What more can I say? It's like a grand-daddy of musashi autoblog KOTDP. Amazing fm armour weaponry gladiator double bladed wilkinson canes sharpener graphics and gameplay for a 1989 stuff champloo episodes too. Anyone fencing hardc0re sushi angel dragon buster katanas enough to have tried it before?
It's like a combination of ninja and shield Pirates! (the old Microprose "three or four minigames stuck together" method, see also Covert Action) and a simplified Darklands via the menu gameplay. Kinda gets held up because the war and swordfighting minigames (Sid Meier did the sword game) are pretty shitty. The Easy sword of the samurai melee minigame is well balanced and difficult with an annoyingly effective swarm AI.
Pretty much belongs to the same school of awesome as Pirates, Covert Action and Darklands. I loved how you got to play through it from a lowly samurai all the way to Shogun, with some gameplay features only becoming availabe when you reach a certain rank. Just like the other games mentioned it seemed like you found new things each time you played it. A true classic from the golden age of Microprose.
It's a great, great time waster. I tried it for the first time last year and was playing for two days straight trying to get the 300 year shogunate. It also plays fine, if you can get the shortucuts in the manual (otherwise battles will seem quite plain). It's a collage of different minigames. They can get annoying in the harder difficulties, but never take long.
Sure it could have been deeper in the politics, inheritance mechanics (like some turn based strategies) and the darklands style narratives, better minigame levels (they are completely random) still great.