* Prices may differ from that shown
Dynasty Warriors is a near enough verbatim port of the decent, if minimal, PS2 game series of the same name. It would be a mistake for those who have the original games to re-buy it for the PSP, but if you're new to the series and want a brainless hack-and-slash fest, this just about delivers. You control a number of characters in Feudal Japan, playing through several real campaigns.
The game has a mild strategic element, in that different officers have different attributes, and you can trade them with friends via WiFi, but ultimately the order of the day is just simple attacking in brute, enormous force (although the number of fighters has been scaled back somewhat to suit the PSP's lesser capabilities). It's quite repetitive, but there are a few extra attacks to shake things up just a little bit.
Visually, the game has some good textures, but it is very much prone to a poor frame-rate even with the draw distance and character volume being dialled back. Similarly, the camera angles are sometimes awkward, resulting in your health depleting for a while without you realising that it's the lucky sap who is stabbing you a few inches out of eye-shot. Aurally there are some good action sound effects, and the soundtrack is tolerable, but again there's nothing great here.
If you have the superior PS2 versions, don't bother. If you're new to DW, this is a fun, if vapid action game that's easy to get to grips with, and there is a nice WiFi feature, but ultimately it's not as satisfying as it could be, and fans might be a bit disappointed if they decide to get it.
About 4 or so years ago now I was round a friend's house and we were playing loads of PS2 games and having loads of fun. He then suggested we play this game called Dynasty Warriors - one that I had never heard of or seen, so I just agreed and had absolutely no idea what I was about to be playing. As soon as we started and got into battle I found this game absolutely amazing and was astounded at the sheer size of the battles as you have to fight through literally thousands of enemies and eventually defeat some big boss guy!
Since playing this version - one of the very first ones I was hooked on this game and have bought most of the sequels for the PS2 and then also decided to get it for the PSP - I was so excited!
What is the general idea of the game?:
It tells the story (which are loosely based on true events) of the Han Dynasty in the 2nd or 3rd Century. In the game you choose to play as one of the kingdoms: Wei, Wu, or Shu and then choose your character. You have to basically fight battle with two massive armies and defeat the enemy by reducing their morale so low that they retreat.
On this PSP version the battles are separated into smaller areas and you choose your path to follow after each fight. Each area will of course involve fighting enemies but some may or may not contain bosses in. You reduce morale of the enemy by killing enemies and in particular defeating bosses - i.e. main characters from the enemy team.
In fighting you have your weapon and using the different buttons can perform different moves and build up combos to special attacks which are really cool.
On the main menu there are several different modes to choose from:
- Musou Mode: In this mode you can basically complete a campaign mode under each of the forces. You choose your kingdom, then your character and work through the levels which get harder as you go through. This can be done with each kingdom and each character within those kingdoms - so it can be done over 15 times!
- Free Mode: In this mode you simply select a scenario and just play that one to practice your skills. More scenarios and characters are available as you complete the musou mode and unlock them.
- Officer Camp: In this section you can read about all your officers and characters and also trade them with your friends using wi-fi and try and collect all the rare officers.
There are of course options in which you can adjust ability settings making the game more challenging or easy as you fell suitable. You can also change the sound settings and controls.
Pre and post battle:
Before each battle you must choose your officers. These are other good characters which will fight by your side in your army providing extra battle skills and abilities and boosting your own characters abilities. In each battle you can have up to four officers, but their skill level cannot add up to more than your limit. So it is a question of quality or quantity. Of course as you proceed through the game your limit will rise and you will unlock better officers to aid you.
Before the battle you can also check out conditions for victory or defeat and assess the state of the enemy army and how long it may take to defeat it - such as its level of supplies.
After the battle, if you win you and your officers will gain experience. This will be accumulated and your character will upgrade through the levels up to level 10. As you gain experience your different abilities will increase including life, attack, defense and how many continuous attacks you can have.
The controls are relatively simple to get to grips with in this game with triangle, circle and square all different types of attack. So you just have to keep tapping and varying this in battle to make combos. X is to make your character jump and R to use your bow to take out distant enemies. The analog stick is to make you move whilst the d-pad is to control the orders for your officers. And that is basically it and is very simple to get use to. You will also get accustomed to different characters and their separate attack styles and good combos to use.
