Genji: Days of the Blade not massively damaged

Let's get the obvious out of the way first - while playing Genji: Days of the Blade we fought a giant enemy crab and flipped it on its back to attack its weak spot for massive damage. But it's obvious that the game's developer hasn't spent the time since E3 in a sulk - "Guys, we gotta work on presentation!" was apparently company head Yoshiki Okamoto's post-E3 pep talk, and it shows.

Like the original game on PS2, Genji 's sequel is absolutely beautiful, with lush colors and lashings of full-screen filter effects giving it the look of a free-roaming Soul Calibur. But, again like the original game, it's still a pretty simple hack-and-slash affair - there are more enemies, bigger bosses and wilder combos, but it's all comfortably familiar stuff other than looking like it's made of magic.

A new addition is the ability to flick between playable characters as if you were switching weapons - so you can start a combo with a swing of Benki's massive club, knocking enemies into the air, and then bring in Yoshitsune for some fancy aerial combos before they hit the ground.

It's solid and slick, and definitely feels like one of the most finished PS3 titles at the show - just as well, as it's one of the few absolutely, definitely confirmed launch titles. Slower-paced (and much easier, which isn't necessarily a bad thing) than PS3's other action games on show, it's a real comfort food title: the kind of game every launch needs to round out the main course.

September 25, 2006