Sengoku Densyo

Sengoku Densyo
Nintendo Super Famicom

Sengoku Densyo

戦国伝承 || Data East 1993
Original Post Date: October 8, 2019

Sengoku Densyo is a rather loose port of an identically named 1991 Neo Geo action title.

Unlike the original version, which played more akin to a hack and slash, placing emphasis on one-hit killing enemies via sword power-ups, the Super Famicom edition is much more of a traditional beat ’em up, with a more fleshed out combo system, desperation attacks, and an actual grab and throw system, which the original game lacked altogether.

There are two playable characters, the creatively named Dan and Bill. Each play identically to each other, and are of course available for 2-player co-op.

Your basic move-set amounts to typical beat ’em up fare – you have a standard jab combo which can be ended with a throw by holding up on the D-pad, a la Final Fight, and multiple throws to perform on a grabbed enemy, including the mighty piledriver that’ll serve as the most useful attack in the game.

Where Sengoku gets interesting is in its power-up system – many of the slain enemies will leave behind orbs that’ll grant various upgrades based on their color.

These can refill your health, allow you to wield one of multiple blade types, fire projectiles, or change you into one of three alternate forms, including a samurai, a ninja, and a wolf with an invincible spinning jump. While transformed, collecting other orb types will grant you extra power-ups in the form of numerous projectile types.

There are quite a few combinations to play around with, allow each power-up will deplete after a set period of time.

Sengoku features six levels, as well as an additional boss rush found only on the hard difficulty setting. While its atmosphere is alluring, where this game suffers is in the sheer redundancy of its stages.

They drag on much too long, with several backgrounds that’ll be repeated throughout the game, and to make matters worse, the music here is notably dreadful.

I’ve always loved the quirky “Big Trouble in Little China”-esque vibe of Sengoku, as well as its clever power-up system, and its boss and enemy designs.

Unfortunately, the amount of jank that accompanies these qualities may be a bit too much for the average player to tolerate.

Rating: 7/10

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