• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Sep 20, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 49
  2. Negative: 1 out of 49
  1. 90
    Genji's appeal for hardcore and newbies alike is that it's an excellently crafted example of the good 'ole slice and dicer with just enough challenge to keep things interesting.
  2. There is a delicateness in the story that is inextricably linked to the violent savagery of the gameplay. It's both sweet and sour or yin and yang. It's Japanese - go figure.
  3. No, it's nothing new, but what it does, it does so well that you can't help but be sucked into this world. The action is near-perfect and the balance of visuals to combat to RPG elements is utterly enchanting.
  4. A beautiful beat 'em up adventure. The simple counter system is a nice idea. A bit short and easy, though. [Dec 2005]
  5. Japanophiles will thrill, but traditional action fans would also be remiss if they didn't at least check out what the fuss is about. [Oct 2005, p.134]
  6. It’s a good game. That’s about all that really needs to be said. If you liked Onimusha, then pick up this game.
  7. The team has definitely nailed the presentation aspects of game making, and coupled it with very solid gameplay. The gameplay isn’t exemplary though, the story could be more intricate, and the game could be longer.
  8. The close quarters combat feels exactly as you'd hope for in a high-quality samurai action game. [Sept 2005, p.85]
  9. Superior visuals and enjoyable user-friendly combat make this one of the best adventure games on PS2. Onimusha fans will love it for sure. [PSM2]
  10. It could have been a little bit longer, and it could have been executed a lot more thoroughly. Even so, Genji is a great ride.
  11. Through its immense playability that never gets too complicated, Genji is just another one of those games for people who play video games. At absolute worst, this is Rental of the Year for 2005.
  12. Played as both a sword-wielding samurai and a warrior monk who swings what looks like a table leg, Genji is mostly a button masher, but one that requires good timing to pull off its truly brutal (and life saving) moves.
  13. With a more detailed and challenging storyline, Genji could have been right up on the top tier with the titles that inspired it. As is, this is an entertaining, beautiful experience for any fan of swords and samurai.
  14. Genji's big downfall is its length. [Nov 2005, p.117]
  15. 80
    Even with the short running time, however, Genji is so well-constructed that anyone partial to sword combat should pay attention.
  16. In the end, game progression is gratifying, and it looks and sounds great enough along the way to make the entire experience an amazingly enjoyable one.
  17. All in all, while I felt the ride was too short, I enjoyed every minute of it. Few games these days can offer a solid 6 hours of joy, even if they have quests that take 50 hours to complete.
  18. The game’s excellent visuals and integration of that Japanese feel make it a better-than-average action adventure game, but is overall too short to make it really stand out.
  19. I would have liked a longer game with a little more challenge to it, but at the end of the day Genji does so many things well that I found myself willing to live with the flaws.
  20. If you're prepared for a long-haul of surreal but exciting battles, then Genji: Dawn of the Samurai is a worthwhile investment and a fitting testament to show that new games developers can provide as much of a leading title as their well-recognised counterparts, which they do here with stunning looks, great sound and engaging gameplay.
  21. Feeling the buzz of Genji’s countering system is the key to enjoying it, making the eastern promise of demanding play feel attainable, if less exotic for those already well-versed in mastering such endeavours. [Sept 2005, p.92]
  22. As viscerally fun and engaging as the game is to play and sensually take in however, its unforgivably short length and overall lack of lasting value is simply too much to over come in the end.
  23. The look and feel of the game is what draws you in but ultimately it is the shallow game play that makes the game a slight chore to play, coupled with the lack of extra content and you have a game that really is over before it feels like it should be over.
  24. This game is a great foundation – now would be a great time to expand on it and fix some of the minor issues to bring out the AAA potential in this title.
  25. 78
    Much like "Darkwatch," this is a game that you definitely want to play, but you're probably better off not paying for, at least not while it's $40. [Import]
  26. It’s short, the movies are long and can’t be skipped, and the difficulty takes a dive at the end of the second hour. These are reasons to avoid a game. At the same time I love Onimusha, and Genji is essentially that game with a new name and face.
  27. As visually striking and aurally impressive as this game is, the duration of Genji and the gameplay issues keep this from being an incredible game.
  28. Genji: Dawn of the Samurai is a good action game, nothing more or less.
  29. Due to some minor flaws here and there, and the fact that game is too short, it's difficult to recommend it for anything other than a rental.
  30. If you're a fan of flashy cut-'em-up action and Japanese mythology, you'll be glad to know that Genji doesn't stray from that path. Unfortunately, that path is a short one, and it ends just as soon as things really start to get interesting.
  31. 70
    Nicely presented, but ultimately shallow, Genji delivers tame action for the short amount of time it lasts.
