Washed up on the shores of the afterlife, you take control of a skeletal warrior, General Akamoto, whose been murdered and has ended up in the underworld of the dead. You begin the game exiting your ship to discover that you are not only dead but you also want to know why this happened and you must track down who killed you.

The game does a good job in teaching you the basics, but to dig deeper and learn more there is a built-in “How to Play” guide. I highly suggest that you studying this guide before hitting the battlefield, because this game may be a little different to turn-based games that you may have played before.

Once on the battlefield you have various minions at your side, all eager to help you, and include archers and samurai warriors. Navigating around the battlefield is made easy as you take each warrior and move them across the map using up to five turns. This allows you to think strategically and decide how to defeat your foes. Do you go up close and take out your foes, or do you take an alternate route and scan the whole battlefield.

Killing your foes allows you to eat their heads and by doing so will provide additional resources to you by adding more warriors to your cause. Each character has a series of strengths and weaknesses in offense and defence. To resurrect more warriors to your cause you will need to haunt statues and use the heads you collected.

Skulls of the Shogun’s overall style, its witty dialogue and humour makes this game a true joy to play. There are some incredible AI in your battles too, all of which force you to think outside the box and decide what’s the best way to take your enemies on.

When you have progressed further into the game however, you’ll soon get a sense of repetition kicking in, as each enemy shows very little variety. In addition to your arsenal of minions you will also come across shrines that allow you to generate monks that can be used to heal teammates, or even use them to blow the enemies off the end of cliffs.

Once you’ve completed the single player story you can jump into the game’s various multiplayer modes, each of which adds their own personal touch to the game. There are three modes to choose from here: Local Play allows up to four people to play against each other on a local network, the Online mode also allows up to four people around the globe, and the best of all, is the Anywhere Anytime mode, which allows you to simultaneously play on any device, from an Xbox to a Windows Phone, saving all your actions in the cloud so that you can continue where you left off on another device.

The graphics are very artistic and beautifully coloured, but this can make moving around the battlefield somewhat frustrating at times, especially when trying to find your own group of troops. The game does bring the environment into play at times, and this will make things harder to navigate around the map.

With a humorous story and plenty of fun to be had in multiplayer modes, this game is well worth the selling price, but it still has a few little flaws. Skulls of the Shogun is a really nice arcade game, and with not many AAA titles out in these early months, this game will keep you occupied for some time.

Steven Bourke

No longer writes for Console Monster... had a good journey with the team but a new horizon awaits.

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