In Samurai Western, you get to play either a sword wielding samurai or a gun-toting cowboy, running around the Old West and fighting your way through endless enemies.
We're big fans of the Way of the Samurai series. You can see clearly that this was made by the same people by the graphics. They're reasonably detailed, with inscriptions on tombstones and faded wear marks on barrels. Dust comes up from your feet as you walk down the center of Dodge City, and there are shadows beneath the tied-up children you have to rescue.
The movement of the characters - especially the sword-fighter in action - is quite nice. Again, it's where Spike's experience in this genre really shines. The spinning sword strokes, the rolling attacks and spinning deflections are smooth and realistic. There is quite a bit of blood here - especially in power-up mode where you can literally slice an enemy in half. So the game definitely earns its mature rating in that area.
The sound isn't great - and again it's on par with the Way of the Samurai series. You get a generic music track background, and then "Ah!" and "Oh!" random grunts from the characters. But really, most people don't play games like this for the high fidelity sound. They play it for the action. There is a cool touch that when the samurai is talking to other Japanese people he talks in Japanese - but when he talks to the westerners he switches to English.
The main gameplay and plot involve the samurai coming to the western US in the Old West days to find his brother. Mostly the game is about a samurai in a given town, facing hundreds of enemies and hacking and slashing his way through them one by one. Sometimes there are special tasks to achieve. Mostly you are hacking, hacking, and then slashing.
As you go, you earn improvements for your character - such as improving his skills and bonus-providing accessories. This lets you customize the character to match your combat style.
Oh yes, you can be the gun-slinger too if you want, but we of course really like the samurai :)
There is a multiplayer mode where one of you is the gunslinger and one is the samurai. This can be fun with a friend, although the camera sometimes gets annoying.
The game is generally historically accurate - there aren't robots running around or laser pistols - with a few minor exceptions. So you do get a sense that you're back in the days of the Wild West.
Well recommended if you enjoy the hack-and-slash world of samurais and gunslingers!
Buy Samurai Western from Amazon.com