interesting discussion :) i like.
first i must say that TW2 looks like it takes place in an area around 12th or 13th century. not 14th to 15th. just judging from the clothes and weapons and general art direction of this imaginary world.
Then you're judging wrongly ^_^
12th century= 1100 - 1200 (first and second crusades)
13th cen= 1200-1300 (third crusade)
14th cent= 1300-1400 (also called low middle age)
15th cen= 1400 - 1500 (first renaissance - discovery of america)
If you take a look at the armours and weapons in both 12th and 13 th cen you will see that they MUCH different than the one described in the books and pictured in the games.
back to topic -
so what is the difference between the katana and the western swords? are katanas simply better or do the western swords have their advantages? i assume it's only the weight of the longswords that might add more of a punch to internal damage?....
It's not on topic I'm afraid :)
Ayway, katana and wester swords are simply two different kind of swords. No one is better tha another. They can simply be used in different ways and with different techniques.
Katanas are better to slash and cut, because of their shape and the fact they only has one sharpen edge (very sharpen actually... unless a true katana is sharpen).
A western sword can be not so sharpen or effective, but can be used in many ways, cut, pierce, and in some cases even to bash.
Anyway it mostly depends on the technique. You can go on Youtube and search for videa about the way the two swords are used and then compare.
looking farther into youtube shows that metal armor seems really resilient against swords but looking around at hollywood movies you usually see swords flying around. not maces and axes. it makes me believe that swords were a lot more popular. how come?
Because a sword is more elegant and simply more hollywood style. Plus it's very popular, while maces, hammers, poleaxes are less "spectacular" (if I can say so) and less elegant. I mean: can you imagine Aragorn smashing orc's head with a mace? Kinda more moviesh if he hand a knight sword like anduril.
Anyway, I've never found a hollywood movie historycally good except than a few like: Alatriste, Il mestiere delle armi (which is italian, not hollywood) and Ridley Scott's The Duellists.