Finally, I’ve managed to purchase WE: Samurai Blue.
Initially, I wanted to purchase the PS3 version, but the price of the game over here is quite high; HK$520, so I thought if I was going to spend that much of my hard earned benjamins on a video game, it may as well be one that I’m going to play more frequently, hence the decision to change my mind and purchase the PSP version instead.
The PS3 version of the game is everywhere, but the PSP vers. is like gold-dust. A vendor said he could transfer the game if my PSP was ‘modified’. I’m a law abiding citizen and wouldn’t normally advocate breaking the law but such was my desperation, I agreed; time will tell if it was a wise decision, but I’ve now got FIFA WC, NBA LIVE, NBA 2K10, GT & Ridge Racer thrown in with Samurai Blue all for the same price of what a boxed WE would have cost me. Suffice to say, this is probably the most frustrating experience I’ve ever had trying to purchase a video game; was it worth it?Gameplay:
I’ve played a couple of hours; both exhibition and JP challenge mode, and I can’t see a great deal of difference between this and WE10. But hey, that’s not a bad thing at all. Anybody who has read my thoughts on the PSP version of the game before will know how highly I regard it; for me, it’s the best football simulation out there right now. One of the areas that I think could have been improved is the pace of the game; a slower game that would enable that midfield maestro, like a Pirlo or a Xavi, to have more time on the ball and unlock the opposition’s defence with a killer through-ball; something like holding down the L2 button in 09 on the PS3 in order for the player to dribble more slowly with the ball closer to his feet would be a great addition to the PSP. One difference I noticed in JP challenge mode, although very subtle, is that the opposition will try to pass the ball more in their own half, but it’s nothing like the frequency of passes that you see on the PS3 version. Keepers, ball and players’ physics, AI, pace, difficulty, set-pieces, etc all feel the same as WE10.Presentation
As Joolz has already stated, the game is oriented towards the Samurai Blue - Japanese National Team. As you patiently wait to get to the menu screen and after the official logos, you are greeted by a team photo of the samurai blue, you are then prompted to press the start button, after which you are then directed to the menu screen which as the Saitama Stadium in the background. Unfortunately, and just like its PS3 counterpart, you don’t have the option of changing the text to English, so, unless you can navigate your way through without the aid of text, you could find this quite cumbersome. Something I was really, really impressed with was the highlights of the samurai blue matches in JP challenge mode; this will get you in the right mood before that first ball is kicked and adds a whole new dimension to the experience. And if you’re not too familiar with kanji, katakana or hiragana, the JP challenge mode has the faces of the Samurai Blue squad, which makes selecting your team before a match a whole lot easier.What’s new?
The king of commentary, Jon Kabira, can now be heard shouting shooto, yellow card-a-des, penalty-kick-a-des and my personal fave, bonzaaa!! Just like the stadiums, although I’m not sure if there are additional stadiums because of the text, this was a long time coming, and worth the wait - I can’t wait to annoy my fellow MTR commuters. The Japanese, Argentina, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Ivory Coast away and Ghana away kits have been updated; Australia, Netherlands and Portugal haven’t. There could well be other additions, but the text prevents me from finding that out.Criticisms
Although I think it’s the best football simulation on the market right now, I would have appreciated some little tweaks in the gameplay; as mentioned before, a slower paced game, but this is harsh considering this was released only a few months after WE10. We are now in May and some transfers from the last window have not been reflected; Van Nistelrooy is still at Madrid, Mancini at Inter, etc. Again, this may sound harsh, but this is poor and would not have taken the team at Konami too much time to address.So, is it worth buying, then?
Depends what you’re looking for. My advice, and this is merely my opinion, considering the price, unless you are a real fan of the WE series or the Samurai Blue, you may want to wait for the price to drop or give it a miss altogether.
Why should I wait? There isn’t any real difference with the gameplay; the game feels the same as WE10, and navigating your way through the Japanese only text will test your patience.
Why should I spend my hard earned money on this? The new additions; the commentary, highlights from the Samurai Blue, JP challenge mode and players faces bring a whole new experience to the game; I feel more connected to the Samurai Blue and it creates a positive approach to the game.If I were to score this from 0 – 10, I’d happily give it a 9.5.
As this is a download, I don't have the box, so you will have to put up with my ugly mug and the PSP instead: http://twitpic.com/1qvlj8