When you think of a fighting game, Ninja Gaiden has pretty much set the standards of what an arcade action fighter should be. So when new ninja games are introduced, it’s kind of unexpected for a game to stand up to the likes of Ninja Gaiden. Another game that perfects the use of free range attacks is the Dynasty Warrior’s saga. Sadly, Seven Samurai 20XX seems to fall under both of these franchises, somewhere in the mix.
Seven Samurai 20XX plays out as a hack and slash, arcade fighter. You have two swords at your disposal to make waste of your enemies with. Fighting goes along the lines of pressing the square button to slash enemies by the dozen. When you think of a samurai, fast passed frantic action comes to mind doesn’t it? Seven Samurai 20XX packs plenty of action, even though it’s relatively simple.
The story line is quite intriguing. You start out as Natoe, a misfortunate that happens to be at the wrong place, at the right time. Humanoids are attempting to take the local villages out. Now it is up to you to put a halt to their operation. As time passes in the game, you’ll recruit fellow samurai to help you. Why you don’t get to play as them? Well, it adds a little twist to the story.
Natoe, an independent toughy, is the focus of the game. Natoe is quite different from other sword slinging samurais; he has the special ability to enter Nitoh-Ryu, a special power that dramatically increases Natoes’ speed, and gives him to the ability to use his second sword. For an allotted amount of time, this ability becomes intact to aide Natoe. Using the Nitoh-Ryu you can clear rooms of enemies in a matter of seconds, producing a greater hit count. For every hit you get, you are granted a 'hit point’, which can eventually rise to great amounts. The more you string together, the better your score will be.
Unfortunately, Seven Samurai 20XX doesn’t introduce anything ground breaking by any means. In fact, the three separate 'justs’ may be the only. Attack, Defend, and Stance make up these three. The fighting sequences are generically placed out, not to mention being extremely repetitive. Fighting off hordes of evil bots for more then 3/4's of the time isn’t an uncommon feature by any means. Enemies’ A.I. is extremely un-intelligent. Often times, you will have to run and attack the opponent, rather then him running at you. Other times, the monsters may just wander around you waiting to get killed. When it comes to the bosses, they’re a little more advanced, but still don’t put much of a challenge up. Either way, the gameplay’s presentation is to put it, unacceptable.
The graphical presentation also lacks with bells and whistles. Instead of having shiny surfaces covered in high gloss, 20XX mixes brown and grey tones to produce unattractive sights. There’s average detail in the character models. Detailing in characters could have used a little more then was provided. The special effects when fighting are flashy and expresses the excitement of a samurai’s powerful attacks. The frame rate is also a major concern. When getting in combats with 10 or more creatures, the frame rate drops down to a bullet time effect, and that isn’t good.
There is no multiplayer supported , and the developers probably could have done some good by adding a co-op mode that would allow each player to help each other, but there simply isn’t one.
The sound is pretty average. The voice-overs often express the situation you’re in, and sound professional. There is a soundtrack compiled of various artists that help complete the feeling of the situation - but the selection isn’t the greatest, as almost every song is based of one another.
Whether you are a fan or not, Seven Samurai 20XX will surely not satisfy your tastes. Too many aspects about this game is hardly acceptable. I was expecting much more of this title, as it has an interesting storyline, but sadly, Seven Samurai 20XX is bogged down by the unacceptable mistakes.