Roy Nathan de Groot

Samurai Blitz Pixel Review

Studio Thunderhorse

For me, Samurai Blitz is the perfect blend between a retro- and modern pixel game. It doesn't limit itself to emulate the look of older consoles, but it doesn't flood the screen with flashy effects either. And why would it, it has nothing to hide! From the beautifuly rendered paralax backgrouds to the lovely animated player, enemies and bosses, this is pixel art at its finest. (And the music is amazing as well!)

Just look at him go!

I play this game almost daily! And the only pixel critique I could think of was the way this game handles cutting up its enemies. It takes a rather simple approach, by splitting the sprites right down the middle. If this is done programmatically, I would suggest adding some variation in where the sprite is cut. If it is an art decision I would go for the Mega Man Zero approach! Mega Man Zero cuts up there enemies in a simular fashion, but the angle of the cut is meant to suggest that themsprites are actual three dimensional objects.

Two examples from Mega Man Zero (left), the original effect and my edit (right)

Though the game might become a bit more gruesome, I do think the sprites would benefit from this change. The current approach makes te sprites feel too flat in my opinion, while the edit adds volume to the sprite.

And thats it, I wouldn't change anything else. This game is a great example of the level of detail pixel art games can have. The entire game world feels alive. It's something I stive for in my own projects.

I do have one gameplay related suggestion:
Meaningfull items; I haven't been able to buy all items yet. But except for the scrolls (and maybe the flair), none of them seem to be more then cosmetic changes. And the scrolls only add upon, instead of to the existig gameplay. This keeps me from buying and spending more coins. If a different [dress] would either add some speed, give the player more airtime, etc. I would have a bigger incentive to give you guys more money! Maybe theres a lucky hat that increases the chance for a red vase, I'd be all up on that! Okay, maybe such upgrades would alter the core gameplay too much, but I do think it would add more meaning to the items in the shop.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! Please visit the thunderhorse website and twitter for more awesome pixel art and games. And if you haven't downloaded this gem, do so now. It's free!

Cheers, Roy

Take me back home!