Kenseiden (Sega Master System, 1988)
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|Kenseiden is a samurai game set in ancient Japan. Players control Hayato, a swordsman who begins the game with a simple sword and can gain new attack methods after defeating each of the five tough-to-beat warlock bosses. He can acquire more power during training rounds, and he'll be required throughout the game's 16 levels to go left and right, into buildings, and up and down staircases. Conceptually, the game is solid, but it fails to deliver. Control is frustrating, jumps are more like hops, attacks are lacking in power, movement is sluggish, the music is terrible, and the main character looks more like a buccaneer than a samurai. On a more positive note, the enemies are varied and the detailed backgrounds create the proper mood.
Upon release, The Games Machine gave the game a 86% score, considering it one of the best "hack-'n-slay" games due to its "simple but highly playable action and superb presentation." Computer and Video Games gave it a 85% score, describing it as a "huge" role-playing adventure with exploration, "truly superb" still screens and "plenty of brain-bending puzzles" to last "weeks on end!"
Retrospectively, Levi Buchanan of IGN reviewed Kenseiden. He gave the game a 7.0 and said "even though I found the choice to go grim interesting and the visuals engaging, I have discovered my appreciation for Kenseiden was more of a 'love the one your with' sentiment. Master System junkies should still seek it out and give it a go, but there are indeed better games for the console that deserve your renewed attention."
|Publisher||Sega of America, Inc.|
|Platform||Sega Master System|
|Number of Players||1|
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