Way of the Samurai 4 review
Way of the Samurai 4 takes place in 1885 Japan in a small town called Amihama where Britain has begun trading with Japan and three factions have formed in the town. You play the role of a samurai that has recently arrived in Amihama and your actions in the game could shape the destiny of a country.
The three factions are the foreigners which are the British, the Shogunate who are the ruling power and are pro-foreigners and Prajnas who are anti-foreigners and wish to remove all foreigners from the country. Your faction choice is determined by events which evolve the games story. Your event choices do lock out other choices in a multi-choice tree, but sometimes this isn’t necessary the case for example at the very start I sided with Prajnas, but I could help the Shogunate straight away, but the fact I sided with Prajnas at one point did stay with me throughout my play through. The events offer about 10 possible endings to the game with my ending seeing my samurai dying in a boiling pot of water. I found if you just did the story events the game felt short, but this is depending on the events you chose.
If you ignore events the game is still offers a lot. The game contains a lot of missions and minigames. Missions which will see you take part in can be picked up from various non player characters from all over the area, the missions range from theft, delivery and more. There are several minigames which are rather weird and interesting at the same time. There is fishing, “night crawling” and torture minigames. Fishing is a quick time event which has you press the X button over and over to attempt to catch a fish, Night crawling allows you to pick up and sleep with women through a minigame and the torture minigame is a quick time event which has you pressing the right buttons to survive the torture session and failure to successfully complete the QTE results in your character dying. To take part in the night crawling minigame you can talk to random women in the town and through the correct choice of dialogue options they will agree to sleep with you at a correct time and place, but this is incredibly difficult to complete right, to take part in the torture minigame you must be caught committing a crime which can easily be done by attacking random people.
The town of Amihama offers a lot to do apart from various minigames and missions. You can visit a casino at night, open up a dojo (if you meet the right conditions), open up the language centre (if you meet the right conditions, it also allows you to understand foreigners), visit various shops and visit the local blacksmith to forge a new or to improve existing weapons. Honestly the town is pretty well crafted and it feels like what a 19th century Japanese town might be like when the British arrived, there are various locations including a harbour, town, main plaza and a Little Britain where the child ambassador and most of the British stay.
The games combat is pretty good, but with some flaws. I found to be successful in combat against powerful enemy you just need to have your guard up and dodge as they do a big attack and then attack and move back into guard and repeat, but with normal enemies you can just constantly use a heavy and light attack and win no problem. Combat I find is also a money sink as you constantly need to make sure you have food because if an enemy does get some powerful hits on you your vitality drops rather quickly and another sink is your katana’s break a lot and as such you either have to spend money repairing or forging new ones (that said you can pick up your enemies katana’s if you are stuck).
While the games combat is alright the games various main characters are very interesting. The characters all seem to have an agenda and it is difficult to tell who you can trust for example I helped Hikaru Kotorbuki and not long after I ended up having to fight him even though I continued to help the Shogunate. My personal favourite main characters are the Kinugawa sisters because they come across as nice daughters of the chief minister, but they have a dark side as they run the torture centre and their true agenda is difficult to know.
The game does have character creation which includes the ability to name your samurai and change its hair, upper and lower body, full body, legs, figures and clothes. Personally I didn’t go to in-depth with the character creation and stuck with the default look and called myself the unknown samurai.
On completing you are giving a Samurai evaluation. This basically tells if you behaved like a Samurai or not be giving you points in relation to your decisions, tasks and conduct. When the points are given out you are giving a Samurai level and title. After the Samurai evaluation you can continue on with your save file with new game plus. New game plus allows you to keep the weapons you used in the previous play through and shows what events you previously chose.
While the game is alright it does have its fair share of issues for me. One thing that really bugged me was the fact there was voiced in Japanese with English subtitles, there was some English audio but that was from some British characters. It could be argued that the fact it was voiced in Japanese adds to the game, but the option to have some English voice acting would have being a nice choice. Another minor issue was that was the camera was a bit annoying at times as the camera would turn automatically with the character and as such went to places I didn’t want it too, but you could control it manually.
Way of the Samurai 4 is a pretty average game. The open world environment, characters and multiple choice event system are great, but the game is let down by a rather easy combat system and no English voice option.
Way of the Samurai 4 information:
- Developer: Acquire
- Publisher: NIS America (Europe), XSEED Games (North America) and Spike (Japan)
- Genre: Action adventure
- Rating: 15
- Platform: PlayStation 3
- Release date: out now
- Website: http://www.nisamerica.com/games/way_of_the_samurai4/
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.