Japan Import: Historical figures of 16th century Japan, battlefields packed with samurai enemies and a lead character capable of laying waste to the whole lot of them with a 200-move combo. Where do we sign up?
The Sengoku Basara games are Capcom's answer to Koei's all-conquering Sangoku Musou series (aka Dynasty Warriors) and they're an absolute blast to play, outpacing their rivals in terms of hot graphics, cool combat and the ease with which you can break out some truly spectacular moves. At times, Basara 2 manages the not inconsiderable feat of making even the most impressive moments of Sangoku Musou seem quite tame.
Double the fun
This twin-disc pack includes the excellent Basara 2 and its slightly smaller follow-up, Basara 2 Heroes. If you're remotely interested in this sort of historical slash-'em-up, or in combo-based fighting adventures such as Devil May Cry, then either game would be worth a purchase on its own. Together they're a slightly expensive but utterly essential import.
Each of the many playable characters has a unique fighting style, with two powerful special moves, more combos than we could possibly count and a couple of charged magic attacks that can clear a battlefield of sword-fodder or keep a boss juggled in the air for about 15 seconds. The animations are superb, and the coolness of some of the moves is all the incentive you'll need to play through the individual story modes with every character.
The controls are are crammed onto the Wii remote and nunchuk, with no use of the pointer or waggle, so you might prefer to switch to a classic controller. Either way, it's responsive and easy to learn. There's no lock-on to help you out in boss battles, which can make the camera seem a bit of a pain, but it's not a catastrophic flaw.
Basara 2 has more characters and nicer CGI cutscenes, while Heroes includes a quality two-player mode and some more extreme moves. However you look at it, though, two discs for the price of one-and-a-half seems like a good deal to us, especially when there's this much gameplay in them.
Action-packed samurai battles that put you at the centre of a whirlwind of knives, swords and pointy things on poles. Your eyes will bleed, your fingers will blister and you'll love it.