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First off I'd like to state that I won't be going into too many details about the battles system, graphics or music because these are more related to the original release of Dynasty Warriors 3. Plus, you shouldn't be checking out this game unless you have previous experience of the franchise.
Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends is the equivalent to the qualities and quantities of downloadable content. Making this release a hardcore, fan only buy, for those who were either there from the beginning of the Dynasty Warriors (and even Romance of the three kingdoms) or just a massive fan of the third installment - which in my opinion is the best in the series.. and considering the latest releases, will remain the best. What DW3XL gives you is the stories that would have somehow made 3 better. The maps, characters, music, voice acting and even the menus are all exactly the same as DW3. Diao Chan, Dong Zhuo, Lu Bu, Meng Huo, Yuan Shao, Zhang Jiao, and Zhu Rong are the only playable characters in this release, compared to the originals offering of 41 legends. None of them differ at all from DW3 whether its appearance, move set or voice cast.
If you have any knowledge of the Dynasty Warriors series, you'll know that these particular characters, were not available for 'Musou Mode' - the story option which sees your chosen character take part in all note worthy battles in which they make an appearance, mostly fictitious but not without the odd historical truth (although mightily exaggerated). Now these people didn't necessarily have poor plot lines or back story, in fact, some such as the myth Diao Chan and worlds mightiest warrior Lu Bu were the possible reasons for this release. However, the levels aren't done justice. Most are recycled from the original with different troops and scenarios or a change of weather and different time of day/night. New additions to the game include better customisable bodyguards. You can still have them attacking and defending, but also put them in support roles to take out archers and 'shield' means they never attack but rotate around you to take the damage.
New items found are: Bronze Flask, Mountain Pouch, Mountain Quiver, Beast Harness, Scroll of Accuracy, Imperial Harness, Master's Cloak, Seven Stars Blade, Seal of Darkness, Marching Drum, Divine Gauntlet, Divine Helm, Lightning Bow, Legendary Scroll and Musou Armour. Most of these dont really add much to the past games items, other than that they can help you endure effects and upgrade abilities which the past game didn't such as immunity to stun, gain morale and points. However, most are sub par special effects that aren't too important, like making horses stronger, automatically jumping when knocked down and displaying your animals on the mini map - again, things it seems where forgotten or overlooked in the first game. There are even '5th weapons' to unlock, similar to that of Koei releases after the fourth installment. In summary - only characters who had missing stories, 5th weapons, unspectacular new items and events, uninspired storys and maps. Not really worth the money or even release - but given the time since release, you can pick this up for cheap.. if you're not put off.