Look inside for impressions on the latest Nintendo-made 3DS download game.
There are some great additions that made their way onto the eShop this week and even a little bit more video content to boot! Here’s what Japanese 3DS owners can check out:
3DS Downloadable Titles
Hirari Sakura Zamurai - 700 yen
Bionic Commando - 400 yen
Mario Kart 7 is front and center on the eShop this week with a channel containing new videos and information about the upcoming racer. One video, which is a little over four minutes long, outlines all of the different features, courses, characters and customization that the game is bringing to the table. Also on the channel is a 30-second Mario Kart 7 television commercial.
The Legend of Zelda channel has also been updated with new Skyward Sword-related videos. While one is a continuation of a series showing off various places in the game world, some TV commercials featuring Nakagawa Shoko and another idol named Noriyama-san are available this week. In the commercials, the cute girls are seen playing Skyward Sword and giving their take on the new control scheme and the story.
In terms of software releases, this week was a pretty significant one in the life of 3DS downloadable software. Not only did Capcom deliver Bionic Commando for the Game Boy, Nintendo also released their latest internally developed 3DS downloadable title, Hirari Sakura Zamurai, which can be translated as Nimble Cherry Blossom Samurai. For those of you unfamiliar with the title, the game puts you in control of a young samurai and tests your reflex skills as you have to dodge incoming attacks from enemies and then slice them down with your trusty katana defeat them.
The game starts with an old fashioned Japanese wall scroll (only animated and in 3D) depicting how life was in the past for the people when a goddess brought happiness and cherry blossoms to the world. Over time, evil entered and pushed the goddess and cherry blossoms out. The 3D effects in this sequence are fantastic and really show off the layers of depth that can be achieved on the 3DS. For example, when the camera pans to the the evil warriors on the wall scroll, the minions in the foreground are noticeably closer to the screen and can get in the way of text and their boss in the background. After this sequence and an introduction to the samurai, you are on your way to test your swordsmanship.
The gameplay is simple. The A button is your standard attack and is what you will be using most of the game. B in conjunction with the slide pad will allow you to move quickly out of the way of incoming attacks. Pressing L and R simultaneously deflects incoming overhead attacks by blocking with the katana and sheath. After dodging and making numerous successful attacks, a gage begins to fill a katana at the upper right hand side of the screen. Once completely full, the player can unleash a flurry attack with the Y button that does significant damage to an enemy. Most of the time, the player will be in a sword stance ready to attack, which makes free-roaming on the battlefield not a main staple of this game. To get to each area, the player navigates a world map (think Super Mario World or Super Mario Bros. 3 here). There are areas to simply fight enemies, castles to storm, and villages where you can buy items, play mini-games and save your game.
I have only played about an hour or so of Hirari Sakura Zamurai and have really enjoyed my time with it so far. One thing that interested gamers must realize before they purchase this game is this - This is not a hack and slash samurai game. This is a game based on repetitious enemy attacks and knowing when to go in for a strike. Not only that, but the player will have to keep an eye on various things throughout each fight, such as health and condition of his sword. For what it is, Hirari Sakura Zamurai is a solid title that will appeal to gamers who like games like Punch Out, samurai, or both.