Samurai Warriors: Katana Hands-On

Armed with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk, we face the never-ending hordes of enemies in Koei's Wii combat game.

Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk as weapons seems like one of the most obvious uses of the system's unique control scheme. However, there haven't been too many games that have gotten it right yet, in part because no matter what weapon you wielded, they all felt the same in execution. Koei is looking to change that with the upcoming release of Samurai Warriors: Katana for the Nintendo Wii. We had a chance to try the game out for the first time at a recent Koei press event to get a feel for how this first-person combat game is coming together.

Wield your Wii Remote and Nuchcuk as you face the endless hordes in Samurai Warriors: Katana.

Samurai Warriors: Katana will feature eight different weapon types, which are split into short- or long-ranged subcategories. The short-ranged weapons include katana, spear, hammer and yo-yo; while the long-ranged weapons include the rifle, bow and arrow, cannon, and boomerang. In addition, as you progress through the game, you can purchase upgraded versions of each of these weapons that will perform more powerful attacks. Before you enter battle, you can choose one short-ranged weapon and one long-ranged weapon to carry with you. Each weapon can be accessed at any time as you make your way through the level simply by pushing the A or B button on the Wii Remote.

In true Samurai Warriors fashion, the game comprises various missions that will have you fighting hundreds of enemies. As your foes approach, they will have small illuminated circles on them. If the circle is red, it means they are within reach of your short-ranged weapons; if the circle is blue, you'll need to use your long-range weapons to attack them. Once you start taking on enemies, you can attack individual enemies simply by pointing your Wii Remote and pressing the appropriate button for your weapons. Or you can attack multiple foes at once using weapon-specific moves with your Wii Remote. For example, using the katana, you can slash vertically, diagonally, or horizontally to attack groups of enemies. When armed with a spear, you poke at your enemies or swipe the Wii Remote from side to side. The most interesting short-range weapon is the yo-yo, which you can whip in any direction in a flurry of deadly force.

Long-ranged weapons, such as the rifle or bow and arrow, are simple. You simply point and shoot to take down one enemy at a time. The cannon, on the other hand, has deadly splash damage that can impact surrounding enemies. However, we had the most fun with the boomerang, which you can whip at foes with a flicking motion of the Wii Remote (while holding down the B button). Not only will the boomerang hit foes on its way out, it will also take out a few bad guys on its return trip back to your hand. Each of the weapons in the game will also feature a special "musou" attack. Once you've built up enough musou energy, indicated by a gauge in the lower part of the screen, you can shake the Nunchuk to activate the attack then move your Wii Remote as indicated onscreen to really lay down the pain on your foes.

Other fun uses for the Wii controllers include riding a horse (where you control the reigns and direction of your horse by turning the Wii Remote then use the Nunchuk as a whip) or running on foot (where you'll need to shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk vigorously to simulate the motion of your arms as you run).

When you're not vanquishing foes, you'll be running for your life.

Samurai Warriors: Katana will feature three game modes. Scenario mode has you playing as a samurai general through multiple chapters, each with five scenarios to beat. It's here that you'll earn the different weapons available in the game, as well as unlock new missions and games in both challenge and competition mode. Challenge mode give you a chance to earn money by completing missions, which you can then use to purchase new weapons and items that can be used on the battlefield (such as health or musou-replenishing items). Competition mode is the game's collection of minigames; there are eight minigames to play, and your performance on each will be saved to your Mii profile.

At its heart, Samurai Warriors: Katana is true to the series' roots, with the player facing an unending horde of enemies in a feudal Japanese setting. The first-person view and interesting control scheme of the Wii-controlled weapons looks to add a new layer of fun to the experience. From the looks of things, the game is heading in the right direction. It's due for release in the first quarter of 2008, and we'll be bringing you more on the game in the coming months.

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Discussion

44 comments
fremefreak
fremefreak

hopefully the samurai's on this game arnt like the ones on redsteel, the ones on redsteel was like fighting an 8 year old

bladeswinger77
bladeswinger77

this looks like a pretty good sword slasher game, like red steel without all the shooting....and that the game is in the past....and your actually a professional with a sword :D either way, im excited for this game

ZodiacMonkey
ZodiacMonkey

I'm sure this game will be fun for anyone who likes the Wii, which of course I do, looking forward to it!

1born2play
1born2play

this game look cool.i wish i had ma own wii

elpokemon
elpokemon

interesting, i really hope this game comes trough...

