Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada Game Poster Image
Engaging historical game focuses heavily on combat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Protecting royalty, preserving country's freedoms limited by constant focus on combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While characters based on real figures from history believe they're defending empire from evil, they kill many thousands of enemies doing it.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.

Violence

Players use swords, spears, bows, explosives to destroy enemies; rival soldiers scream in pain, fall to ground, disappear. No blood, but red splashes sometimes appear.

Sex

Women dressed suggestively, breasts often jiggle in exaggerated fashion.

Language
Consumerism

Based on popular Dynasty WarriorsSamurai Warriors series.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada is a single-player action game with some role-playing elements that takes place in 16th-century feudal Japan. You'll fight thousands of enemy soldiers using a variety of weapons, and while the combat is fast and frenetic, parents should know there's no blood or gore. Women fight alongside men as equals, but be aware many of the female fighters' outfits are revealing, and their breasts jiggle while bouncing around on the battlefield.

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What's it about?

In SAMURAI WARRIORS: SPIRIT OF SANADA, players assume the role of the Sanada Clan, beginning with Masayuki Sanada, a real 16th-century lord during Japan's feudal period. The third-person action game starts in a small village, where you'll interact with townsfolk, accept missions, visit key areas, and train for battle. You'll venture out of the town's borders to fight against enemies on large battlefields. The real-time battles challenge your tactics and reflexes, and you perform tasks for NPCs (nonplayer characters) to earn coins, which then in turn unlock "strategems," powerful abilities unique to each battle. Along with special objectives called "Feats" that give you goodies, you can also find and use upgrades for your weapons and abilities. There are also mini-games, including fishing, a shell game, and more.

Is it any good?

With its fast combat sequences, attractive high-resolution graphics, fluid animation, and great pacing, this is a highly enjoyable, historically relevant action game. Even if you've never played a Samurai Warriors or Dynasty Warriors game before, this Japanese single-player game is just really, really fun. Many games of this kind often feel like the developers give you mundane tasks to accomplish between high-energy battles, but in this case everything between combat is relevant and enjoyable. You'll want to talk to NPCs to perform side quests and build up your Six Coins gauge, so that you can get stratagems to beat enemies and give your party a boost. It all works together, tied together with a story that gives the game purpose (though, admittedly, it can sometimes be a little hard to follow). But sure, it's the prepping for and execution of the combat that will keep you glued to the screen, especially once you master the combos that sends enemies flying into the air. But there are a couple of minor issues, like slowing down the on-screen play whenever there's a lot of action all at once. Additionally, you may sometimes think you're unfairly ambushed and will need to repeat the level to beat it, which can frustrate you. But overall, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada feels, looks, and plays like a great action game, especially for fans of this genre.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada. Is the violence justified because it mirrors history? Since ancient Japanese battles were well-documented, could it be argued there's some pretext here for these battles, or is it plain wrong to present war as entertainment?

  • Discuss the depiction of women in games. While it's great that women are seen as equal to men on the battlefield, is it necessary for them to be dressed suggestively, with low-cut tops and overly jiggly breasts? How should these characters be shown in the game?

Game details

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