Nutshell Review: Seven Samurai 20XX
Reviewer: Cliff Davenport
I’m not one to condemn any title, game, film, or otherwise, before I’ve ever experienced
it just because of what its creators set out to do. I’ve been surprised by remakes
With a disjointed narrative that’s actually got more in common with another Seven
Samurai reincarnation, the anime Samurai 7, (confused yet?) 20XX invites players
to take on the role of Natoe, a reluctant samurai in a neon-
Seriously, these are the main characters. That jacket is straight out
of “Thriller”, and you know it.
You can thank Jean Giraud for that stylistic choice, a man better known for his work on the artistic design of films like Alien, Tron, and, most telling of all, The Fifth Element.
It all makes sense now.
At its core, Seven Samurai 20XX is a linear, third person, hack n’ slash button-
Gameplay’s most interesting feature is the Nitou-
“That’s a start…”
Localization is another issue that frequently knocks what little immersion this title
attempts to hand to players right out of their palms. The word “samurai,” for example,
is almost nowhere to be found in the game’s largely text-
All that said, however, 20XX’s combat system just doesn’t seem to fit with the narrative at hand. Its single playable character comes as surprise enough already, given the very title of the game, but the fact that said character is always alone during battles is downright nonsensical. It never fails; during every fight throughout this game, all six of Natoe’s absentee allies find somewhere else to be. Every. Single. Time. It would be downright comical if it weren’t such an infuriating buck in the face of the narrative’s very theme, from source to finish!
Readers unfamiliar with Akira Kurosawa’s legendary film, Seven Samurai, which damn
near inspired a genre’s worth of imitators, may approach Seven Samurai 20XX with
wider arms than I did, I admit, but I gave this game its chance. I really did. Through
grit teeth, I put up with fight after fight after ear-
Mr. Rodman, this isn’t North Korea.
What am I supposed to do with that?! Artistic liberties (that phrase feels so inadequate
right now) are one thing, but I sincerely suspect now that someone on Sammy Studios’
design team harbored a hidden malice for this project. Nothing else can adequately
justify such an image. To say that Seven Samurai 20XX fails to live up to its legacy,
despite the supposed involvement of Kurosawa Productions during its development,
is an understatement the likes of which I try to avoid. At the end, however, I suppose
there’s mercy to be found in this game’s short, five-
Controls & Mechanics: 4
Atmosphere & Experience: 2
Entertainment Value: 2
“I…I don’t want to be remembered anymore.”
Publisher: Sammy Studios
Release Date (U.S.): Mar 12, 2004
Release Date (U.K.): Apr 20, 2004
Release Date (JP): Jan 8, 2004
Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport Est. 2013. Links | Legal Notices
Share this page: