cloudleet's Deadliest Warrior (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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Great Concept, not a great game.

Deadliest Warrior: The Game seems right of the bat like it's gonna be a great fighter, pinning different legendary warriors against eachother in an M rated game based on Spike TV's show with the same name, to finally find out who is the greatest warrior of them all. 
The game features 8 characters. The Knight, The Viking, The Pirate, The Roman Centurion, The Spartan, The Ninja, The Samurai and the Apache and 4 stages plus one unlockable. When you start playing, you start out with basic weapons, like the Katana for The Samurai and the Ninjato for the Ninja. You also have a secondary weapon, a ranged weapon and armor. During the Arcade-mode you unlock new weapons and armor with different characteristics and new attack-combos. Great concept and an awesome idea, but does it work.
Short answer, no. The game has added an instakill feature which means that every attack you make or recieve could be your last. This is like the Insta-Knockout from the Fight Night and UFC series, and just like these, this can be way to random at times. A match can end after two seconds if the ranged weapon goes critical, and that is a real mood-killer when it's the first match you play. It's a great idea, but needs more balancing before it's put into practice.  This makes the aforementioned combos and different weapons seem pretty useless when, as mentioned, every blow you give or receive could be the last, no matter how much health you have left.
If you do get to fight along without random deaths the game can be fun. You block, you dodge, you roll, you counter, you fight and if you deplete your enemy's health to 33% your hear his heartbeath and the screen goes slightly red. You then have a chance to pull off a special finisher by pressing two buttons together (A+X or A+B). These can be entertaining and bloody, but slightly annoying when you notice that The Spartans finish, where he jumps up and stabs you in the neck on the way down, is often ridden with clipping-errors and his sword often ends up going through the Knights armor, not even close to any vital organs, but still, most of these are bloody brilliant, pun intended. This would be great had it not been for the jank. The game freezes for half a second once in a while which throws you off your game and the game goes from "Combotastic" to ye olde buttonmasher. This also ruins the game. That and the music which seems to be set on random due to distance from your enemy/ attacks.  
This game is also in serious need of some balancing. The Ninja, Pirate, Apache and Samurai do not work well in fights against warriors with shields. The Ninjas ability to roll is highly inaccurate and the fact that there is no lock-on ability often makes you end up fighting the air while your enemy just casually walks up to you and stabs you with a sword. This makes many Warriors feel superior to others and it's not what you want from a game where you want to kick ass with your favorite warrior, versus an equally skilled enemy with the same chance of winning, only with different techniques. If you pin The Apache against the Spartan for example, The Apache has to wound the Spartans arm so he can't carry his shield anymore, THEN open a can of whoopass on him. And with the Insta-Death Feature always lurking, this can be harder than it seems and should be. 
All in all, this is not a great game. The graphics are sloppy and the hit-tracking is badly tuned (your attack seems to miss but still does damage) and there are occasional bugs (I was going through arcade as The Ninja, but the game kept insisting on that The Ninja was The Apache during the character introductions). So far, it's not worth the money it's demanding, but with some proper patching this game would not be half bad. I'm looking forward to seeing the DLC-character when that time comes, but until they fix this game, this is an hour or two's escape from other great games which are out at the moment, like DeathSpank and Risk Factions.

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