Fang_lord
Fang_lord

this looks pretty cool, the katana controls look similar to red steel, and imo rs was very indepth for the sword combat, i dont see how most people dont like it, its good.

chuamishael
chuamishael

This game has potential, but they have to remodel the graphics, more on cell shading, like the dragon ball z tenkaichi

Howdy704
Howdy704

its the one of the first game that the WII remote has done other than point and click. Looks like it will be a bit buggy RENT IT first

webbut
webbut

Owning a wii is like owning a little arcade, i wish they had worked that much control over your sword in games like red steel and Zelda. I think this will be a great game if they can get multi player down well

DeD_Li
DeD_Li

Wow, this game actually looks extremely horrible. It got old before the trailer was even finished. Honestly, how many times can you swing a wii-mote at a group of guys and hear the same sound effects, watch them all fall down, and think to yourself "oh man, that' so cool!"

sasafetch
sasafetch

After seeing the trailer, I have to say...I'm pretty stoked about this game.

murrayblake
murrayblake

This looks like it has the potential to be a good game. I'm also skeptical because if the katana controls like the sword in Red Steel, that could be bad news.

kappareign
kappareign

man i watched the trailer for this and i was like WOAH... looks really fun

Peaches1347
Peaches1347

nice i like dynasty and samurai warrior games on the xbox and PS2 so this should be even better

fight66
fight66

I can't wait for this, more samurai action in the feudal era of Japan (best era in my opinion.) Even better it's on the Wii.

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

I am excited but skepticle about this one. I still want a dynasty warrior game for the Wii

FlaminDeath
FlaminDeath

i just want 1 close combat game before no more heros and ssbb

tukkertje1992
tukkertje1992

I think it would be a very nice game, but the graphics on the pictures weren't so good. espesially the 2e, That looks like a playstation 1 game.

TheGremp
TheGremp

this is something to look into, I'll probably get this

-Nintendodude-
-Nintendodude-

I hope this sword game is beter then red steel. But From here It looks great. I wanna slash things in half with my wii mote!

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

I can't wait ... let's wait for the japan review first!

RomisSandthief
RomisSandthief

What about story? Are the controls going to be sufficient to make the game fun? And Like Red Steel, will the remote be responsive enough at all times to make it work? All questions that will need to be answered.

Questlove711
Questlove711

Ugh, this game looks terrible. When will Koei make another good game!!??

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Yeah this look like it'd be really good if it's given enough depth and they manage to get the controls spot on.

jimmyhat999
jimmyhat999

so do you actually walk round the batle field yourself or is it like a messed up time crisis???? still looks kinda cool and im a fan of the whole dynasty and samurai series so i might buy it.

neo111222333
neo111222333

the game looks cool.......but i probably rent b4 i buy.......it looks too easy to beat even for a rail gun game (which im a fan of)

neo111222333
neo111222333

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

neo111222333
neo111222333

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

MacBretagne
MacBretagne

Yeah dont you kill people with your yo-yo?

nintendog66
nintendog66

If they do the controls right then I'll be buying this game regardless of how it looks.

Dualmask
Dualmask

Somebody needs to get these motion controls right sooner or later. Hopefully this game will, and it will start a trend of developers paying more attention to what they're doing with the Wii Remote. Otherwise, however unintentional, it'll lead to unwarranted sabotage of the Wii's innovative qualities.

KorwinAU
KorwinAU

Thats a visual catasrophe.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

Nice but still no improvement in grphx like the same problem as X360

XblindwandererX
XblindwandererX

The graphics may not look impressive compared to other games, but it's definitely not N64 graphics.

icarus212001
icarus212001

if they up the graphics it'd be even better! (i'm not big on graphics but the Wii doesnt need another game looking like the N64)

DSgamer64
DSgamer64

I hope this is good. I am more interested in Dragon Quest Swords myself because Square Enix has a good track record of making solid games. The problem I have with these first person games is that they are so much like arcade games which have fairly shallow gameplay and lack a lot of depth. The fun factor is what would make these types of games better though instead of just a mindless hack and slash type of game.

billysea
billysea

The preview is surprisingly positive. At first I thought it will be a quick cash in, but it seems to be better than I thought.

somebum1
somebum1

koei is really rethinking the genre of their games i think, they look a lot better than just the updated versions of the previous games

Zguntype0
Zguntype0

Can't go wrong with dynasty warrior or Samuria Warriors, and seeing how they are adding a lot more to this it seems really cool, it may actually get a decent reivew from people besides those who love the Warriors games.

sword_of_swords
sword_of_swords

First! This game looks like it going to be sweet! I've always been sucker for Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors no matter how similar all the games are to each other...