Dancing Samurai Review

Dancing Samurai Review

May 2, 2014

Little known fact, but samurai warriors very rarely used their katana swords in battle. They mostly used pikes, like everyone else, because they had the farthest reach, meaning that you could deal a lot of nasty damage, while being on the safe distance yourself – and you didn’t have to worry about friendly “fire” as well! The reason that I speak about ancient Japanese military tactics is that I frankly don’t have much to say about Dancing Samurai – not because it’s bad, but because it’s so small – like a bonsai tree under mount Fuji.

The game screen doesn’t even take up the screen – the action happens in a narrow stripe, although to be fair, it could take up a single pixel, and gameplay still wouldn’t be affected. There are two opponents, facing each other. They can dodge towards or away from each other, using one of the two arrow buttons. At the end of every dodge towards the opponent, a hero makes a slicing move. If the opponent is near him at that moment, and didn’t manage to get away, he goes down. No health, no combos – a single slice and the battleDancing Samurai 4 is over. Of course, every game turns into a dance-like routine, where both opponents jump towards and away from each other, trying to kill the opponent, without getting in the way of the blade themselves – that’s probably why the game is called Dancing Samurai. Sometimes, a power up appears on the field, that gives the player an extended fire attack, or an increased dodging distance. The “single player” is a simple endless progression through shadow figures that the player needs to take down, each next enemy being more challenging than the previous – but they still fall to one hit. As well as the player, of course – it’s only a matter of how far the player gets, before being struck down.

There are three different locations and heroes that the players can choose, but as far as I saw, their moves are the same. There’s a certain lack of mechanics in Dancing Samurai, which is a shame, because the battle mechanic of Dancing Samurai is very exciting, and I’m disappointed that it’s limited to such a simple mini-game. I still enjoyed it for a rather long time, after I understood how this thing is supposed to be played, and I really hope to see this game extended into something lengthy and complex.

Dragon Quest VIII for Android Incoming, and Gets its Own Phone from Sharp

Dragon Quest VIII for Android Incoming, and Gets its Own Phone from Sharp

Oct 16, 2013

In case you wondered just who is excited for the launch of Dragon Quest VIII on mobile devices, the answer is the Japanese.

So much in fact, that Sharp is developing a phone, based on the Aquous Phone Zeta, branded exclusively with Dragon Quest. Here are the phone specs:

  • 5-inch 1080 x 1920 resolution touchscreen display
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 4.2
  • Apparently water proof
  • Here is also some gameplay of Dragon Quest VIII on Android:

    Source: Geek.com

    Mr. AahH!! Review

    Mr. AahH!! Review

    May 31, 2013

    Ponos, in bringing their infamous iOS title Mr. Aahh to Android, bring forth somewhat of a different aesthetic to the platform than others do, thanks to the studio’s Japanese origins.

    The game itself has players controlling the daredevil Mr. Aahh, who enjoys swinging from platform to platform, trying to land as close to the center as possible. Well, I say he enjoys it, but there’s no actual proof of that. He could just be forced to jump thanks to a tyrannical regime. Consider that! Well, whoever or whatever is causing this to happen, players must time Mr. Aahh’s jump to land as close to the center of the platform as possible However, landing on the platform to begin with is very important, as missing a landing causes the loss of a life. Three falls and it’s game over for Mr. Aahh.

    The game is very simple to play, just tapping on the screen to jump once Mr. Aahh starts swinging, tilting to fine-tune the jump.. The game picks up in challenge as variable wind and gravity comes in to play. Suddenly jumps get to be a lot more difficult when the wind is blowing in Mr. Aahh’s face and gravity has increased.


    The game does a good job at ensuring that players have a rough feel for how the physics work even when the physics get twist-turned upside down. The game requires learning the ‘feel’ of it and how it works, and that takes practice, but it’s rewarding the more that players play. As well, with greater bonuses for landing near the middle and getting ‘JUST’ bonuses consecutively, mastery is especially rewarded.

    Now, I think that the aesthetic of Japanese games is something that gets kind of missed in the recent era of gaming: Japanese gaming has a special feel to it that’s represented here. Whether it’s just the music that sounds like it was straight out of a 16-bit game, and just different enough from other chiptunes that are out there. It just has a different feel that’s quite welcome. Japanese gaming has a heavy continuing influence on game developers as a whole, and there’s no reason why it can’t continue.

    Mr. Aahh has a simple premise and lots of fun that will come from it. There’s even online leaderboards, albeit with a system that visually apes the look of Game Center on iOS. Fans of arcade-style gaming need to check this one out.

    Ninja Village Review

    Ninja Village Review

    Apr 12, 2013

    I’m a sucker for retro games. There is just something charming about going into the past with today’s hardware. I get especially teary-eyed when 8-bit graphics appear.

    Kairosoft’s Ninja Village is that type of tearjerker that I’m talking about. Set in ancient Japan, it it is a city simulation set during the period of feudalism. It’s craftily set as a unification adventure that involves ninja clans, so in one swoop, I was getting some awesome backstory angles to work with.

    Yes, the game came with retro looks, down the pleasant (for me) shaky movements and blended color. I liked the detail the developer put into creating a fun-looking environment.

    The gameplay was a potent mix of civilization simulation and domination principles. Frankly, I really enjoyed the intricate nature of this title. Its game engine was pretty cool, and a lot of thought seemed to have been put into the basic logic. I was responsible for training and upkeep of my ninja warriors. A key component of this was the ability to manage my non-infinite resources. First, I had to do stimulate basic commerce to increase my funds; villagers neededninja2 food, and food also brought valuable cash when sold to merchants. I was able to build industry like farms and also able to build infrastructure for my growing clan.

    Eventually, I received info that adjoining lands were available to be raided. I selected the troops I needed for battle, and then we got down.

    The battles were nicely animated, with victory and losses clearly denoted. I thought that attaching a visual piece to the battle simulations was a nice touch. Victories invariably swelled our numbers, and more funds had to be expended to develop captured lands and to house new villagers. I had to train and equip my villagers with better weapons, because the other clans started getting so much better.

    Acquired land and villages were generally useful assets too. The in-game tutorial notes helped a great deal, and navigation made sense after a while. I though the control mechanism was a bit “heavy” and I could have probably done without the music, but it could be toggled and I still think everything fit well together.

    All in all, it was a fascinating trip with plenty of play that can be enjoyed across generations.