Vasara 2

-Visco (2001)



The Story:

Not long after the deadly battle of the Tokugawa Clan, the ruthless Nobunaga Oda captures the Tokugawa Fortress and claims the future technology as his own. With the new technology and his murderous pride, Nobunaga will become the most feared man in Japan. Now, four samurai will challenge Nobunaga’s power. Nobunaga’s step-grandson, Takeda Nobukatu, believes Nobunaga is a man without honor and does not want this to be any part of his family history. The hot samurai girl, Momochi Sandayu, wants to bring about the resurrection of the Iga Clan. Seiyubo Zuifu is an honorable man, but has plans of his own. Akechi Mitsuhide is a former General of Nobunaga’s that wants to atone for the blood he spilled in Nobunaga’s name. These four samurai will honorably fight to put an end to Nobunaga’s ambition.          

My Thoughts:

Not willing to wait, Visco whips up a sequel to Vasara only a year later. The sequel features better graphics, more characters, and tons more enemy samurai ready to die with honor. In keeping with the actual history of Feudal Japan, their only choice is to have the most over-used Japanese ruler as a video game villain, Nobunaga Oda. The first noticeable addition is that you now have four samurai on speeder bikes to choose from. The flash bomb attack has been replaced with the individual charge-up powers attacks, and the regular charge attacks are just smaller versions.

The difficulty of the first game was fairly high and Vasara 2’s doubles it. The title screen gives you two game choices; easy mode with six stages and hard mode with twelve, although it should probably say hard mode and impossible mode. The only difference in these is when you complete the six stages on hard, you go through them again with an increase in the enemies' firepower. In each of the six stages there is a General of Nobunaga’s as the boss and four Captains act as optional mini-bosses. In the first game, when you encountered a Captain, the action would pause letting you read whatever harsh comment they had about your fighting skills. This time the action doesn’t stop, you have to read what they say while still trying not to get killed by the enemies.

A few of the Captains and Generals are a little more unusual than just normal samurai. There's a flamboyantly gay samurai, a black gangsta flashing a gang sign, a slick white hipster, and a ninja. The gay samurai threatens and hits on you at the same time, "If you insistently disobey me, you shall receive the sharp end of my spear." Creepy. At the end of each stage you earn extra points for defeating the Captains. The bosses again are very tough and should all be treated as end bosses. Each of their techniques is fills the screen with so much crap that the attacks of the final boss aren’t any more impressive than the bosses before him. The designs of the boss machines are a little more out there than the first game, but still look cool with their futuristic Feudal flavor. Something I find somewhat humorous is when the bosses are hit with the slash attack and when they die, bucket loads of blood shoot out from their machine. Of course they explode, too. Mmmm…excessive death scenes.

Vasara 2 does have better graphics, cool machines, and slightly more strategic gameplay, but the game is twice as difficult so you may stop caring if you constantly die. This is a shooter that should be played with two players and if you're up for a challenge, Vasara 2 certainly delivers. Unlike the first game, a couple of the endings actually make some sense and two of the main samurai die in their endings. It also appears that Nobunaga isn’t even dead. His ambitious plans for Japan will go into motion no matter what.       

Score: 7.5