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 â€“ and you didn’t have to worry about friendly â€œfireâ€ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 â€“ a single slice and the battle 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 â€“ 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 â€œsingle playerâ€ is a simple endless progression through shadow figures that the player needs to take down, each next enemy being more challenging than the previous â€“ but they still fall to one hit. As well as the player, of course â€“ 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.