Sadame is a Japanese action RPG for the 3DS. It might not look visually impressive and I would go so far as to say that it is quite ugly at times, but once you get into the combat it reveals itself to be surprisingly deep and refreshing.
Story-wise, though, Sadame is pretty uneventful. Bad demons are all across the region. You need to stop them. Taking the setting of feudal Japan and throwing in demons is hardly going to rock your world. You will travel from one place to another, defeating waves of enemies along the way until you finally reach a boss. After defeating each boss you finish the mission and can progress to the next one. Really though the story is just there to set up some surprisingly fun battles with some excellent special moves.
Speaking of special moves there are just so many. You have your basic attack that has its own combos attached, Karma and magic have independent resource pools and there is a stamina bar as well. That might seem like a lot to keep track of and, well, it is. The battles for the most part though are just the right pace that you can slow it down and decide what of your plethora of abilities you want to use. Between missions you can swap sets of skills in and out to get the right combination for your play style. On top of this the game has 4 distinct character classes: Samurai, Monk, Ninja and Rogue. Each class has it’s own special move that only it can perform, a specific weapon type and a multitude of other differences. Pick the one that suits you best, but I would definitely try the first few missions of all 4 to see which fits.
Item drops are a frequent occurence in Sadame with various equipment being swapped between missions and obsolete pieces able to be sold at the shop. After most missions you are going to want to check what you picked up on your travels and see if it can replace any of your current gear. They make a massive difference to the amount of damage you can deal and take. This equipment also affects which special moves your character can access. So, choosing your load out becomes doubly important – do you want maximum stats or that one’s special move that is really cool? Choice is yours, friend.
The best parts of Sadame are definitely its top down combat. As I said before enemies come in waves and you are often either defending a location or moving forwards across a map. Either way the result is the same – defeat everything in your path to progress. With the array of combat abilities at your disposal from meteors to icicles the battleground quickly becomes a visual spectacle scattered with demon corpses. This would be more enjoyable if the enemy design was more interesting, but all the special moves look great. All the moves in Sadame make your character feel extremely powerful and while it isn’t going to be something you play forever it is certainly great fun while it lasts.
The sound design in Sadame is standard affair that doesn’t exactly inspire. The effects for attacks and enemies is fit for purpose and the soundtrack doesn’t offend. As I’ve said before the real reason to play Sadame is for the combat. That juicy, explosive combat. Don’t bother picking up this game unless you just want to hit some folk for a few hours because long before the end of the game’s weak plot you will have grown bored of slogging through demons. And if you’re after other things, then there are certainly better games.
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