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2D cooperative beat’em up arcade game Samurai Riot hit PC on September 13th. The game is developed and published by Wako Factory and I am lucky enough to review the game.

Samurai Riot tells the story of two samurai warriors who are also rebels. As we play, the story gets more and more complicated and shapes around our choices. Between honor and duty, we will always have to choose. As we decide and move on, the scenario of the game will change and will lead us to one of the eight different endings.

Samurai Riot offers a cooperative mode for gamers who like to enjoy it with friends. Yet, here I am sitting as lonely as the loneliest whale in the world and I am not actually even a whale. Or, am I? Well, guess you will never know. If you choose to play the game in coop, you will play as Sukane the Ninja and Tsurumaru the Samurai. Both of you can choose the same hero if you like. The game gives you that. If you are lonely as I am, you will have to choose one of the heroes.

Under the command of our Great Master, we start a journey to suppress the rebellion in a small village. After we beat the first boss, the game will offer us a moral choice which will shape the game and your character.

Kill, kill, kill. Die, die, die.

At the very beginning of the game, there will be four difficulty modes to choose from. Easy, medium, hard and hardest. After that, you will be able choose one of the heroes after reading the detailed information about them. Finally, you will choose your school which will effect your outfit and stats.

As we expect from a beat’em up game, Samurai Riot offers various attacks, enemies and combos. As we proceed, we will encounter with various enemies like ninjas, sumo wrestlers with huge shields, tortoise-like creatures, soldiers who are carrying spears and even some cool girls equipped with firearms.

In order to beat all of them, you will use different combos and attacks since they all have different fighting styles and endurance. Some will die after one knock out and some will resist much more than others. After you understand their moves, it will be easy to clear the area, yet they will get more and more crowded as you move on.

The game is designed as stages and at the end of every stage, you will encounter a boss. Clearly, they are hard to kill, yet there is something I haven’t mentioned yet. You have the cutest helper in the world. I chose Sukane as my hero and Sukane comes with her tiny fox friend. The fox is a spiritual creature and a great helper when it comes to fighting. Once the bar fills up, you can command the fox to attack and it will turn into a shuriken and knock down some enemies if they are standing on the way. Since it is a 2D game, you may want to check where you are standing before releasing the fox. There are also “Fury Attacks” which will completely devastate your enemies.

Samurai Riot offers a fast and fun combat with various combos which makes the gameplay fluid. You won’t find even one second to get bored. You can smash the things around you like telephone booths and plaques, and drop items like coins, food which will give you some health and even an extra life. Yet, every stage of the game works the same. You start a stage fighting with enemies who are easy to kill. Then you will encounter with some tough guys and finally you will meet the boss. After the boss, a part of the story will be told and you will move to the next stage. Between this final moments, there is nothing but fighting and after a while, it may feel repetitive to some.

Eight different endings? Bring it on!

As I’ve mentioned before, Samurai Riot’s story shaped by your hands. At some points, the game will offer you a screen where there are two options which will affect you, your clan and the world around you. Both of them will have advantages and disadvantages, and it will be hard to make a choice. And after you do, you will know that you’ve made an irreversible decision and changed the balance for good.

Being royal to your clan, to your brother, to your world, to the balance, to the spirits and even to your pet will be in your hands. Yet, what is more important? Is it the fox or the villagers? Do you have the heart to say goodbye to your beloved pet and fighting companion in order to save some villagers? Well, every decision has bad and good effects, so you must always choose wisely.

While playing multiplayer, you can make different choices and in the end, you may even have to face each other. This is, from my point of view, a brilliant idea and one of the most charming features of Samurai Riot.

As you choose and continue, you will also be deciding the way you finish the game. Amongst eight different endings, you will be making your way.

Samurai Riot tells the story through speech bubbles if you are there to listen or read it. I surely recommend you to follow the story since a plot twist is waiting for you somewhere in the game. That is all I can say. My lips are sealed!

From caves to forests!

Every stage of Samurai Riot designed with attention, I must say. Every stage will take you somewhere different like a cave, a bridge, a street and my favorite, a forest. The artwork is charming enough and you can breathe the Japanese air through it.

When it comes to graphics, everything just fits. Nothing more, nothing less. It is clear that designers put lots of effort to the background to create such expressive environment. It will get more and more beautiful once you get to the forest with spider webs and huge trees.

Some boss designs are completely astonishing after the first one or two stages. I highly recommend you to bear the first ones until you get to the more scary and strong ones. You won’t regret it. Every boss has a different fighting style and they have special attacks. For example, the spider lady will throw spider webs to stun you and moves faster than anything in this game.

Japanese music for your ears

When it comes to soundtrack, I think I would prefer something more uplifting since I am killing fifteen guys and a sumo wrestler at the same time while my precious fox is turning into a shuriken. But you will always be accompanied by rather calm tunes while playing the game. Even though it gets lively from time to time, it is more like a sedative to my ears. You may find yourself listening the sound of your kicks and punches more than you listen to the soundtrack. Sound effects are, good, I guess; krş-krş-difdifdif, if you know what I am talking about.

If you like traditional Japanese instrumentals, I think you will enjoy the soundtrack though. If you like these instruments and hip-hop beats both, there is a possibility that you may fall in love with it.

While playing Samurai Riot, I encountered no bugs or glitches. AI may get confused sometimes, specially while this tortoise-like guy is trying to strike you with its shell. Apart from that, I am satisfied with the performance.

Overall, Samurai Riot is a 2D cooperative beat’em up arcade game with a lot to offer. It is not a breakthrough or something totally different, yet it is enjoyable and a great time-killer. With lots of enemies to kill, some of the hardest decisions of your life, great combos, beautifully crafted environment and a plot twist, Samurai Riot is waiting for you on Steam.


Positive
  • Local multiplayer! Better with friends.
  • Hard choices which will shape the story.
  • Eight different endings.
  • Combos!
  • Charming art design.
Negative
  • Soundtracks.
  • You may feel drifting away from the story time to time.
  • AI gets confused sometimes.
  • Single play gets repetitive after some time.

Samurai Riot was reviewed using the Steam key provided by the publisher.

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