Sengoku 3 review by Neolord
It's been a longtime in coming, but Sengoku 3 has finally arrived. One might expect the latest Sengoku release to be your typical sequel with rehashed backgrounds and gameplay, but this is far from the truth. Sen 3 is nothing like the previous two titles of the same name, and the story is slightly different as well. As one of four characters, you must traverse through urban cityscapes armed with a weapon and a limited arsenal of moves. In similar side-scrolling fashion, the player must punch, kick, slash, and throw his way to the end of each level. This may seem like an exercise in tedium, but there are plenty of extras available to keep the game fresh until you complete it. For the first time ever (in a Neo-Geo side-scroller, anyway), the player can chain combos and specials together to rack up points. A combo meter (albeit KOF, Kizuna Encounter, etc.) keeps track of the action, and the more times you hit a particular enemy, the better your score becomes.
Other additions to the gameplay include a pile driver (native to hero Kagetsura) and specials that vary per character. Of course, like most fighting games, a special rage meter must be built to max before any of the specials can be executed. This can be achieved by bashing away at your enemy, and like mentioned previously, the more hits (i.e. combos) you produce, the quicker this meter will fill. So much for free kills, eh?
Sen 3 isn�t the best looking game on Neo-Geo. You can tell this game has been sitting on a dusty shelf for the past few years, because the graphics are barely passable when compared to the likes of Metal Slug 3 and Garou: Mark of the Wolves. In all fairness, Sound Factory did everything they could to produce a competent sequel (of course, the standard for producing a game was not as demanding as it is today), but the ropy backgrounds and grainy colors really detract from the overall experience. The main characters animate nicely, but the enemies themselves are disjointed and lacking in some areas. Sound Factory should have invested more time in developing better animation, but they settled for palette swapping and frame sharing instead. What can a Neo gamer do?
The cheapest boss in recent SNK history will confront you if you can complete this short adventure without losing interest (it takes a special kind of gamer to stay focused while playing a game like this). This boss is a towering Samurai warrior who tends to use his specials more than his sword, so you might find yourself gnashing your teeth in frustration after being defeated by the same special for the umpteenth time. I love it when they come cheap...
In short; Sen 3 is an average beat 'em up with some nice extras. It's not the best game on Neo-Geo, but it will keep you busy nonetheless. Some people will play this game only once (there is only so much you can do before you've seen it all), but as a 2-player expedition, it can be quite satisfying. Only buy into this if you're willing to 1.) Complete it or 2) add something new to your game collection. Otherwise, you might be disappointed.
Sengoku 3 -- a comparison
- Sengoku 2: Sengoku felt epic in scale, and it took quite some time to complete it. You could toggle between your characters (a feature that was omitted from Sengoku 3), and the backgrounds were more original. The player could also collect colored orbs that would upgrade their current weapon to something more plausible.
- Senogoku 3: Sen 3 is extremely short, and the 'epic' feeling from the previous two games is non-existent in this version of Sengoku. Gone is the feature to switch between characters (you could change your character's in-game alter ego for an added twist), and the ability to upgrade your weapons. Sengoku 3 is fun to play, but when compared to Sengoku 2, it pales in comparison. Sound Factory should have done their homework before developing this title.
What I think:
Sengoku 2 --
Pros: Expansive levels, weapon upgrades, power-ups, and more characters to choose from.
Cons: Tolerable animation that could have been better.
Pros -- Enormous sprites, interesting combo system, and good music.
Cons -- Weapon system is non-existent; no 'real' power-ups; can't change characters in-game
Overall: With great control and smooth gameplay, Sengoku 3 delivers a short, but entertaining romp through modern suburbia while eliminating super natural creatures. It�s not great, but not bad either.
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preview by Yukuridanshi