First Samurai Review
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First Samurai Review

Our Review by Jennifer Allen on October 4th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: DATED
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An action slasher that reminds players that going back to years ago isn't always the best idea.

Developer: Elite Systems
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Having already enjoyed the retro delights of a ZC Spectrum emulator courtesy of Elite Collection, I've been intrigued as to what will come next from the developers. One such new delight is that of First Samurai, a game that I remember coming out the first time round.

I only ever played it briefly then back in the early 1990s but it seemed pretty cool. The passage of time has not been kind to First Samurai unfortunately. Instead, it feels like a relic of gaming history with some very dated action mechanics. Players will be mostly jumping and slashing their way around as they progress through the game. It's an idea that's been elaborated upon over the years and improved upon as expected. Seeing the early stages of such a concept is intriguing but ultimately nothing more than a brief distraction. What is worth pointing out is the level of difficulty it poses with the option of using an infite life cheat mode particularly useful as First Samurai reminds us that games were a lot harder back in the day than they are.

The cheat mode is just one of many great modernizing effects that the guys at Elite Systems have implemented. Portrait and landscape modes are possible with half the screen providing iDaptive controls. These iDaptive controls are pretty neat offering user-definable controls throughout so that users can adapt the control system exactly how they want it. The keypad and relevant keys required to play First Samurai are easy to tap and responsive. A brief history section also ensures that those in need of a walk down memory lane can take in the full ambience of First Samurai.

For those who never played First Samurai the first time round, there's unfortunately not much to love here. It's just too set in its old ways, keenly demonstrating just how much things have changed in the past 20 years. For the nostalgia buff however, First Samurai is a decent package providing a fine conversion of the Spectrum title with a dose of history too. For $0.99, that might well be all those rose tinted fans need.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

First Samurai screenshot 1 First Samurai screenshot 2 First Samurai screenshot 3 First Samurai screenshot 4 First Samurai screenshot 5
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