Review: Samurai Warriors 4-II (PlayStation 4)

Samurai Warriors 4-II: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation 4 1,347 view 2 likes 2 comments
Reviewed by Austin Trujillo, posted Oct 13, 2015, last updated Oct 13, 2015
Oct 13, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): September 29, 2015
  • Release Date (EU): October 2, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): February 2, 2015
  • Publisher: Koei Tecmo
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Genres: Hack and Slash
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Sixteen years and older
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
The sequel-expansion hybrid to Samurai Warriors 4 is here! But is it worth your time and money? That’s what we’re here to find out.
Austin Trujillo

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4-II is a semi-large upgrade to the earlier 2015 title, Samurai Warriors 4. It takes a lot of the same assets such as voice acting and stages, and both expands and fine tunes them. It also mixes up the story elements a bit, while utilizing the same gameplay mechanics with some added flair.

Story

4-II follows more individual stories over the usual full clan stories. You get to experience the heart of the war from a more genuine character perspective, which perfectly captures the often stereotyped honor of Japanese culture.

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The story is told through cut-scenes in between battle as well as a narrative dialogue during the war. There are over 12 stories total and they all follow their own theme and characters, giving you a lot of content to play through.

A usual problem I have arises with this entry as well though, which is the fact that most dialogue I try to follow during the battle sequences is drowned out or too chaotic for me to follow. Most of the time nothing major occurs, but it’s frustrating to miss moments that progress the narrative due to frequent enemy numbers.

Gameplay modes

At this point, everyone is pretty familiar with the hack-and-slash elements of the Musou titles, so I’ll explain instead, some of the added mechanics and new gameplay modes.

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The first and biggest thing added to this Warriors title is the Survival Mode. Your chosen character will fight on an endless stream of floors against as many enemies that can fill the halls and rooms. Each level has its own objective and once it is cleared you may progress forward. You could be faced with clearing a specific number of enemies, eliminating a high ranking officer, or have to perform specific attacks. Either way, it’s a nice condensed way of keeping the action at an all-time high in a relatively enclosed space, making it a different experience from story modes wide open battlefields.

Clearing levels in survival mode offer bonuses, items, and plenty of money. You can also change your style of objectives in this mode, such as choosing to play time attack modes or gold rush modes.

As far as the rest of 4-II’s changes go, they’re minor at best. There are plenty of gameplay refinements made to the overall combat over 4 with the inclusion of hyper attacks and more streamlined combos. Your hyper attacks, mapped to triangle, will clear through numerous enemies quickly and efficiently. However, they are rendered pretty much useless against high ranking officers, forcing you to use your normal attacks in combination with hyper attacks to take them down. It’s a nice way of making sure you aren’t constantly pressing the same button over and over and forcing you to think a little bit more.

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Guard breaks, counters, dash attacks, aerial attacks and more can all be combined and are forced to be utilized to survive. All of this is made easier by offering on screen button prompts to show you when counters and breaks can be performed. The game is slightly more welcoming to newcomers than previous entries in this way, but still offers enough strategy to keep the hardcore audience loving every minute.

The last and more favorable thing 4-II does is eliminate the confusing upgrade system, and replaces it with a fusion method for combining strong weapons together to make stronger ones. Progression is made easier and you focus a bit more on everything you acquire from battle. Fusion also can be utilized on your mounts, allowing you to create stronger and faster mounts for use in the field.

Is it worth it?

4-II is an interesting title to say the least, but it all feels like a sort of upgrade that probably could have been a big DLC for 4 at one point. It’s not a bad game to say the least, but the subtle changes and lighter offerings may make it less attractive to anyone that has already played 4. That being said, it doubles as a fantastic game for anyone that hasn’t played 4 or the series before. It’s a bit more welcoming and offers a lot of content, so all in all there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Verdict
Pros
+ A more streamlined experience
+ New Survival Mode is a lot of fun
+ Refined gameplay
Cons
- Not a large difference from 4
- No graphical improvement
7 Presentation
Samrai Warriors takes history and makes it interesting yet again, and does it pretty well for the most part. A solid presentation.
7 Gameplay
The gameplay was enjoyable and a more streamlined experience. Enough was added and kept the same to keep everything balanced in a good way.
7 Lasting Appeal
The character focused stories are long and there is plenty of content to enjoy. The added survival mode certainly boosts the lasting appeal, making this entry a nice offering.
7.5
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Overall, while it isn't some incredibly intense new offering, 4-II does enough to make veterans and newcomers happy. Normally I find myself bored slashing through hordes over and over, but 4-II had a certain charm and a much better experience that kept me going. I'd recommend it to anyone that hasn't played 4 before, or anyone who is a die hard fan.
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