Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holy Hell, Samurai Gunn kicks ass.

Every so often, a game comes along that combines the simplistic elements of yesteryear, the smooth action functions of a modern game, and a multiplayer option that wraps it all up so perfectly, you find yourself in a 5 hour game-off with everyone in your house. See all those awards surrounding Samurai Gunn's logo? Yeah, they are there for a reason: This game fucking rules.

Teknopants' Samurai Gunn doesn't really have a plot or a story behind it. The lightning-fast arena combat game is a battle royale set in mythical feudal Japan, complete with a plethora of interesting looking warriors to play over an impressive amount of interactive stages. Each player begins at a spawn point within a given stage and winning is dependant on a decided amount of kills (default being 10). Reveling in it's simplicity, Samurai Gunn pulls no punches with special abilities, power-ups etc. The game relies solely on it's player's skill using limited controls, mastering the TWO weapons which every player is given, and channeling the samurai warrior within to execute his/her enemy.

Players are given both a sword and a gun upon spawning. The sword provides infinite slashing, but the gun is only equipped with three bullets per life. This is where things get a bit interesting because after killing your opponent, they return with a loaded gun. Carefully maneuvering around this balance of power and circumstance is the soul of Samurai Gunn. The game begins with a lot of piss and vinegar, players charging after each other, shooting wildly into the air. After a few deaths, however, the game evolves into a delicate dance in blood; for every movement a consequence. Players learn that even the slightest misstep could mean a rolling head or a fatal shot to the pixelated gut. That, or impalement by the various traps which decorate some of the higher difficulty stages.

One of the coolest features of Samurai Gunn is the showdown. If players reach a tie or victory is won by a one point margin, warriors are transported to a cinemaesque scene where there are no obstacles in the way of victory. It is typically a stage-themed, flat landscape, and no guns may be used. The nail biting anticipation of this segment is palpable. When victory is met, screams of joy from both parties are belted out. The love for Samurai Gunn's gameplay is present in the winners AND the losers.

Survival mode is a bit different. This game is certainly made for local gameplay, but if players want to enhance their skills, 1p mode is an okay way to do so. My only real gripe to survival mode is that players can't team up properly with each other. A large chunk of time was spent on trying to figure out ways to avoid my fellow player, kill black ninjas effectively, and claim victory for the BOTH of us. Not really possible. It's a one winner kind of engagement. Samurai Gunn will hopefully expand in this way. After seeing a lot of the critical reception, I am counting on a sequel or upgrade coming down the pipes. A lot of people are talking online options, potentially a build-your-own stage aspect. These are fantasies now but after the on fire reception, I can't imagine Teknopants not expanding.