When you power up, you go blond. Just Saiyan.
If you’re looking for a new challenging side-scroller, look no further: Samurai G has arrived, and it’s here to make you yell at your screens. The game follows a samurai named Tetsuo as he runs across the land collecting the Tengu’s golden coins. Why is he collecting all these gold coins? If he doesn’t, an evil warlord will, and use the secret power of the coins for evil. None of this information is provided in the game, though—as soon as you boot it up, it’s time to dive into the action.
In both its normal and advanced modes, the game starts with a shuriken being thrown at Tetsuo, the samurai. It’s up to players to figure out the controls and hone their skills in order to proceed. The controls are pretty easy to pick up, with the B button used to jump and the Y button used for a slash attack. Tetsuo can slash in the air mid-jump and while running on the ground, but there’s no way for him to jump while attacking. This ability is sorely missed; it can sometimes mean the difference between life and death when flying ninja cover your screen.
Dodging all the shuriken and throwing knives tossed your way by deadly assassins isn’t even half the danger—it’s the traps that can give players a hard time. Some are nearly undetectable, while others you can only discover by running into them. While the ninja attacks do only a bit of damage, traps can take out whole chunks of the health bar. By slashing right as the shrunken or knife is thrown at you, you can also deflect ninja attacks. Traps? Not so much. The best strategy is to jump over them and keep on running (not that you have a choice).
The best part of Samurai G, by far, is Golden mode. Golden mode is activated when Tetsuo collects a certain number of gold pieces in a short amount of time. He then turns golden, blond, and invulnerable. Speeding across the screen, he’s able to rush through any obstacle and progress much further. The mode is a big reason why I keep playing. I love being able to run through obstacles that would regularly kill me, if only for 10 seconds.
The game also features in-game achievements, such as collecting a certain amount of coins or defeating a number of enemies. These give the game some extra replay value, albeit not much.
Samurai G features some great artwork, and the game looks good. Every time Tetsuo’s blade slashes through a ninja’s head there’s a little burst of blood and the screen slows for a second to let you enjoy your minute victory. The game also features a nice soundtrack. With the music switching up between areas and the ninjas making their presence known through grunts, it may behoove players to plug in their headphones while playing. However, there’s no reason to play the game in 3D—there’s little difference between the 3D graphics and those in 2D. Samurai G still looks great, though, no matter how you play it.
This fast-paced samurai side-scroller can be hard at first, but after a few rounds it becomes a game worth coming back to.