Genji Days of the Blade
Genji: Days of the Blade is the sequel to
the PlayStation 2’s Genji: Dawn of the Samurai that has received a
next-generation overhaul in terms of graphics and gameplay. Combining
elements of the hack ‘n slash, strategy and puzzle genres, Genji: Days
of the Blade is your classic Japanese arcade game that borrows heavily
on Japanese legend to make this a fresh instalment of the next segment
of the Genji myth.
story begins exactly three year after the end of the previous instalment
and the peace that was achieved by our three heroes is unfortunately
broken and once again Yoshitsune and Benkei are called to act in order
to save the world of man from a nefarious darkness. The developers have
also added two new playable characters to assist your heroes and also
spice up the gameplay of the title, ensuring that the gamer doesn’t
become too board with the same two characters.
gameplay of Genji nicely melds with the detailed 3D characters and
environments which really draws the player into this rich and detailed
universe with its Japanese themes. The finely-crafted and
richly-animated playable characters, the armored-up soldiers and
mythological creatures, Asian-influenced scenery and soundtrack
pump you up for some enlightening gameplay. Although the majority of
gameplay is hack ‘n slash, there are a few puzzles that must be solved
and you need to switch between the four playable characters in order to
solve certain objectives.
What really throws a spanner in the works with
the richly detailed background environments are the frustrating fixed
camera angles which is great for showcasing the marvellous graphics,
however when you are fighting a plethora of enemies all at once, it does
make for some annoying gameplay. Quite often you’re fighting off-screen
enemies or running into unseen walls when trying to head in the
direction of the camera or around a corner where the camera is slow to
shift. Other times, the angle shifts abruptly and disorients your
Another thing about Genji are the missions and objectives which does not
give the gamer any clear direction and sometimes you are wandering
aimless throughout the levels searching for clues and places to go. This
also means that you sometimes have to backtrack and to compound the
situation, enemies sometimes re-spawn. However even with these gripes,
the game is still entertainingly frustratingly fun and you really get
addicted the fast paced gameplay, especially the battles.
controls of Genji are pefect on the PS3 controller and even
inexperienced gamers will have no issues picking up the controller and
being thrown straight into the crux of things. Each of the characters
have their own weapons and special moves with Yoshitsune wielding a pair
of katana blades, Benkei a giganctic war club and Lady Shizuka with her
two chained blades.
The characters also have a primary and secondary
weapon which can be rotated with just a click of the shoulder button.
When interacting with the gaming environment, Yoshitsune can run across
walls and Shizuka can use her weapons to cross dangerous obstacles by
using it as a grappling hook. Each warrior also has predictable
strengths and weaknesses. For example, while Benkei is able to kill a
large group of Heishi enemies by rotating his war club, he’s slow to
execute this move. Shizuka is quicker than Benkei, but not as strong.
Each character has a variety of different attacks which range from
fast attacks to slow special manoeuvres which are quite deadly. Switching
between characters is just a simple press of the D-pad, a pause and
presto, a new character has appeared. Needless to say, each character is
quite diverse and I had equal fun playing all the characters. The
developers have also implemented the SixAxis controller that allows you
to move the controller in any direction to perform an evasive flip in
that direction which is great for those tricky obstacles in the game.
from fighting your way through a plethora of possessed samurai’s, you
are also awarded experience points that can be used to upgrade your
characters skills and even weapons. This small aspect of RPG elements is
perfect for the title and really helps immerse you into the lives of
these computer-generated characters.
Graphically, Genji: Days of the Blade is one of the most impressive
launch titles on the PlayStation 3 which feature state-of-the-art
graphics, amazing detailed character designs and beautiful background
environments. Each character moves with a realism and real-world grace
and in order to truly experience this title, however you really need a high
definition TV to see the attention to detail. From special effects to
the background ambience, Genji is a first class experience from start to
finish. The only drawback to the graphics are the fixed camera angles
and sometimes slow load times.
soundtrack features a Japanese based theme with its chants and deep
guttural sounds that fits the genre perfectly. Match that with some
great sound effects and sometimes overthetop voice acting and you have a
match made in gaming heaven. Both the music and audio goes hand in hand
with the graphics and gameplay.
conclusion, Genji: Days of the Blade is definitely my favourite launch
title from Sony that contains extraordinary graphics, addictive gameplay
and majestic graphics. Unfortunately the title sticks to the old school
rule of fixed camera angles and fixed saved points (fortunately you can
also be healed on these save points) that does hamper the gameplay but
once again, it’s a great experience from start to finish.