  32. 70
    To be completely honest, you've seen just about everything Genji has to offer before. It doesn't add anything new to the category, but much like "God of War," what it does manage to do is gather together all of the hackneyed, passe & twaddle of the action genre and package it together in a fashion that is remarkably enjoyable.
  33. The re-telling of the Tale of Genji improvises on the novel with fast-paced action, hard-hitting combos and deep storyline. Pity it doesn't last that long.
  34. Combat is instantly gratifying, reminiscent of the spectacular fight scenes in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Simple controls let players concentrate on timing, with extravagant moves unleashed as countermeasures to clumsy enemy advances.
  35. A game fraught with problems but recommendable nonetheless. When a game makes you smile this much it ‘s easy to forgive it its misgivings. And when the smile is as big as the one on my face, even more so. Now...high five!
  36. 70
    Genji: Dawn of Samurai has plenty of potential appeal and a fair amount of fun. There's just too much of the former and it skimps on the later.
  37. There are certain moments when the game is quite breathakingly gorgeous. [Nov 2005, p.84]
  38. Sadly, Genji gameplay appears to be as stuck in the past as its setting and there's no amount of elegance that can cover a flaw like that up.
  39. Definitely not a top level game, but it was a fun, albeit short ride.
  40. Solid at its core and deft in attack, Genji is still a swipe or two away from being something seriously special.
  41. You'll be finished with the main game by the time breakfast is over, although it’s a helluva ride. The lack of satisfactory length or significant replay value hurts what is otherwise an impressive, stylish action romp through ancient Japan, leading to a game not quite worth its weight in yen.
  42. A solid smash-em-up. [Nov 2005, p.145]
  43. 60
    It's pretty much the perfect rental. Genji: Dawn of the Samurai is fun, action filled, and magnificently produced ride that's definitely worth experiencing once (just not for $40!).
  44. Genji is such a shallow and easy game to complete that it won't keep you busy for more than six or seven hours. And that's only if you can stomach the long-winded cut-scenes. [PSW]
  45. Good, but ultimately a shallow experience.
  46. It seems content to re-tread worn ground without ever pausing to innovate along the way...As a result, Game Republic’s opening gambit is left feeling plod-through tired before the credits have run. [Sept 2005, p.114]
  47. A terminally average hackandslasher.
  48. What so frustrates me about Genji: Dawn of the Samurai is how the game seems to desire this average result from the onset; there is nothing in the game that looks remotely ambitious.
  49. It's a strange and giant leap back to restrictive, basic gaming that becomes joyless rather quickly. Play "Onimusha" instead. [Nov 2005, p.123]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jun 29, 2014
    Really good fun, plays like Onimusha with the brakes off. It's a little on the easy and short side, but does what it does very well. Has aReally good fun, plays like Onimusha with the brakes off. It's a little on the easy and short side, but does what it does very well. Has a neat feature; 'Kamui' - special timed feats that allow you to take out entire screens of enemies on successful taps of the square button. Like Onimusha 2, features designs by Keita Amemiya. Recommended for Onimusha/samurai game fans. Full Review »
  2. AriS.
    Sep 23, 2007
    The visuals and sounds were executed extremely well, with a Japanese aesthetic all the way through. To have the giant Lord Benkei walking The visuals and sounds were executed extremely well, with a Japanese aesthetic all the way through. To have the giant Lord Benkei walking softly, carrying a big stick, through a serene garden of cherry trees, rolling hills, and babbling brooks, only to let loose with a mighty naginata swing at the first sign of an ambush, bisecting three enemy samurai with one hit, to continue walking softly through the serene area after the blood dried, was somehow tremendously satisfying. I'm sure the use of the Kamui game mechanic, a temporary time slowdown, is somehow important to defeating enemies more easily - I just wish I could figure it out. The timing needed to execute that killer swing is extremely touchy, and the window of opportunity can be measured in milliseconds. Nonetheless, the combat is intriguing, not particularly difficult, and some enemies tend to leave themselves way open, going down with one hit at higher levels. I would have liked to see smarter, stronger, faster, and more enemies in the game (though not all at once!). My biggest complaint is the game's length; readers can quickly see I'm not the only one complaining about how the game should have been longer (probably far longer). It's still very enjoyable, with fun gameplay, awesome graphics, cool moves, and nice weapons and armor. I just would have so liked to see more of the above. Full Review »
  3. Syc
    Nov 8, 2006
    A simple but slick, well balanced and thoroughly enjoyable hack n slash with excellent control, tight gameplay and stunning visuals. Not A simple but slick, well balanced and thoroughly enjoyable hack n slash with excellent control, tight gameplay and stunning visuals. Not overly long but certainly worth repeat playthroughs. Full Review »