Samurai Sword Destiny 3DS Review

Samurai Sword Destiny is a 2D hack-an-slash adventure from UFO Interactive. The game casts you Akane, a female assassin that sets off through Japan in search of her brother, doing whatever it takes to rescue him from a group of ninjas and other sword carrying bozos.

Going into the experience, we hoped it would pay homage to classic 16-bit games from the 90s, where Akane blazes through a variety of unique environments slaughtering evildoers and picking up new abilities along the way.

Well, the developers got it half right. You will explore a handful of locations (a bamboo forest, rooftop) squaring off against swarms of bad guys. Unfortunately, Samurai Sword Destiny is too repetitive. So much so, that it brings to mind iPhone titles more than anything we played on Super Nintendo and Genesis.

Here, the designers force you to replay the same missions to acquire gold, which you'll then use to upgrade Akane's abilities (HP, Agility, Health Regeneration) and attack power. It's tough to complete levels without doing this, so expect to die (a lot) until the hero amasses enough loot to turn the proverbial tables on her adversaries.

This would be OK had UFO included a wide array of different weapons and maneuvers, but this isn't the case. The lack of variety ultimately mars the game's appeal. After all, who wants to continuously return to play the same old levels, populated with the same adversaries? Not us.

This makes Samurai Sword Destiny best experienced in small bursts, where you play for fifteen, thirty minutes for a quick fix, then put it down for the day.

At least on the positive side, the action's decent, as you button mash to unleash combos, then use the circle pad to achieve a quick slice that lets Akane slash multiple evildoers at once (the light splash of blood as they get cut in two is a nice touch).

On top of that, this is one of the more impressive looking 2D games on the eShop, especially when it comes to glasses free 3D. Adjust the slider and watch the cool stereoscopic effect add depth to objects in the foreground and background; we kept it half way, as full strength took a toll on our eyes.

All told, this isn't the type of action game we expected, and it didn't take long for Samurai Sword Destiny to wear out its welcome. Considering the price ($5.99), it's probably a better idea to wait for Nintendo's Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword, but if you crave some sword slashing mayhem, this title will temporarily scratch that itch.

What's Hot: Cool stereoscopic 3D effects, attractive 2D visuals, furious hack-an-slash action.

What's Not: Super repetitive, not enough weapons and skills, costs $5.99, could use more environments.