Summary: The Xbox Live Arcade, after nine long years, still doesn't have a whole lot of classic style strategy RPGs. Discounting tower defense, there's Band of Bugs , Greed Gorp , and a scant few others. Enter Skulls of the Shogun : a new SRPG that seeks to mix things up a little bit while retaining the classic strategy formula. Skulls is interesting in that it's a Strategy RPG without a grid, and it features cross-compatibility between three platforms.
Skulls of the Shogun review: Delightfully deceased
29 August 2013
Excerpt: Some games get million dollar advertising budgets, posters in Times Square and Superbowl Spots. The publishers want to make damn sure you hear about them. Then there are the other types of games — the ones you hear whispers about at trade shows, see people posting about on forums and hear more and more about through word of mouth.
Excerpt: There are not a lot of turn-based strategy games on Xbox LIVE Arcade, so Skulls of the Shogun deserves a look if just for a change in pace. It has a lot of competition in the gaming world, however, especially as it is modelled more on the Japanese Strategy RPG game (or more particularly, Advance Wars) than the Western version of the oeuvre, and Intelligent Systems is an inspiring but supremely tough act to follow.
Conclusion: Skulls of the Shogun requires patience and a knowledge of the gameplay. This is not a game that can be won by brute force or guesswork like some strategy games. Sure, your army of infantry units may get close to the General but in a few turns he’ll be rampaging through your units like an unstoppable twister of death. The choice between attacking a unit, eating a skull to gain health, or backing off can make all the difference in Skulls of the Shogun .
Excerpt: As the last of his enemies lay dying at his feet, General Akamoto stands triumphant on the battlefield. Set to be proclaimed Shogun of all feudal Japan, Akamoto’s celebration is cut short as a mysterious figure stabs him in the back, sending him on his way to the Shores of the Dead. But even here, he finds nothing but treachery, as another warrior is impersonating him and attempting to keep him at bay.
Conclusion: Skulls of the Shogun offers up a fairly unique take on what we’ve come to expect from turn-based strategy titles, and its use of a unique movement structure and simplified unit types makes this a far more accessible venture than most titles in the same genre. But that accessibility doesn’t come at the cost of challenge, which later stages certainly prove. Combine that with a fun, but bare online mode and you’ve got a new XBLA title that’s definitely worth a look.
Conclusion: With a 4 I am saying that the game is a lot of fun, and I recommend it to people who like this genre. price This review has been made at a 1200MSP price point. If you read this review at a point in time when the game is cheaper take that into consideration. comments Leave a comment if the review disappoints - if I've forgotten to mention anything I'll be happy to add on or clarify.
Excerpt: Skulls of the Shogun provides a solid, well-thought-out experience in a genre that needed more accessible titles. It’s not the next craze or anything, and the pacing issues will hold back play that isn’t asynchronous, but it does a lot of things right and is one of the best XBLA offerings we’ve seen in some time.
Pros: Well-considered strategy, lots of multiplayer options
Cons: Troubling endgame pacing, minor aesthetic issues