Hey gang, Valkor here. And I’m dipping back into GameView, where we showcase some of the best–and worst–the gaming world offers. In this round, I dip into a familiar territory with a beat ‘em up titled “Samurai Riot”. And is it possible for a game to be easier to play the more you play it? That’s how it felt playing this title (and in normal mode, no less). Should that stop you from playing and enjoying this game? It might be for some. But for me, I found it to be a fun romp, with some quirks along the way. Let’s check it out.
In Samurai Riot, you take control of one of two players or go at it with two players simultaneously. You can start as either Sukane, who uses her feet and fist, or a spirit fox to score some damage. Or you can play as samurai Tsurumaru, who has an array of weaponry, which includes a sword, knives, and even grenades to keep the enemies at bay. Initially, I thought the game took place in the past. However, as things progressed, I saw that it was some twisted future where you face off not only against other samurai soldiers but also mutants and robots. And as you move along with the story, you are given choices that lead to different outcomes.
For my main run of Samurai Riot, I chose Tsurumaru because I dig swords. From there, I dove right into the action. The game doesn’t provide a tutorial. However, if you press pause, you’re given a complete move list; I hadn’t discovered this when I first started and I used one of three buttons (attack, jump, and kick/grenade). As I was near the end, I learned there was a fury option (flurry attack), a grenade shower, a grab move (best skill in the game), and a block. I all but beat the game with only three moves. And the only reason I didn’t finish the game on my first run was that the game crashed. That’s right, it crashed during the final boss battle, leaving me to start from the beginning. But that was a good thing because it enabled me to go back and use all the new moves I learned towards the end of the game, making my second run easier than the first.
Samurai Riot is quick to finish, but if you want to see more of the story, you can attempt to play through all the game’s different scenarios to get the different endings (8 in total). It would have been nice had there been additional playable characters. But what’s given should be more than enough for a simple run. And now, let’s dive into the TOV Breakdown!
Samurai Riot's graphics are the first aspect of the game that I loved. Usually, I wouldn't begin a gaming breakdown like this, but the sights are beautiful! I loved the watercolor back/foreground art, with the little touches of animation tossed in. You'll notice cattails flowing in the wind right at the beginning, which made me gasp in awe. The character designs took some getting used to. But they work well with the game overall. Again, it's the little animation bits that helps with the presentation, such as Tsurumaru’s hair or clothes bouncing. These are the little touches that give Samurai Riot its visual flare. The controls are also great, which makes this game easy to pick up and play. Pulling off the basic moves is simple enough. However, the special moves will get you through with ease. And what I found funny was that I played much of Samurai Riot with just the basic moves before I learned there was more you can do. For example, using the grab move made the game much easier to play! Last but not least, the music really establishes the mood, and each stage has beats that are well suited to it. Samurai Riot is the ideal game for you if you're searching for a straightforward beat 'em up with some flair.
While Samurai Riot looks and plays well, sadly, it’s a brief adventure. You can tear through this title in a couple of hours. But it’s a missed opportunity that the game doesn’t have branching off areas to go along with the other choices you have to make. Finally, the game has a tendency to crash–a lot! The crash that hurt the most was when I reached the end and the screen just glitched on me. It also happened a few times in between, but those glitches righted themselves. But that last stage... oof!
Samurai Riot is available now for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and STEAM. And while it has a few issues, it’s still a solid beat 'em up that’s worthy of a few playthroughs. The controls are spot on; the graphics are nice to look at, and the soundtrack is smooth like butter. I’d recommend giving this one a go. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Samurai Riot a 3.5.