Ghost of Tsushima has plenty for you to find and do in its marvellous open world. Whether you want to follow foxes to treasure, leer at Jin’s butt, or simply cut down every bandit and invader in your path, there’s dozens of hours of content here. For me, though, I would gladly take part in Bamboo Strikes all day if I could.
Bamboo Strikes are dotted throughout the map, usually inside a town. You can unlock a special navigation technique to find them quicker via the wind if you want to, which I surely did, or follow the golden birds. I’m not even in the third area yet and I have already claimed 13 out of a possible 16 across the entire map. As well as increasing your Resolve, cutting down bamboo stands is just simply a tonne of fun.
Basically a rhythm mini-game, you are tasked with remembering a series of inputs within a time limit, the inputs disappearing as soon as you start swinging. It starts off with three bamboo, then five, and then finally seven. Each new sequence adds more inputs on top of what you’ve already completed, meaning that your hands will eventually be dancing across the controller like a much more chill version of Dance Dance Revolution.
My partner, whose interest in my playthrough is also occasionally piqued by the foxes, absolutely loves playing these Bamboo Strikes but doesn’t really care for the combat. They’re challenging, yet beatable, like a samurai version of Bop It! where your ultimate end goal is better killing efficiency. I’ve not played Bop It! in a while, but I can’t remember this being one of the perks — checkmate to Tsushima.
These Bamboo Strikes are so much fun that I almost don’t want to track down the final ones. I just want to keep cutting down bamboo forever, listening to the island’s winds passing behind me as I play one of the most fun mini-games I’ve played in years endlessly. It’s so weirdly therapeutic, even if the combinations can end up being a bit mind-bending.
There’s hope for an infinite Bamboo Strike mode for me, though. SIE Bend went above and beyond following Days Gone’s release to add new content, and plenty other Sony first-party titles have seen some kind of new mode added post-launch. While something similar to Bloody Palace would probably be what gets players coming back to Tsushima, I would personally kill to cut down bamboo until I have enough to feed the panda population of the planet.
Ghost of Tsushima is out now exclusively for the PlayStation 4.
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