Well, Genpei Toumaden is quite an abomination, but it could've been a quality action game. The project had a lot of potential; a lot of good ideas went into it. The fact that the designers bothered to come up with three different play modes (the huge-sprite-flaunting BIG Mode, which Samurai Ghost fans are already acquainted with; a sidescrolling distant-view mode; and an overhead-view one) signifies some ambition on their part and gives the game the foundation for Blaster Master-style variety. Also, multiple gateways leading to new areas can be found in most of the distant-view and overhead-view stages, meaning you can take different paths to the end and explore dozens of boards in all. Sadly, there's something terribly wrong with each play mode.
You would think that BIG Mode would be cool since it's utilized for the entirety of Samurai Ghost, a pretty badass game. Unfortunately, in GT, there just isn't much to do in these stages; hardly any effort was made to incorporate clever obstacles or hazards. You smack a few frogs or tigers or flaming arrows with your blade, and then it's boss time. And speaking of the bosses, you face the same two clowns over and over again. Decent parallax backs the lackluster action, but most of the scenery is too simplistic for the visuals to be considered impressive on the whole.