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whatshot Genji Days of the Blade PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 9.0
Sound 8.5
Value 8.5
Distributor: Sony
Review Date:
May 2007
Andrew B


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. 


  • Twice the Content, Twice the Action – Over 15 hours of gameplay continuing the story of Yoshitsune and based on the historical battle between the Genji Clan and the Heishi Clan

  • Swap between Four Playable Characters, At Any time – Take advantage of each of the four characters’ unique fighting style or unleash devastating team-based fighting combos by interchanging characters between attacks

  • Exquisite Combat - Gracefully articulated swordplay captured by Mitsuhiko Seike, Japan's finest sword fighter, provides the heart and soul of intense authentic action.

  • Massive Battles – Lead Yoshitsune and his men against hundreds of warriors, as you strive to reach, and defeat, the enemy warlord in epic battle sequences based on Japanese history.

  • Beautifully Detailed Battlegrounds – From shimmering details of the great naval battle of Dannoura to epic monumental horseback encounters at Ichinotani, Genji 2 truly harnesses the power of PLAYSTATION 3 to deliver next-generation visuals.

The 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.  

The 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 movement.  

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.  

The 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.  

Apart 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. 

The 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.  

In 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.


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