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%% Second Half of a Second Samurai                     By: Katie Nelson     %%
%% From Psygnosis				       knelson@bbs.xnet.com %%
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 I know I said that the second half of the Second Samurai review would be out 
 much sooner, but unfortunately, preparing for the next school year and such
 has interfered.  Well, here it is, with no more excuses.
 
 Well, in the first half of the review, I commented on the okay sound to the 
 less-than-okay graphics.  I forgot to mention that there is an AGA version
 available, which I have not yet seen, so the graphics may very well be
 improved in that version.
 
 This second half of the review centers on the style of play of Second Samurai.
 Perhaps the greatest feature is the ability to switch between an array of
 weapon types -- the traditional samurai sword, bombs of various sorts, and
 daggers.  Each has its own range, and therefore each is appropriate at
 different times.  This lends at least a small element of strategy, which seems
 to be lacking in many (most) platformers.  Unfortunately, the method to switch
 weapons involves the keyboard, and therefore may be distracting to those who
 have enough problems coordinating a joystick.  I've found that the best
 solution is to sit back on the couch and control the keyboard by foot.  :)
 
 I have noticed (through many many many deaths...) that this game is intended
 for those with better reflexes and greater landing precision than I.  (Though
 I managed to muddle through it eventually... thank God for passwords!) 
 Perhaps my greatest pet peeve would be the narrow collapsible floors, where if
 you stand on them for too long, you plummet to your death with no chance for
 redemption.  It seems like even the SLIGHTEST pause causes you to fall to your
 doom, but it could be that I was just getting too tense.  For those who like
 that nerve-wracking sort of thing or who are more talented than I am, it
 shouldn't be a problem, and will add to the enjoyment.
 
 The "bosses" (because every platform must have them) in this game could use a 
 bit of improvement for a hypothetical Third Samurai.  Their movements are very
 very very repetitive.  Not only repetitive for each boss, but (almost) all of
 them seem to share the same general movements:  "Bounce either the entire body
 or just the arms back and forth across the screen."  After a while, it gets
 easy for even me to dodge being crushed.
 
 About the last boss... He's rather demented.  Although he looks (and at first
 acts) surprisingly a lot like a large plant that you'll see earlier in the
 game, he is far far far more disgusting.  This part of the game isn't
 something you'd want to show a psychiatrist.  First off, in a Monty
 Python-esque vein, you end up removing the arms of the great beast, leaving
 squirts of blood emenating from his stumps for a short time.  This is followed
 by fighting off the raw maggots he ate for lunch, and punching out some
 eyeballs.  Not to say I didn't find it amusing, though.
 
 So who would like it?  Fans of Shinobi.  Those that must have every platform. 
 And those who don't care too much about graphics (at least in the ECS
 version), who just want good gameplay.
 
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 TIPS:
 
 Some of the most troublesome enemies shoot white and blue balls of lightning
 at you.  Your own weapons don't seem to help, so you have to fight ... well
 ... lightning with lightning.
 
 The brown flying blowfish-looking things are filled with water, and seem to
 only be around where there's a fire in your way.
 
 Watch for the propeller-looking contraptions.  Mechanical flight is better
 than none at all.