Berserk Musou | Berserk and the Band of the Hawk – R3DGaming Review

By Nate

Berserk already has its own niche with its anime series and the couple of games that have come out back in the day. Now, you get to play as Guts, Casca, Griffith and the rest of the Berserk cast in Berserk Musou or in the West, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.

Berserk Musou is an action hack n’ slash with over 18 hours of story. This was completed on normal difficulty so playing it on Easy or on a harder difficulty might make it longer. Berserk Musou lets you play through the “Golden Age Arc” of the anime’s story along with a new arc, “The Hawk of Millenium Arc.”

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In the Golden Age Arc, it is a retelling of the story and includes Guts and Griffith’s initial meeting of one another. It also takes you through the popular anime’s story. “The Hawk of Millennium Arc” is a revenge tale where players will experience friendship, love, rape, and horrific sequences. It has one of the best stories that Koei Tecmo has put forth in their hack n’ slash games and it does the anime justice.

Players cannot only experience a great campaign, but also two more modes in Berserk Musou. The game features a free mode, which is simply playing through a battle with the character of your choosing. Berserk Musou’s “Eclipse” Mode is a survival mode where you must fight endless swarms of enemies. You are competing for a high score. With the three modes, the replayability is really high, especially if you have multiple favorite characters. The only thing that could have been added is a cooperative mode as some of the AI seems dumb at times.

Gameplay on the battlefield of each stage is fun and not the same Dynasty/Samurai Warriors setup. As it is developed by Koei Tecmo, some of the many familiar features are presented in this game. Attacks are unique because you have combos with pressing between square and triangle. There are also additional side weapons that can be equipped during a fight by using the D-Pad.

Alongside your weapons and sub-weapons are boosters and special items. These will allow your character to gain health, boost the Musou/Berserk gauge, and more. These are essential to boss fights. Not only do players have a health gauge, but they also have a magic gauge that fills up and allows you to become super powerful once you use it. Once in this special Musou mode, you can fill up the left bar to its max and unleash an ultimate Musou/Berserk attack.

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The gameplay is fast, but not quite the same as either Dynasty/Samurai Warriors. I found this to be good and it makes the game more unique. The game also has an unlockable demon mode later in the game and makes your character essentially invincible. My only complaint is trying to understand some of the objectives is it seems like you are supposed to protect certain AI. Instead of them following you to a checkpoint, they just stand there sometimes and die. Stupid AI is something that has happened in past Koei Tecmo games, but it’d just be nice to have cooperative gameplay in order to compensate for it.

Leveling up equipment is another great component to Berserk Musou. Players can upgrade equipment using orbs or combine equipment to make it stronger. New equipment, orbs and horses can be either earned in battle or bought in the store.

Berserk Musou features 3 different types of scenes. The game supplements the story with anime scenes straight from the Berserk anime and brand new bloody cutscenes. The anime is presented beautifully and the dialogue scenes also look good. It is like a cross between the engine that was used for Arslan and Nioh. Speaking of Nioh, some of the monsters look very similar to the ones from the beta of that game. Also, the bosses are just brilliant and crazy. I expected nothing but greatness from this game. Some of the enemies did make me laugh though. Walking crocodiles as opponents? Tiny tigers with big eyes?

Overall, Berserk Musou is the best game that I have played from Koei Tecmo. It presents an anime that I will continue to watch now because of the game. The characters and story seem to flow well together. I also love the fact that they are using blood and gore for once. The fact that it was turned off at the beginning of the game is a little disappointing, but easily fixable. There is only two problems that I had with the game and that is the sometimes derpy horses and the dumb AI.

9/10 – A must-buy game! Berserk Anime fans will not be disappointed.

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