SAMURAI WARRIORS 4-II
By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on October 15, 2015
Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have released a new entry in their "Warriors" series, called Samurai Warriors 4-II. Samurai Warriors 4-II is a hero-focused saga that casts a spotlight on the Samurai that shaped the Sengoku era and tells their stories through 13 new chapters.
Unlike the previous Samurai Warriors games that focused on delivering their narrative by exploring the various regions of feudal Japan, Samurai Warriors 4-II casts a spotlight on the characters themselves and tells their stories through 13 new chapters. These chapters revolve around nine characters introduced in Samurai Warriors 4 (including Naomasa Ii as a playable character for the very first time), three fan-favorites from previous titles and a brand new addition to the samurai roster.
The 13 chapters of Samurai Warriors 4-II are: Clash of Wills, Trials of Trust, Sparks of Rebellion, Love and Fear, Visions of Hope, Friends and Rivals, Signs of Greatness, Duty and Respect, Wisdom and Grace, Bonds of Fealty, Pledges of Honor, Tides of Fate and last but not least Women of War. All of these chapters feature stages which can be unlocked within Story Mode and played in Free Mode, in Free Mode you can use any character you care to choose. You can also play both Story Mode and Free Mode together with another player, both online or offline, although you will be unable to use the character switching feature, found in the single player game. I played quite a lot of the offline coop mode; for all the story mode chapters my beloved girlfriend joined me in battle, only to ride horses, mash the square button and exclusively play as a female warrior.
In 2 of the 13 chapters you can unlock an extra special costume for 2 of the heroines, in "Women of War" you can unlock a new costume for Gracia and in "Love and Fear" you can unlock a special costume for Koshosho these can later be used in free mode.
Samurai Warriors 4-II features many new and improved features as the battle, action and character development systems have been revamped. Both weapons and mounts in Samurai Warriors 4-II have ranks and levels; players can combine similar type weapons or mounts to upgrade their level and abilities. Combining high rank and level weapons or mounts with the same elemental attribute could result in a "Compatibility Bonus" that enables breaks through the maximum level cap and bestows it with new abilities! Your upgrades are divided into three main sections:
Your character can use Strategy Tomes to learn new skills that provide them with various advantages in battle. Learning a skill requires that your character be of a certain level and also know other adjacent Skills on the Skill Tree, which makes the unique layouts of the Skill Tree for each character an important factor to keep in mind.
Weapons have ranks and levels; you can combine similar weapons to upgrade their level and abilities. By combining weapons with the same elemental attribute, you can earn a "Compatibility Bonus" that enables the weapon to break through its current maximum level and also bestow it with new abilities. Using weapons of a high rank and level to perform an upgrade will improve your chances of earning a Compatibility Bonus.
Similar to weapons, the horses used as mounts also have ranks and levels, and can be upgraded by combining them. Combining mounts of the same type can earn you a "Compatibility Bonus" that enables the mount to break through its current maximum level and also bestow it with new abilities.
When you go into battle, you'll follow the same kind of pattern featured in almost all previous Warriors games: fight huge waves of enemies, take out the officers, adapt to objectives you're given and progress to the next stage. The game starts off relatively challenging, and with every new stage the difficulty rises to eventually reach almost impossible levels. For the most part of the game I played together with my girlfriend who loved riding the horses and mashing the square button, so after a few stages and some losses we decided to change the difficulty to easy so she and eventually we could enjoy the game more. Samurai Warriors 4-II is a hack-and-slash in every way but, mashing square button for half an hour just won't cut it! There is still some sort of challenge in mastering the seemingly simple game mechanics.
During battles, you'll be able to make use of quite a few of these mechanics. You can either use Normal power attacks or hyper attacks, and combine these into combo's. You'll have to learn these combo's well, because while some may be more worthwhile to use in certain combat scenarios than others, they all have their merits. The Musou attacks are your ultimate weapon and can dispose of a huge group of enemies with a simple press of a button. Use these well and you can even boost them with rage mode.
The best new addition in Samurai Warriors 4-II is the new Survival mode; a never-ending castle that has you fight your way through seemingly unending hordes enemies, generals and other objectives in a confined space, making sure you clear the entire floor of the castle before being able to progress to the next one. I enjoyed this mode a lot and played it for quite some time, mostly when my girlfriend wasn't at home. Survival mode is rewarding and lets you use the resources gathered to further upgrade your characters.
Samurai Warriors 4-II doesn't reinvent the wheel or anything but it lets you enjoy more of the already successful Warriors formula, with an slightly more intimate story mode and new features. The game is highly enjoyable and, even when your significant other only loves to ride horses, you can have a good time playing the game together.
SAMURAI WARRIORS 4-II
Omega Force & Koei Tecmo
February 11, 2015 (JP)
September 29, 2015 (NA)
October 2, 2015 (EU)