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Dynasty Warriors 7… Where do I start.
First off I know a lot of people hate this series. I understand that, and on top of that I get why. No need to berate me or tell me why these games suck, I know. To me the Dynasty Warriors games are peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, or hot cocoa. It’s the comfort food of video games. It was a series that if it changed (that’s a big if) it wasn’t much, I knew what to expect and it was dumb button mashing fun. Then I heard about all the changes in this one and I will be honest, I was worried. My steady rock in the world of digital changes was now shaken. But To those who like Koei games I have good news. It’s really not that different. For those who hate Koei games I have bad news … it’s really not that different.
The game play is standard fare for a Koei game. You have weak attack, strong attack, over-simplified combos and your special ultimate move… and jump/activate. That’s it and really that’s all you need to know. They mixed it up a little by giving you a chance to switch weapons. For the first time I’m aware off you can change weapons in the midst of battle. Also now any character can equip any weapon. Ever think to yourself “Cao Cao is nice and all but the sword is getting old. I wish he could use a bow.” Well now you can. There are certain criteria you must meet to wield some weapons efficiently but no matter, you can still use it. When switching weapons you also do powerful switch attacks that can turn the tide of an officer fight immediately. The down side to everyone sharing weapons is that much like Dynasty Warriors 6 everyone who uses a sword will have the same moves, with exceptions. Everyone has a special Musou move (ultimate attack) and everyone also has what they call the EX attack, which is a special combo move unique to each character. While this makes game play slightly different for each character it still leaves a bad taste in your mouth and a longing for the old days when each character had their own unique move set. All that being said it is still a huge improvement over Dynasty 6 being that each character can have any two weapons and there are a lot more including Sun Ce’s tonfas and Sun Shang Xiangs rings.
In Dynasty Warriors’ newest incarnation they give you Story Mode and Conquest Mode. No free mode or challenge mode to be seen here. That may upset some people but I assure you it’s ok. Mainly because conquest mode wraps free mode and challenge mode all up into the same thing. In story mode you are given the choice to play through the history of any of four kingdoms. Pick any one you like. Wee, Wu, Shu, or the newly added Jin. You then play through the history of that kingdom in a set way. You play as pre-selected characters in linear order through the rise (and sometimes fall) of your chosen land. The story this time around is much more cinematic. The cut scenes blend right into game play in a really neat feature I’m surprised I haven’t seen more often. Also before most fights you start off in a main camp where you can talk to people and get a feel of characters you interact with, or a feel for the people leading whom they bad-mouth. It’s a neat little gimmick but I can’t help but feel like they put that in to quell complaints about lack of narrative. The real meat of your time playing this game will most likely be in conquest mode. This mode is kind of hard to define. You work your way down a hexagonal map unlocking more playable characters and guardian animals that can aid you in battle as well as better weapons. Most battles are somewhat small with simple objectives, but really fun. The battles include small one room battles where you have to kill a single officer, to large scale warfare from the Three Kingdoms story. Most of your time you’re playing battles with set objectives with random officers. But later on you can also play faction battles with kingdoms against kingdoms.
The game also features a neato thing I wish more games based on historical events would feature. An encyclopedia! It lets you read up on the actual history of the time period and the real life people involved, or at least the legends. You can also view pictures and art from the making of the game, change music that plays during battle or look up your currently unlocked officers. The game is pretty simple, when all is said and done. But for me personally that’s the way I like it. I can put on a podcast, relax and mash a button and watch my character do awesome spastic things on screen. Its just simple fun so for that I’m giving this game two ratings. It’s the only thing I can do with this series.
For people who dislike or loath Koei games there is really nothing new here unless you want to try conquest mode. So for you I say borrow it from a friend or rent it.
For people who like Koei or love them, you should pick this up. It is a vast improvement upon the disappointing Dynasty Warriors 6. Own it; buy it new so Koei gets money so they keep making my peanut butter and jelly for me.
Also weird side note to those who like Koei in the early levels of story mode Xiahou Dun doesn’t have his eye patch.
Weird looking huh?
Written by Kevin Mason (aka Lempi Elinika)
Eddited by Sarah Lawhorne