Genji: Days of the Blade (2006)
Based on actual Japanese history: The Heishi clan has quickly recovered strength by employing magic that turns soldiers into hulking demons. Yoshitsune and Benkei must do battle with the newly-restored Heishi army and giant enemy crabs but they won’t be alone. Wait, hulking demons? Just a minute, giant enemy crabs…
This is a good action game with a notoriously bad camera. A long-winded and poorly designed final boss fight threatens to leave the game on a low but Genji’s highest quality component, the music, makes the climax and end credits a pleasure to sit through. The music is unusual to Western ears, heavy on percussion and strange male choir grunts, and very fitting indeed. The action in the game allows a lot of choice: you have four characters, each with their own weapon, each with four different fighting styles. While button-mashing will get you through, there is significant satisfaction to becoming one with the ebb-and-flow of combat, dodging, blocking and timing your attacks to perfection. Despite flaws in camera choices, save points and some fiddly platforming, the music and cover-free, flowing combat allow Genji to be enjoyable and it’s a much better game than the Metacritic score and mean contemporary reviews would have you believe.
This game contains bad language and violence.