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1987
Arcade: Solo beat-em-up
£7.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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47
Tony Lee
Chris Bourne

The latest in a long line of bash 'n slash simulations to hit the TV screen. This time it's Samurai Trilogy from Gremlin Graphics. It's been out on the Commodore for some time but now Speccy users have the dubious honour of sampling the delights of Eastern promise. Frankly I'm surprised that the Samurai legend has never been chosen before for conversion to computer, the oriental tough guy image is perfect for a realistic punch 'em' up. Unfortunately you have to wade through an ordinary Karate sim, and a Kendo adaptation to get to the Samurai fight itself - but it's worth waiting for.

The program begins with a smart front end which leads to the language selection bit. Try Deutsch just for a giggle! Then you have to choose whether to practice or fight in one of three martial arts. But now comes the dreaded multi-load system that takes a lot of the addictivity out of the game. Each event has to be loaded separately, so be prepared to wait a while. Before each fight you have the chance to assess, though it's only guess work, your opponent's key attributes, and adjust your own accordingly. There's a long list of opponents to choose from, but selecting weaker chaps will lose you favour points from your trainer, Chu Yu (Same to you! Ed)

Once a selection has been made, you begin your training program by selecting three of the twelve fitness routines. These include Meditation, Sparring and Reflex training. It's a pity that you only get to choose the routine and not to actually watch it. Next your fight tactics have to be chosen. Distribute five given points between four defence tactics, then do the same for attack.

After all this messing about it's time to begin combat. To reach the position of Samurai Warrior, several opponents in each of the three events must be fully defeated. A program such as this stands or falls by the quality of the animation, and I am afraid that Samurai is a touch too slow and jerky for my taste. But the chunky size of the well drawn characters and the natty oriental backdrops lend a touch of class to this otherwise ordinary, slash 'n' hack game. Me? I'll stick to Barbarian. See you at Chopemup Temple sometime.

A decent stab at bringing two new bash 'n' slash simulations to the Speccy, plus yet another Karate game.

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