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Genji: Days of the Blade: Dawn Becomes Day

Where the first Genji game started telling "The Tale of the Heike" (an account of a major struggle in 12th century Japan), Genji: Days of the Blade starts off three years later when the all but whipped out Heishi reemerge and start causing trouble for Yoshitsune and Benkei once again.

Not only does the quick-sworded Yoshitsune Minamoto and the large, brutish Benkei Musashibo return for this sequel titles, but Gozen Shizuka will also eventually join your party of wondering warriors. Also joining the party will be the Lord Buson, the God of War who has become human and taken the persona of Kagekiyo Taira (the leader of the Heishi who was killed in last game).

Genji: Days of the Blade doesn't seem to differ a whole lot from Dawn of the Samurai's formula. Like the past game, each character will have his or her particular weapons (Yoshitsune's swords, Benkei's club, etc.) and you will be able to switch between these heroes whenever you want. Each character has his or her strengths and weaknesses, making it not only easy for you to find a fighter that fits your style, but it also allows the game to put various obstacles in your path that will require you to use one or more of your character's abilities. For instance, early in the game, you have to use Benkei to kick a cart to a wall with a locked gate. You then use Yoshitsune to jump onto the cart and over the wall.

From what I have been able to play of Days of the Blade so far, it is still very much a hack and slash game that will let you plow through scores of opponents with little more than automated button twitching (always a great way to relax at the end of a really long work day).

Graphically, I'm not sure there is a whole lot of difference between the PS2 game and this title, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing since the first Genji was a very nice and clean sight to behold. What I can say for certain is that the story-driving cut scenes look wonderful, and I'm not sure if those are pre-rendered FMVs or scripted in-game graphics.

Days of the Blade feels a lot like the last game, so fans of the previous one who manage to get their hands on a PS3 should be on the lookout for it when it is released with the system. Genji will have a Teen ESRB rating and only supports a singleplayer mode.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer
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