ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.0 stars
Modern games have become so complex that most require the dexterity of a micro-surgeon to play. Sometimes I just want some mindless action to pass the time, and the fast-paced arcade title, "Samurai Gunn," definitely fits the bill. In fact, the premise for this addictive 2D title is so simplistic that the name says it all.
Why waste time creating a story for a game that's all about lightning-quick, arena-style matches that are over in a few minutes? Each round pits up to four human and/or A.I.-controlled cyber-Samurais against each other in matches where everyone is equally armed with both a katana and a gun with three bullets. One strike from the sword or one bullet instantly defeats an enemy, so matches usually end very quickly.
Fortunately, the game play is more complex than it sounds. For instance, players can jump the entire length of each level with their Samurai, as well as run on and jump off of walls. In addition, sword attacks and bullets can be blocked with a well-placed sword swipe, and bullets can even be re-directed.
To achieve victory, perfect timing is as important as conserving bullets. It's incredibly rewarding to leap onto a wall, run across the screen, jump off and then slice an enemy in half as your character is falling through the air. It's also really cool to clash swords together in the perfect block!
Making combat even more varied and fun is a wide variety of environments that are reminiscent of the game "Joust." They all have themes, like a scary graveyard or mountain forest, and most have various environmental hazards. Some of my favorite hazards include: insta-death spikes, deadly icicles, moving platforms and mysterious warp points.
I'd play "Samurai Gunn" much more if the devs would incorporate online gameplay, but alas, it currently only features side-by-side multiplayer.