Samurai Riot Review – 2D Cooperative Beat’em up [PC]

Samurai Riot was released on the 13th September and is a 2D cooperative Beat’em up/Arcade game made by Wako Factory.

The story revolves around a Civil War – our role is to contribute to it ending. Torn between doing their duty and doing what is right, you have to fight your way through different levels and a boss fight at the end of each one. There is a fight between clans, and you will eventually have to pick a side. Will you stay loyal to your duties, or will you do what is right?

It’s Civil War Co-op

Making choices and encountering moral dilemmas leads to several possible endings of the game. Choose between playing as Sukane or Tsurumaru, two warriors with different traits, personalities, and a highly detailed story behind each character!

With really charming graphics, Samurai Riot offers an anime art style with beautiful scenery from Asian culture. The music is a mix of gorgeous traditional Asian music (if you’ve ever played Tengami, you can draw a reference to that) and combines it with elements of modern popular music so that it creates a certain kind of pace to your fighting, which is nice.

The cooperative system is interesting: you can combine characters’ attacks, creating the ultimate move; which can be used when filling out a shared cooperation gauge. It looks really cool and makes you feel like a total badass… So co-op actually requires working together, and not just playing on the same screen. That being said, when you have those abilities that need a charge-up, it would be nice if there was some sort of indicator, showing the range of the attack and the strength of it. That would help when planning your next move.

Samurai Riot Review
Waaaaa, hiiiiiiyaaaaah! *continuous kung fu sounds*

Multiplayer Woes

Considering that the multiplayer function is the most prominent feature of the game, it is weird, then, that the biggest problem I had with the game was actually setting it up. When I clicked to join as player two, I would start controlling the profile of the first player. After much frustration, we finally managed to enter the game as two separate players.

You can play co-op and make team-based choices, or you can fight against your partner Tekken-style. Even though it is mainly a cooperative game, the single-player version worked just fine. However, the lack of save slots was unfortunate. I could only have one save file at a time, which was inconvenient when I wanted to play by myself but have another save file where I could play with a friend. As the gameplay was highly interesting, the game controls were at times unresponsive, and when playing with another person, the controls on the keyboards became misplaced (ESDF instead of WASD) for some reason. Which was weird, considering the other player was playing on an Xbox controller.

The decisions we make throughout the game are moral questions which have consequences in the final outcome. According to the developers, there are 8 different endings to the game! With this, we can surely establish the replay-value that Samurai Riot has. The need to see every possible ending should work as a great motivator for replaying the game. As if that weren’t enough, the game also offers so-called “fighting schools”: where the more you play, the more you collect points to unlock different fighting schools to get more abilities and improvements for your character.

Samurai Riot Review
Fighting back to back makes you feel unbeatable.

Different Styles Of Gameplay

Multiplayer and single player each demand different styles of gameplay, which creates an interesting diversity. The boss encounters aren’t as good as they have the potential to be – they don’t require a certain tactic to take down, they simply have more health. Using the characters’ individual abilities to take down the boss would be more fun than just the regular old moves. Some of the units also started to annoy me – the red ranged units specifically. Fighting melee units while these were standing there, knocking me down each time, was annoying, to say the least.

The developers pride themselves on the game being one you can speedrun. But when said problems appear, and my character takes several seconds to get back up when knocked down, it makes my patience wear thin. I will give the game the benefit of the doubt that there is definitely a way of getting good, and that most of my complaints might be debunked if I were good at these types of games.

The dialogue is a little bit cliché, and considering how many samurai/ninja/kung fu games there are out on the market, I wish it stood out a little more. Yeah, “I’m gonna fight for my honour”, and all that jazz.

Samurai Riot is a very pretty game though, with a really interesting take on cooperative beat’em up gameplay. It has high entertainment value and makes the player feel like Jackie Chan at times.

What’s with that fat racoon stealing all my food, though?

What do you think?

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