Samurai Warriors Chronicles is a 3DS entry in Koei's Samurai Warriors series. It was first announced as one of the first third-party titles in development for the 3DS at E3 2010. The game was released as a launch title for the handheld in Japan in February of 2011. It was also released alongside the 3DS in North America on March 27, 2011.
The game features the entire roster of characters from Samurai Warriors 3, as well as characters made playable in its Japan-only expansion Samurai Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends.
Unlike earlier entries in the series, the story mode of Samurai Warriors Chronicles casts the player in the role of a player-created character. This hero takes part in major battles of the Warring States era and becomes friends with the historical characters through interaction with them.
Like other entries in the Samurai Warriors series, the basic gameplay sees the player completing battle objectives by maneuvering through a battlefield while eliminating countless enemy forces. A new feature introduced to the series in this installment is the ability to switch between player characters on the fly using the touch screen and jump to their respective positions on the battlefield. The player can also set objectives for the player-officers not under their current control.
Additionally, each character also has a set of special skills linked to the spirit gauge. When the proper number of orbs in a character's gauge are filled, the player may use that character's skill. Such skills include the ability restore health to the player's characters, temporarily boost the player characters' attack, and temporarily lower the enemy's morale, among other effects. Some skills require specific pairs of characters to invoke and may only be used when both are present on the battlefield.
Horse mounts work much as they do in previous games. The player can begin a stage mounted on horseback by assigning a horse to the main character before the start of battle. Horses cannot be assigned to any other character, but no matter the character in current use, the player can summon the horse to the character's side by pressing up on the directional pad.
Friendship Events are conversation between the player character and another officer that occur after battle. During these events, the way that the player interacts with the officer will affect their relationship. The better their relationship, the more Friendship Events become available. High friendship levels will also allow the player to use the befriended officer in other battles and at the highest level use the officer's weapon style.
During these Friendship Events, the player will encounter at least one dialogue tree. Based on the dialogue option selected, the other character may approve, and the friendship will increase, or feel insulted or disappointed, and the friendship will decrease. However, some options are neutral and will not affect the friendship level in any way. All Friendship Events that have been viewed may be viewed again in the Events section of the vault.
Character Creation & Customization
The main character of Samurai Warriors Chronicles is created upon starting a new game. The player initially selects the characters gender and name, and then answers a series of questions that affect aspects such as the character's leveling growth pattern. After the player gains access to the shop, the character's appearance can be further customized.
Each character is also capable of equipping accessories that affect the characters' stats. The accessories are divided into slot levels and may only be equipped to the slot of the appropriate level.
Outside of battle, the player can visit the in-game shop. Here, the player can upgrade weapons through either weapon fusion, in which two weapons are combined to create a more powerful weapon, or item fusion, where a weapon is combined with an item to grant it new abilities. The player can also purchse new horse mounts and items to customize the player character's appearance. Play Coins can also be exchanged in the shop for more money, with each Play Coin worth 100 gold.
Using the 3DS's StreetPass feature, the player can create a team of officers to battle against other opponents. In addition to their statistics, each officer excels at a specific tactics type (Berserker, Strategist, Assassin, Healer) that will affect the outcome of each battle. The party can also be set in formations which enter into a rock-paper-scissors style relationship and which can prove advantageous if in battle against an opponent using the weaker formation.
Before the start of each battle, the starting health of some characters on both teams may go down if certain other characters are present in the opposing team's roster. Once the battle begins, all actions taken are automatic with no player input. Characters may attack individual opponents are strike all members of the opposing team depending on their class. Healers can also partially restore the health of a single ally each turn.
Engaging in StreetPass battles yields new weapons for the player. Characters that participate in StreetPass battles will also gradually improve their friendship levels with the player.
The SpotPass feature can be used to download Gaiden stages. Gaiden stages exist independent of progress in story mode and can be played at any time after they're downloaded. To use this feature, the player must allow the game to create data on an SD card.