Samurai Beatdown Review—Out of Tune
I have to apologize for the delay of the launch title reviews. I had to wait for Sony’s six-week PlayStation Mobile promo to expire before I could review the games so that there wouldn’t be duplicates in our two review accounts as well as our own personal accounts. Honestly, PlayStation Mobile titles are priced out of the market; a free game is a free game, and it would ease up on our review accounts’ funds if we could play the games for review without having to pay for them. We are not begging the developers to give us free copies, but just simmer down on the prices, geez.
All right, we have here Samurai Beatdown, which supposedly our regular site visitor Takao volunteered to review, but since he had problems with his Wi-Fi and PlayStation Mobile’s unpredictable security checks, he couldn’t proceed in doing so. So I picked up the game and played it. I’ve been hearing (more like seeing) good things about this all over the Internet. I don’t get the praise, or maybe I have different tastes compared to the majority, but for me, Samurai Beatdown is one of the more mediocre PlayStation Mobile launch games. I am glad I got it for free.
I give Beatnik Games credit for having appealing graphics; the animations are fluid albeit limited, the art is detailed, and the music is pretty good. The gameplay, however, is the downer. It gets boring quick. Samurai Beatdown is a rhythm game, but it is vastly inferior to the other PlayStation Mobile launch rhythm game, Frederic – Resurrection of Music. Granted, they are very different games in a sense, Frederic being a pure rhythm game and Samurai Beatdown being a hybrid arcade-combat-rhythm game which doesn’t excel in rhythm, arcade, or combat mechanics.
Samurai Beatdown is like a runner game in the vein of Canabalt. Instead of jumping over pits and drums, though, you are slashing enemies that block your way or sneak up behind your back. The game disguises itself as being a rhythm game in which you have to precisely attack the enemies in time with the tunes. But this is never fully realized.
The game holds your hand by highlighting the enemies in white at the moment when you should tap the screen on that enemy’s side. True, the beat does coincide with the highlight, but you can always just time it perfectly without the help of the beat. The gameplay itself is rather limited, with just timing your tap on either side. There is a “super attack,” but it’s nothing really special. There is a chain-based score multiplier, but you can basically chain everything up without problems. You can also time your attacks slightly early, and though you will be graded with “Poor,” it doesn’t give you any form of punishment whatsoever. I don’t mean by the score, but at least the game should have other implementations to further give challenge to the players.
Samurai Beatdown is laughably easy, and you can blaze your way through the five levels without much challenge. Rhythm game fans will surely be disappointed with the shallow gameplay. As a freebie, though, it is a nice distraction once in a while.