A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Messages of war and violence can never be very positive, but it should be noted that in this game players are on the 'good' side and trying to take out an antagonistic force rather than the other way around. Allied characters provide camaraderie and encouraging dialogue.
Positive Role Models
All of the important characters in this game are warriors, and, as such, encourage a life of combat and killing. However, they wage war with the intent of honoring and doing what is right for Japan. Players are surrounded by brave, energetic allies.
Ease of Play
This game involves constant and frenetic action that requires focus, strategy, and skill. This is not a game that a novice player would likely be able to pick up and finish easily. Some of the boss enemies can be very difficult to defeat. The controls are fairly easy to grasp right away, but the task of taking on legions of enemies with only a limited amount of breaks or status healers is not one to be taken lightly.
Violence & Scariness
Players encounter droves of human enemy soldiers at almost every turn in this dash-and-slash game, which involves swords, spears, and other melee weapons. Large groups of enemies can be sent flying backwards from player attacks. They fall to the ground and vanish when defeated. There is no blood.
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Characters occasionally use the words "damn" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dialogue contains references to drinking sake, but it's in the context of celebration and good cheer rather than glorifying drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Samurai Warriors Chronicles is a hack-and-slash adventure game. The main objective is to run around battlefields and take out as many enemies as possible. Players are scored based on how many opposing soldiers they kill. However, it's a very impersonal experience and there are never any close-up or slow-motion effects. It's an adventure based on the historical era of Feudal Japan, in which the entire country was at war. The majority of play consists of violent acts, but with the historical context and mitigating visual presentation it doesn't come off as egregious. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.
Is It Any Good?
Samurai Warriors Chronicles is the latest in the very long-running Samurai Warriors series. Unfortunately, as the first entry on 3DS, it doesn't satisfy. The graphics are low quality, and the 3D effects are not nearly as eye-popping as some of the other 3DS launch titles. It feels as though the developer may have taken content from DS versions of the series and transferred it over to the 3DS rather than creating something from the ground up. There's a lot to explore and the franchise's challenging gameplay is intact. Unfortunately, it falls short in its presentation.
Online interaction: While players cannot chat with anyone else online, they can enter the 3DS's StreetPass Mode to form a team of characters that are automatically imported from other players' game cards.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.