Gaming Reviews

Published on October 13th, 2017 | by Michael Newman


Samurai Riot

As a child of the 80’s I spent a bulk of my time (and my allowance) at the local arcade or nearest pizza parlor playing an assortment of video games.  Nothing seemed to pass the time, or eat your quarters, like a good co-op style beat ‘em up.  Whether fighting your way through numerous gang members to rescue your girl in Double Dragon, or taking on one of the four personas in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you could always be sure that there would never be a lack of enemies to beat up, or end bosses to master.

Samurai Riot, is a 2D cooperative beat ‘em up arcade game by Wako Factory.  The game has you, and a friend if you choose, select between either Tsurumaro a devoted, if a bit naïve, samurai driven by honor or Sukane, an agile ninja fighter with her kitsume, Azu, a magical creature that looks a lot like a fox.

You start the game by selecting the difficulty (from easy to hard) and the discipline that your character will possess.  Each discipline effects one of four attributes, fury, agility, health and strength, which gives a bit of variety depending on your play style.  Each character plays nearly identical to the other, distinguished mainly by their special ability and speed of attack.  Where Tsurumaro has bombs that he can throw at his opponents, Sukane utilizes Azu to tie up and then take down her opponents.  Other attack moves are your standard weapon attacks, jumps and kicks that you would find in similar style games.

Throughout the game the players will be provided with “moral” choices that they must make.  Do they side with the rebellion who’s claim is to free the people from the powerful warlord, or do they stick to their honor and continue to serve their oppressive master?    The player(s) choices effect how the story progresses and ultimately one of the many different endings that are available.

Graphically, the game is beautiful, far prettier than arcade games of the 80’s.  The enemies are fairly diverse, although much like beat ‘em ups of old, you’ll likely be fighting enemies that look nearly identical, but are wearing different color clothing, and have slightly different attack styles.  The action is fast and furious, and the movement very fluid, no sluggish or delayed controls here.

The game itself, is fairly short and took only an hour from start to finish.  There are various options that increase replayability such as choosing a different character, different discipline, or different story choices as the game progresses.  You are given three lives in the beginning of each level, with the opportunity to earn more as you play your way through.  If at any point you lose all your lives, the game ends and you have to start over from the beginning.  While this may seem a bit harsh, with no save points or options to continue, it does give a sense of tension and satisfaction when you pass the level.

The ultimate question of course is should you buy it?  At 15 dollars it’s a good deal for fans of beat ‘em ups, looking for a bit of nostalgia from their 80’s hay-day.  It probably would have cost that to beat the game using quarters, and here you get to keep the game.  It’s fast and furious fun, easy to complete solo, but much more fun with a friend.

What I like : Art Style, Fast/Fun beat em’ up reminiscent of Double Dragon or TMNT in the arcades, No quarters required

What I liked Less:  Short

Score 4 out of 5 stars

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