App Review: Samurai II: Vengeance

Samurai II: Vengeance [iTunes link], $2.99, is the sequel to Samurai: Way of the Warrior. It contains many updates and upgrades from its predecessor. Samurai II, developed by Madfinger Games, is a fast-paced, hack ‘n’ slash game that is definitely worth a try!

Menus and Graphics

The menus in the game are simple and easy to navigate. None of the menus contain pictures in their buttons; it’s all words. It’ll tell you, in plain English, what each button does. There are no options to adjust in the menus, allowing you to jump straight into the game.

The menus are simple and easy to understand

Similar to the menus, the graphics are also very simple and clean. The game is essentially a Japanese cartoon that you work through. The game’s graphics are in a 2.5D format. Every detail can be seen: from the moving objects, all the way down to each and every slash. You can even see sound in the game as shown by the clacks below.

Every detail is accounted for. The gears even move when you pull the lever.

You can even see the ‘clack’ of the oversized fan!

The graphics may seem fun and innocent at first, but they are far from it. The graphics are gruesome and gory. Every single dismembered body part, splatter of blood and blood stain can be seen with each and every slash.

Every bloodstain can be seen from the fallen Samurai that you dismember

The menus and graphics are perfect to every detail. The gory, cartoon-styled, smooth graphics are a nice break from the all-out 3D graphics of many of the games released recently. These graphics are perfect and just work well together.

Menus and Graphics: ★★★★★


Samurai II features lots of sound effects and even a great BGM (background music) that fits the game perfectly.

Samurai’s BGM offers Japanese-styled music which differs greatly from what we are used to in music. However, this unique BGM works well with this game because its a samurai game. If Japanese music is not your thing, you can start your iPod before playing this game to get a custom BGM.

The developers of Samurai didn’t leave anything out of the audio of the game. If anything was left out, it was shown by texts (similar to the ‘clacks’ above). When playing Samurai you can hear every:

  • Slash
  • Sword clash
  • Blood splatter
  • And more!

The game is filled with fun, arcade-styled sound effects that are sure to please the user.

Samurai II’s abundance of audio in its BGM and sound effects allows it to earn its perfect score in this category as they thought up of just about every sound in the game.

Audio: ★★★★★

Gameplay and Controls

The gameplay and controls in Samurai II are well improved compared to its predecessor. The gameplay is much quicker and even more fun than before. The controls have also been improved.

The story of the game is written on a comic strip (like the first one). The basic story can be summed up with one sentence: you are a warrior, named Daisuke, who goes on a quest across a war-torn countryside to get vengeance on his arch enemy, Orochi. The comic strip tells this story very well.

This is an example of how they tell you the story throughout the game. It is written on a comic strip, which is a creative way to do it.

The gameplay in Samurai is a fast paced, hack ‘n’ slash game. The style of gameplay is naturally fun and exciting. The game is gory and bloody, as I have said before, and that is an understatement even if may be cartoon violence.

One big change from the first Samurai and Samurai II is the introduction of karma. Karma is used as experience points in the game. You gain karma by defeating enemies and breaking barrels that have karma in them. You can spend your karma on new combos or increase your health so you don’t die as quickly.

The karma system in the game allows you to customize your combos and increase your health

The controls are easy to adjust to, even without any tutorials. In the help menu, there is an introduction into the new-and-improved control scheme. The controls consist of a joy stick and 3 buttons: a soft, quick attack button, a hard, slow attack button, and a dodge [or roll] button. This is different from the original Samurai game that didn’t have any buttons or joy sticks, just swipes and taps. They are very easy to use and I wouldn’t change them in any way. Madfinger did a great job on the controls.

Another big change from the original Samurai game is the way combos are executed. Combos allow you to do more power attacks that can kill enemies instantly. The last slash in each combo shakes a screen a bit. Combos are done by pressing the attack buttons in a certain order. They can be purchased with karma. Each combo has a different end result. Some of them are made to cut your opponent in half, while others are just to do more damage. In order to execute the combo, you must first master it.

The controls of the game are well explained, even without tutorials

The gameplay of Samurai II: Vengeance is just fun and exciting. The controls make it fully playable and work very well. The gameplay and controls of this game just seem perfect in every aspect.

Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★★

Replay Value

Samurai II: Vengeance contains a lot of replay value with it. There are three difficulties of gameplay in included with it: apprentice, samurai and ronin.

Besides the three difficulties, there is also a dojo mode. Dojo is a mini-game that adds another pick-up-and-play aspect to the game. In dojo mode, you stand in a circle to fight in. Enemies will come at you in waves. You fight until the death. You are still able to upgrade your combos and health in this mode as well. Dojo mode will keep you playing the game for hours after you beat it.

Although the difficulty levels and dojo mode add lots of replay value to the game, the game could use some other things as well. A multiplayer mode would help out. Whether you have a samurai death match, or a cooperative play mode, it will add lots of replay to the game. However, the game is fine on its own right now with lots of replay value that will have you hacking ‘n’ slashing for hours.

Replay Value: ★★★★½

Value For Money

Samurai II currently costs $2.99 in the App Store. The price has been fluctuating lately, but I think this is going to stay at $2.99 (the price of this game has also been $0.99 and $4.99).

The game is worth its price tag. The game is the only game of its kind on the App Store (besides Samurai: Way of the Warrior). The game offers many hours of gameplay and excitement. The simple, cartoon graphics are clean and smooth. It is just a well-put-together game.

Value for the Price: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

Samurai II: Vengeance is a fun, fast-paced, pick-up-and-play game with lots of action. The smooth, clean, cartoon graphics will surely keep you entertained for hours. The game is worth its price tag of $2.99 and is a must buy. Although it is an easy play, it is still loads of fun.

Final Scores:

  • Menus and Graphics: ★★★★★
  • Audio: ★★★★★
  • Gameplay and Controls: ★★★★★
  • Replay Value: ★★★★½
  • Value for the Money: ★★★★★

Overall Score:

This review was written by the Member Review Team. All prices are in US currency. Overall scores reflect an average of all individual scores to the nearest half or full star. Unless stated otherwise, all applications for review have been purchased from the U.S. App Store.

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