI)