Something terribly embarrassing happens on this week’s stream of Musashi: Samurai Legend, and I am going to blame it on poor game design.
Go ahead and try to defend yourself, Playstation 2 game from two decades ago!
As is plainly available for viewing on this blog, I played Musashi: Samurai Legend after fighting through six weeks of Brave Fencer Musashi. As that was fresh in my mind, and Musashi: Samurai Legend is ostensibly a sequel, when I hit a roadblock in this new game, I was expecting I would be able clear this obstruction in a manner similar to what I had experienced in Brave Fencer Musashi. In that previous game, the solution to problems always seemed to be to fish some random villager out of a “secret” trap somewhere across the world, and use this new villager’s assistance to then make progress. Unfortunately, that was not the solution here, as apparently access to the next area of Musashi: Samurai Legend was gated behind using the “copy ability” skill that had not been required since the opening tutorial; and, what’s more, this skill had to be used on a friendly NPC, not an enemy. Given it had been something like six hours of gameplay since the last time a player would have had to use this copy skill, we are going to go ahead and call this game design choice “opaque”.
And the hell of it? I should have expected as much! In Brave Fencer Musashi, hidden villagers were… hidden. There were often occasions where, if you did not search off the beaten path, Steward Ribson would demand thou must-th venture forth and find thine companions again. It would grind the adventure to a halt while you retrieved some anonymous food-themed soldier to be the fourth man in a boss fight gimmick, but it did encourage exploration of Musashi’s world. Now the “worlds” of Musashi: Samurai Legend are little more than monster hallways, so kidnapped mall folk are left scattered along the mandatory path, and often just about as “hidden” as your neighborhood Starbucks (it’s under the giant sign that says “Starbucks”). This is obviously more convenient than having to perform an impromptu treasure hunt like in the previous game, but it also conveys just how little the designers of Musashi: Samurai Legend trusted its player base. They knew you were going to quit this shallow adventure the minute you hit a barrier, and, without the option compelling discoveries, they dropped the concept entirely.
And I still got stuck on the dang fish lady!
But at least I got stuck at the damn mall. At the end of this stream, I am lost trying to find a random villager (that, essentially, does not exist) in an earlier level. But I did not have to waste that time at all! Even though I was jammed, the resolution was available in friendly territory, and I did not have to risk life, limb, and time to move forward. I assumed the answer was elsewhere, but it was right there, and literally as easy as pressing the right button at the right place.
So, hey, Musashi: Samurai Legend may have wasted my time with a silly “puzzle”, but at least it came from a thoughtful place. Gutless, but thoughtful.
Even Worse Streams presents Musashi: Samurai Legend
Original Stream Night: October 11, 2022
Random Notes on the Stream:
- Let’s listen to BEAT talk about his inability to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as we start Samurai Legend Musashi for our second night. And we’ve got fanboymaster too.
- Fanboymaster laments the “diablofictation” of gaming over the years. At least Musashi doesn’t have to sort through annoying loot!
- After a complete discussion of gacha mechanics and the Xenoblade franchise, we talk about how this volcano dungeon is, at best, inoffensive.
- Hey! This stream was right before I officially started uploading the Xenogears streams! That one took a while!
- BEAT has never seen a full episode of The Simpsons, but we are going to talk about the many guest stars of The Simpsons anyway. And, hey, we finally finished this stupid volcano dungeon! For the first time!
- And then as Caliscrub arrives, we talk about genre-defying games, like Mr. Bones and Battletoads.
- And Ample Vigour enters as we discuss how Final Fantasy Type 0 is nonsense from top to bottom. This leads to a wonderful narration from AV as a southern gentleman attempting to describe chocobo wars.
- Parasite Eve: one of those almost compelling games.
- As we reenter the volcano, we all agree to like Waku Waku 7. And maybe Bleach: Dark Souls (no relation).
- Disney killed its 2-D animation trying to appeal to teenage boys. C’est la vie. Let’s fight a lava monster.
- Please enjoy a bunch of grown men talking about the sexiness of various SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron characters. From an objective perspective, you understand.
- And then we have the aforementioned solid 20 minutes of futzing around because I have no idea I am supposed to just learn how to cut from the fish wrecking lady.
- BEAT’s secret twitter origin is ActualPerson84.
- “It’s not fast. It’s not exciting. It just is.”
- And that’s about where we quit so BEAT can play Sonic the Hedgehog elsewhere. Have a good one!
Next time on Musashi: I guess there’s an elven village?