~DYNASTY WARRIORS 6 REVIEW~
Koei and Omega Force have one task in the videogame industry: make the same topic refreshing and
exciting many times over. With the first near 12 installments of the Dynasty Warriors saga behind us, they make their second addition to the XBox 360 with Dynasty Warriors 6, the newest installment in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Dynasty Warriors is one of the few lasting Beat Em' Up franchises left in the industry, with Dynasty
Warriors giving you control of one of over 40 characters to seize control of the land for their alliance. For anyone who has played any Dynasty Warriors game since the second one, you already know the story. Three Major Forces: Wu, Wei, and Shu, fight and battle to seize control of feudal China, with outstanding officiers and tacticians leading the way to waste thousands of soldiers on the battlefield. These characters range to burly men with gigantic ball & chains to ladies with bow & arrows, and all are running with new add-ons to the game, ranging from different weapons to the new Skill Screen.
The Skill Screen is Dynasty Warriors' new system where every level, you recieve a skill point to put in a
chained sequence of upgrades. These upgrades range from getting more HP and attack, to recieving new powers like being able to increase the time of temporary items. Leveling up also gives bonuses to your four main attributes: Life, Musou, Attack, and Defense. Each character can level up to 50, so it will take a good while for you to MAX out your warrior. It's a neat idea to implement new skills when you want them and it gives some motive to run through all 50 levels.
New to the game is the Renbu Gauge, which with higher levels, allows your character to perform stylish
and devestating combos. Every character's Guage is at level 2, but with upgrades on the Skill Screen can allow the number to go up to 3 and finally to Infinite, where the game hands you a card to just romp on everyone. At Infinite Guage, you attack faster and stronger, as well as allowing you combo counter and your K.O. counter to sky-rocket. Though with this system, DW6 has allowed spamming the X button become an infinite combo, thus negating much need for using the Heavy Attack you're given. Plus, little side note: most Musou attacks are just your Renbu Guage combos, but faster and more powerful. Given the sweet and unique Musou combos in previous games, this is a severe loss in the creativity slot for Omega Force.
Although the skill system is a good additon, the new weapon collection system runs a big question
mark on my review. This is the first Dynasty Warriors game to not have special rare weapons, which added a lot of replayability to get them. What Dynasty Warriors 3 had perfect is now implemented in a 3-tier setup, with weapons being classed by Standard, Strength, and Skill; each given upgrades when your Renbu Guage gets higher. Standard is your average weapon, with increased range; Strength is your big but slower weapon, with increased attack; and Skill is your fast but weak weapon, with increased speed. These weapons can describe your playstyle, but most play the same and the real reason you'll pick one weapon over another is for attack power and the affinities and effects that come with it.
Affinities are like elemental add-ons to your weapons, coming in the forms of: Fire, Ice, and Lightning.
These elements can be used on certain heavy combos in the game and cause massive damage with you're willing to stop hitting the X buttons for a couple seconds. Effects are like items back in Dynasty Warriors 3, with effects like True Musou, the ability to do a super-powerful Musou attack at any HP, and Balance, which gives you and advantages in deadlocks. I would've rather had the item set-up since it's non-existant in Dynasty Warriors 6, but I guess this will do.
But skill systems and elements aside, the one thing I enjoyed the most was the gameplay. You'd figure
that smashing the X button and hurling yourself at enemies would be boring and tedious, but it really isn't. I played through all 17 Story Modes and never got bored once, the ability to hack n' slash through hundreds of people is incredibly enjoyable and at higher difficulties, can be a challenging experience: something I haven't seen in the Dynasty Warriors franchise in a long time.
But the one thing I did not enjoy the most is that the graphics almost look the same from previous
entries, and we're on next-gen material here. The levels, while nice in detail for castles, look bland and boring in the outland. There's so much potential on these fields that if Omega Force took a couple years to smother this game with polish and love, it would look like a mix between Onimusha and Genji with the entertaining gameplay of any Beat Em' Up you've ever played!
Another addition that needs to be put in and taken care of is any type of online multiplayer. Local
multiplayer is fun an enjoyable, but being able to team up with one of your friends online so you and he can team up your level 50's for a Chaos level would be super. Dueling would be sweet, and even a army vs. army battle would be unbelievable! Why isn't this being implemented?
Closing up, I would recommend this game as a very good rental for casual gamers, but a definite buy
for the Dynasty Warriors faithful. Even with bland graphics and some changes that didn't need to be made, Koei and Omega Force have pumped another addicting edition of the Dynasty Warriors that will be played by many for months to come.
- + Good ole' Dynasty Warriors Goodness
- + Good Amount of Characters and Maps
- + Skill System Works Effectively
- + Decently Hard on Higher Difficulties
- - Unnecessary Changes
- - No Rare Weapons?!
- - Bleh Graphics
- - Still no Online Multiplayer