Genji: Days of the BladeESRB:
Category: Action Games
Developer – Game Republic
Publisher - Sony Computer Entertainment
12 MB required Hard Disk space
720p video support
Genji: Days of the Blade is the follow up Game to 2005's Genji: Dawn of the samurai for the PS2. The latter title showcased Genji and Benkei, two ancient warriors going against the Heishi Clan. Unlike the PS2 version, the PS3 version has Yoshitsune and Benkei getting two new allies. The first is the High Pristess Lady Shizuka, who uses a chakhram with a rope attached to it that can also be used as a grappling hook. The second new ally is the Demon Lord Buson who uses a two headed spear for both defense and for carving up enemies. All the main heroes go against the Heishi Clan once again gut this time they brought back some demonic powers
The graphics in Genji: Days of the Blade are quite good and they show that the PS3 is capable of rendering rich backgrounds that leave you in awe. Boss battles look good too as they are well animated, well crafted and they are amazingly detailed. The amount of enemies on screen is also really crazy and I was amazed with how clean everything looked, even when all of the on-screen action got crazy and everyone was getting wild with their various attacks. Genji really shows what the PS3 can do in an awesome way and this is definitely an early indicator of why shelling out so much money for the machine is worth it. Overall one can’t be disappointed with how the visuals stack up for a game that was done to launch with brand new hardware.
The sound in Genji is also pretty good as it gives you the feeling that your in feudal Japan with Yoshitune and company slugging it out against the Heishi Clan. Sure, it not emotion endusing, nor is it the most memorable, but the atmosphere of Japan is conveyed with a very good orchestra soundtrack. I do have to comment that it does tend to get repetitive if your not a big fan of this type of music. But it is my belief that those who will want this game will know what to expect from the soundtrack for a game with huge samurai battles. The weapon slashes and the sounds both the character and the enemies make when they get hit sounds like there in real pain. I really enjoyed the clangs of the swords and the screams of on-screen enemies when they felt my wrath. Overall I would say that Genji does a pretty good job of wrapping up the whold audio package. Should you be lucky and enjoy this through a surround sound system, the sound only gets better as every speaker will get a good workout and pull you further into the games levels.
This is an area where Genji falls somewhat short of expectations. The camera is always at a fixed position so if you get in a bad situation where there are tons of enemies or you need to see up ahead or behind you there is no way to do so in this game. Genji also feels like a big hack and slash game, and it pretty much is. There are some points to break up the monotonous gameplay of slashing the numerous enemies you face. You can go into a special attack mode or "kamui" mode where you are able to do button combinations to take down your foes without the fear of getting hurt. This is a somewhat important feature because once one character dies the game ends even if the other characters you have are at full health. This added to some frustration now and then. I would have liked to see a feature where if one of my party died, then I would have to battle through with one less player. It would have made the game that much more frantic, especially when I would get down to one character only. Hopefully next time around they consider something like this.
The new feature to the PS3 is the SIXAXIS controller support. I felt that this was somewhat was rushed and poorly used in Genji: Days of the Blade. You can tilt the contoller in any direction and your on-screen character will move in the corresponding direction. This could have been useful if they used this for dodging while freeing up the right stick for camera movement. However this was not the case as the SIXAXIS support was just used to move in the corresponding direction and really made no sense at all. Should have they taken sometime to really implement the SIXAXIS support for something new and creative it would have made the game somewhat more enjoyable.
Genji: Days of the Blade for the ps3 is a good showcase of the PS3’s graphical ability but the controls felt too rushed and made very little use of the new features of the SIXAXIS controller. The in-game audio is a nice addition to the game. If you are looking for a hack and slash game set in a feudal Japan the this PS3 title is definitely worth considering, as there is nothing else like it at this time.