Product Type: THQ Xbox games
Newest Review: ... as they unlock new creative moves (6) that enhance and freshen gameplay by adding more moves and building stats for your player. The ma... more
Bro-mance of the 3 Kingdoms
Dynasty Warriors 3 (Xbox)
Member Name: AverageJoseph
Dynasty Warriors 3 (Xbox)
Advantages: Characters, Levels, Soundtrack, Weapons & Items, Difficulty, Co-op
Disadvantages: Voice Acting, 'Fogging', Repetition
Sequel to the 2000's Dynasty Warriors 2 (1 and the 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms'), the third installment offers much more than endless hack and slash gameplay. DW3 may have lifted move-sets, levels and the odd song from its counterpart, but it also included several improvements and additions to make it a far superior game, including more playable characters, music, levels, items, weapons, moves, FMV's and the possibility of Co-op. As before, anyone can pick up this game and get the gist of it within minutes, essentially mastering the controls and being drawn into massive historical (and fictional) battles. The intention of the player should be to finish a specific characters storyline (taking part in battles that said character may have participated in real life), finding better weapons and items along the way, whilst improving your warrior's stats and unlocking related generals for future 'Musou Mode' play. There are also 'Unique' weapons to be found by enduring levels on hard difficulty and meeting specific requirements - this is where the co-operative mode comes in VERY handy...
"In peace you are an able subject, in chaos you are a crafty hero." (Characters)
32 Generals, each with their own set of related levels, 9 additional 'Free Mode' warriors (which have story modes in the 'Xtreme' expansion) who are outside of the main 3 kingdoms, making a total of 41 playable characters. Though the depth in story is lacking, each character does have different locations and tasks to complete on the battleground, some with protection roles or search and destroy missions. Everyone has alternate costumes (by pressing X) which aren't too special but they are helpful should you encounter generals of similar stature. They all have original initial stats for Life, Musou, Attack & Defence which make for differing play through's as some are quick with low defence whilst others are like tanks. It's in their weapons that the warriors excel though as they unlock new creative moves (6) that enhance and freshen gameplay by adding more moves and building stats for your player. The majority centre around the three kingdoms who were historically at each others throats in ancient China.
The Romance of the Three (Kingdoms)
'Wei' are the overwhelming army led by the hero of chaos, Cao Cao and his loyal cousins Xiahou Dun & Yuan. In-game they are pictured as the ruthless baddies who rule the land with an iron fist, pretty much being the exact opposite of... 'Shu' are led by Liu Bei, a bumbling pure soul who claims to stand for the people. Their participation in battles usually include retreating, worm like tactics, over relying on their generals (Guan Yu & Zhang Fei) and collaborating with bigger forces such as... 'Wu' feature the most unlockable and diverse characters in the game. Historically, they were a match for Wei, however in the game it seems they are more of a band of scallywags, relying on fire attacks, piracy and luck. They also have 4 characters under the Sun name, so they tend to keep it in the family. Personally, I don't agree with the way the creators have cast their opinions on the factions, as they overpower the underdogs and downplay the ability of true legends. So its pretty clear that I prefer the kingdom of Wei as they have quality characters, a strong leader and in the end, historically, they are the last ones standing.
Cao Cao, Dian Wei, Sima Yi, Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, Xu Huang, Xu Zhu, Zhang He, Zhang Liao & Zhen Ji.
Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Huang Zhong, Jiang Wei, Ma Chao, Pang Tong, Wei Yan, Zhao Yun & Zhuge Liang.
Sun Jian, Sun Ce, Sun Quan, Sun Shang Xiang, Da Qiao, Xiao Qiao, Zhou Yu, Gan Ning, Huang Gai, Lu Xun, Lu Meng & Taishi Ci.
Diao Chan, Dong Zhuo, Fu Xi, Lu Bu, Meng Huo, Nu Wa, Yuan Shao, Zhang Jiao & Zhu Rong.
Try listening to "I have defeated an enemy officer" 1000 times... (Gameplay)
With its easy controls and goals, DW3 defines the term 'Pick up & Play'. Use 'X' to swing your weapons, 'Y' to power up a special attack, 'B' to charge your musou metre and 'A' to... jump! 'R' trigger aims your bow and arrow (which are limited and go into 1st person view) 'L' is to block and black and white buttons alter the minimap and turn on/off enemy health bars. First off, you set up your character in preparation, choosing your best weapon (out of 4) equipping items (maximum of 5) and selecting your very own body guards including various troops and weapons - in either attack of defence stance. When the battle gets under way you generally leg it towards the nearest enemy general and take them down (killing them with a combo of 8 or higher tends to result in improved Attack & Defence drops, as well as item stats). It's this basic style of play that makes the game too easy - unless you put it on hard which predictably makes enemies tougher, but also makes gamers think twice before jousting through hordes of troops and archers before meeting a menacing general in battle. Instead, you can choose to take out 'gates' and their captains, effectively blocking the routes which endless troops pour out of. What makes the game great though is its inclusion of co-op - 2 players only, you can help each other out when situations get dire and even combine musou attacks for epic, over the top action. It generally improves the game if you aren't prone to playing single player. One major problem though is the games famous 'fogging' - this really effects gameplay in a bad way.. By having numerous enemy troops on screen, the game struggles to 'visualize' them all at once and so, some become invisible, making them impossible to see, hit and 'juggle' if you're trying to improve the drop. As you can imagine, it makes life hell in hard mode since you can't block from behind. Ride horses and elephants, shoot arrows, hit, slice and stab people with weapons, dodge boulders and navigate mazes.
184-234AD (Levels & Modes)
There are a total of 20 levels which can be played by 1, 2 or even a third force involved so you can experience both sides of the coin. The layouts of the maps are just one of the many reasons why I prefer this game to any other in the franchise - they are memorable - with defining moments and climactic events, whereas newer releases are faceless hallways. You encounter flooded castles, farming fields, grassy hills, snowy mountainous regions, central bridges, stone mazes, midnight plains and even pirate ships! Outside of the standard Musou and Free modes, is the Vs mode for rather dreary 2 player fights and Challenge mode which allows for setting records of speed, survival, and number of 'K.Os' (interjection: this has bothered me from DW2 to DW7, as 'KO' stands for knock out, something thats not really attainable when striking someone with a gigantic blade or stabbing someone in the face with a spear). In the options you can set difficulty, controls, BGM's and even create your own original video with the games cast.. for a laugh I suppose. The Database is handy too as it features some historical information about warriors and lists all your items and weapons.
"Feeyaal duh powwa ov myyee.... MAAA-GAAAIIIRK!" (Music & Voice Acting)
I'll be the first to praise the soundtrack and first to poke fun of the hilariously appalling voice acting. If you want an example of some of the guitar solo face melting music that accompanies legendary battles, then check out either 'Lu Bu's Theme' or 'Arena'. However, you're more likely to come across more forums and videos documenting the poor dialogue. If anything, the voices make the game rather comical and cult like.. The music though i hugely original and well matched to some of the fights as they often switch in between battles to suit the morale and momentum. Even with the games glaring faults, idiotic dialogue and dated graphics, it easily stands tall among most of Koei's other releases. I reccomend this to anyone who has experience of the series or preference for the original Xbox era, as it is far better than any of the recycled versions on newer generation consoles... aka 6 and 7..
Summary: An addictive hack and slash game, full of china's most fierce warriors of old!
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