You can save several different games at one time which is really useful so you can start several campaigns at once with the different kingdoms. So if you get bored with one then just start another without losing your original game!
Sound and graphics:
The graphics I would say are really good for a good PSP game and are very similar to the game on the PS2 with all enemies looking great and when attacking there is loads of cool colours appearing as you perform different moves and swipe your sword into the other enemies!
The sound is also great with good sound effects of your character shouting and hitting the enemy - and your fellow soldiers cheering. There is also good music in the background making your ready for battle
Why is it so good on the PSP?:
I find this game one of the most enjoyable and fun games to play when you are bored as you can just go and thrash thousands of enemies non-stop with loads of cool moves (oh and by the way you can even ride horses across the battlefield to make it quicker). It is even better on the PSP as you can take it anywhere with you and whip it out when you have nothing else to do - such as a long journey in the car!
£9.98 from amazon.co.uk
A great price for such a fun little game that you can play for hours on end and then come back to whenever you want!
A must have for any PSP owner - the ultimate fighting and massive battle game!
Difficulty: Very Easy.
Learning Curve: Around 10 minutes.
Dynasty Warriors for the PSP, based on the same engine used for Dynasty Warriors 4. Created by KOEI, when going through their 'handheld' phase, which all game companies come to at some point, they decided to make a strategy grid based system for the repetitive yet entertaining Dynasty Warriors game play.
As it is known, Dynasty Warriors has never really changed its form through the never-ending cycle of sequels, where it just continually repeats the same battles over and over, with the odd new twist and tweak to make it seem worth getting for the diehard fans. However, for those that are looking for added strategy towards this style of game, KOEI have made a good attempt for doing so on the handheld PSP.
Each battle you par-take in, will allow you to go into battle mode, and strategy mode. Strategy mode is where you choose your officer to go. On a grid based map, you can choose either to go forward, left, right or back, depending if the path leads that way. Your choice can lead to advantages, or disadvantages. However, from moving too much, you will loose supplies, which you can restock at supply bases conquered. There are many different types of squares, such as main camps, defence bases, attack bases, and supply bases, plus more. Each base has a unique aspect to them, such as supply base will increase your overall supplies, while defence bases will be a lot harder to conqueror.
When in battle mode, after you've chosen where you want you and your unit to head, this is where the action kicks in. You appear in a part of the map, where you are forced to face several enemy soldiers, and sometimes some officers. Your objective to conquer this square is to kill so much that the enemy morale reaches zero, where they will flee. As per usual, to win a battle, you will need to kill the enemy ruler or take their main camp, but there will also be some new objectives to win battles, such as for the yellow turban rebellion (a well used battle in Dynasty Warriors series' formed of imperial units versus the masses of rebels), you can win by taking out all of the shrines (which appear in certain squares on the strategy mode).
Also so other new features, is the sub-officer system, which allows you to take up to four officers in your unit. However, you can't take everyone you want, as officers cost leadership points, if you don't have enough leadership points to cover the officers you want, you won't be able to take them. Naturally, the better the officer, the more leadership points you'll need. There is also an online feature based on this, although nothing special, it allows you to trade officers you've gotten to other peoples games, but there is really no use to this.
Gameplay - 6/10
With the same basic actions and repetitive hack n slashing from all the other dynasty warriors games, this isn't anything really special, especially when you start using the same moves over and over again as there's not enough ways to dispose of your enemies. You may enjoy playing around with the several characters offered, but with the lack of depth in game play, it probably won't seem worth it.
Design - 4/10
The designs of the characters are pretty decent, but everything else just feels like a giant let down, with drab environments and hardly any detail in your surroundings.
Sound - 5/10
Again, nothing at all special in this department either, just the usual grunts and increasingly annoying rock-based soundtrack that leaves you feeling this is exactly the same as the others.
Value - 6/10
You'll get some kicks out of this if you enjoy hack n slash games, but if you're after a new experience and a game to push systems to their limits, this is far from what you want.
Overall - 5/10
A nice attempt by KOEI to try and add variety to the game, but it just leaves too many glitches and unimpressive visuals to make anything of itself.