Let’s get this out of the way now. This game bears no resemblance to the “Seven Samurai” movie. More than enough reviewers have spent more than enough words thrashing the fact that this game has ignored the license its name bears, but let’s be reasonable, what games really stick to their licenses these days without being really boring? And frankly, I don’t see why it’s so necessary for this game in particular to stick to a movie’s storyline, no matter how good the movie was. Let’s just let this game stand on its own as a generic button-mashing adventure.
Sorry folks, but that’s what you’ll get with Seven Samurai 20xx: a futuristic button masher. If you’re looking for depth, well, you can forget it here. If you like a “Bad Dudes” type beat ‘em up, you’ll probably be quite happy with this game. There’s actually so little to this game, this will probably be one of DailyGame’s shortest reviews ever.
The storyline is pretty basic; you’re playing the role of a lone Samurai named Natoe as he tries to save his human friends from evil humanoid robots. Along the way, you meet other Samurai characters who only fight in the CGI sequences. At no point in this game do you get help from these NPCs. Instead, they taunt and tease you, show you how they’d fight off the bad guys and then leave you to go from room to room, shredding robots by the basketful.
The controls and gameplay are about as simplistic as it gets. You walk into a room, Natoe shouts out “Perish” (boy, this gets old fast) and you face off against waves of humanoids. You start smashing the attack button and the melee begins. It takes very little effort to work your way through these roomfuls of baddies, and if you just let your magic force charge up, you can deal swift and final punishment in just a few seconds to dozens of robots at once. The magic force power, which is a powerful two-sword attack, is far too unbalanced. It’s so powerful; I was able to get through the first 50% of the game in no time flat, while suffering almost zero damage to myself.
Seven Samurai 20xx is so linear, they might as well have just transported you from room to room instead of having you walk between them. The linearity of 20xx turns it into a 3D dungeon crawler at best. Events go like this: enter room, fight baddies, watch a CGI sequence, enter next room, fight, watch CGI. On rare occasions you might find an NPC to talk to, but it’s not necessary to interact with them, nor does it expand the story in any way.
Visually, this isn’t a bad game by any stretch. The character models are creative and the environments can be impressive at times. During combat, the action keeps up at a frantic pace, with Natoe swinging and slashing at full bore as robot parts fly everywhere. There are also a few time slow sequences that enhance the combat action. It’s no Prince of Persia, but as a whole, Seven Samurai 20xx manages to slip just past average in the visual department.
The above average visuals are partnered with an average soundscape. The voice acting is good, but the rest of the aural palette is dull and repetitive. The soundtrack isn’t too bad, but the focus on frantic action means you won’t spend much time listening to the music.
If you like a beat ‘em up style title, Seven Samurai 20xx is a good rental. I wouldn’t recommend buying it because it’s just too darned easy. Anyone could finish this in less than a day of play, and most of the time would be spend getting some ice for a very sore thumb. It’s a shame they didn’t put more depth into 20xx, as it had the makings of a good game, but nothing got fleshed out enough to take it above the level of average button masher.
- Gameplay: 6
- Graphics: 6.5
- Sound: 5
- Replay: 6
- Overall: 6.2
- Too easy and over too quickly to be more than a rental.
— Craig Falstaff