Vasara

-Visco (2000)

 

 

The Story:

Tokugawa Ieyasu craved power. He didn’t want to be a lowly warrior, he wanted to rule Japan. To obtain his power he needed to defeat Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Tokugawa started practicing the Dark Arts and in time opened a portal to the future. Tokugawa and his men used the portal to bring back the futuristic technology and weapons not meant for his time. He built a grand army and proceeded to Osaka Castle. Toyotomi’s forces were no match for Tokugawa’s unknown mechanical devices. The 8th day of May in the year 1600 saw the end of Toyotomi’s rule. Thus began the rule of the tyrannous Tokugawa Ieyasu. However, three samurai, still loyal to Toyotomi, would fight his increasing power and bring down his army.

My Thoughts:

Forget about the highly educational Kessen, Vasara is the most historically accurate game based on Feudal Japan. It’s about time someone had the guts to divulge to the world the real story of the events in this time period. It was a time when samurai charged into battle while riding their custom speeder bikes. Samurai warriors regularly fought against large tanks, samurai in jet-pack equipped battle armor, Gundams, and evil looking hovercrafts. The enemies have a unique Feudal Japanese flavor and are designed well enough that many of the machines and robots look as though they really should belong in this time of Japanese warfare.

Nearly every stage starts out with a fight with a general’s right hand man. The action takes a brief pause as the enemy warrior’s face pops on the screen along with their fierce battle dialogue. This also occurs upon reaching the bosses and sometimes you see the samurai have taken other things from the future, such as rad sunglasses and slick hipster haircuts. The bosses are large and dish out huge, powerful, and unrelenting attacks. They give their all in battle as any honorable samurai would do. For the player this means each boss is almost as tough as other games’ end bosses.

The player’s choices for vengeful samurai consist of a young, yet cool-headed fighter, a somewhat older, grizzled warrior, and a cute and spunky samurai chick. Each starts on a different stage and have their own customized speeder bike equipped with lasers and blue flash bombs. The warriors also have their personal sword attack. Hold the fire button down to charge it up, and release to see the samurai’s attack extend far beyond the reach of a normal sword. The more red jewels you collect, the longer and more powerful the attack will be.

With all the firepower Tokugawa’s forces throw at you, the hit detection has been reduced to your samurai’s body; if the hero is personally hit, they die. This really helps in avoiding all the enemy fire. Also, if your samurai’s speeder bike collides with an enemy ship, they don’t die. You’ll hear a grinding metal noise and the speeder will slightly bounce off. This is a great addition to the game which helps reduce the player’s amount of deaths. Obviously these futuristic craft are made of high-impact titanium.

There is an ending for each character that consists of a few still pictures and confuses the player on whatever is happening. The endings do state that the actual events were concealed from history. Ah yes, I suppose it was good that the real battle was covered-up since people probably wouldn’t accept the truth of this kind of technology existing in 1600s Japan. Vasara holds lots of originality in its excellent ship designs and is an entertaining shooter.

Score: 7.5     

-Shawn