Way back in January, when everyone was doing their Top Games of 2012 lists, Grethiwha chose Way of the Samurai 4 as his favorite game of the year, which intrigued me as I hadn't really heard much about the series until then. Well, it took me a while, but I'm finally getting into the series. I decided to start with Way of the Samurai 3, since it was cheaper, and then possibly get 4 depending on how much I liked 3. So far, I'm really enjoying 3 a lot! It seems to be slightly less wacky than the way Grethiwha described 4, but it's still a pretty silly game. If you look past the silliness, it's still a fairly solid samurai game. But the humor is where the game shines.
The very first thing I did in the game was pick up a green onion off the ground, which turned out to be a weapon you could use. So obviously I equipped that deadly veggie immediately, and then proceeded to beat a thug to death with it. And with that, within a few minutes of playing the game, I was already in love with it.
I continued into the village, where I helped a housewife chop vegetables with my vegetable, retrieved an old lady's lost underwear, and spoke to a beestung man who wished he'd been stung on his junk, so that maybe it would look bigger for the ladies.
Silliness aside, the gameplay is kind of strange but actually pretty unique. If you die in the game, you'll have to start over from the beginning of the story again, but any items, points or unlockable content you obtained in that playthrough will carry over into the next one. Permadeath gives the game sort of an arcade-y feel, but since the game can be beaten in only a few hours, and most progress you make carries over, it doesn't really feel unfair. It might become tedious for some people to have to replay parts of the story over and over again if they die, but you can keep things interesting by choosing different actions, dialogue options or story paths each playthrough. It might take a while to get used to, but it can be very rewarding when you finally get it.
So now I'm really looking forward to finding out what Way of the Samurai 4 holds. But in the meantime, I've still got plenty of thugs to kill with my trusty sideonion, while running around in my underwear, with a falcon on my shoulder.