TOKYO--With a little imagination, the Nintendo Wii's Remote controller can be almost anything. Take Koei's upcoming Samurai Warriors: Katana, for example, which makes use of the Wii Remote as a substitute for everything from a samurai sword to a portable cannon. During our trip around the Koei booth at the 2007 Tokyo Game Show, we spent a fun few minutes with Katana to see how this first-person, weapons-based action game has been shaping up since our last look.
The demo on hand at the show featured a brief level that served as a good introduction to how players will be dealing with the hordes of foes they'll face in the game. The controls are simple. You have two assigned weapons in the game--in the TGS demo it was a sword and a rifle. For close attacks, you press the A button and move the Wii Remote to simulate a slashing motion, and for ranged attacks with the rifle, you point the onscreen reticle with the Wii Remote and press the B button to fire. The system is simple enough that you can take down groups of enemies with relative ease by combining ranged and close attacks. One technique we figured out early was to hit an enemy with a quick blast of the rifle, and then immediately follow up with a slash of the sword, creating a quick one-two punch that was very effective.
Just before the brief demo ended, we got to take part in a boss battle that pitted us against an ugly general wielding a long spear. While all enemies have a central point that you need to aim for (indicated by a large icon in the center of their chest), the general was adept at blocking shots from our sword and rifle. The trick was to catch him off-guard; when he lunged in for an attack we would block the blow by pressing the Z button on the Nunchuk controller. From there, the icon on the general would become larger temporarily, giving us an ideal chance to swoop in with a swipe of the sword or a rifle blast. Once we got the timing down, it was more or less a breeze to take him down.
With the general defeated, the demo level of Katana was over. We're looking forward to seeing more of the game in the near future, playing with the different weapons in the game (which includes everything from boomerangs to deadly yo-yos and checking out the different weapon-specific special attacks, all of which require specialized movements of the Wii Remote to accomplish. Stay tuned for more coverage on the game in the near future.