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Old 07-18-2013   #1
Altima
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Dynasty Warriors 8 review.

I found this review on Ign.com.

Link - http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/...riors-8-review

Quote:
Dynasty Warriors 8 Review

Chris Schilling

Shu fetish.

Reviewed on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

→ July 18, 2013 Dynasty Warriors 8 once again folds the territorial conflicts of Three Kingdoms-era China into a histrionic hack and slash: it’s a formula that’s served Koei well since the turn of the century, and you’d be foolish to expect anything drastically different here. Yet while the publisher fair churns out the Warriors spin-offs and add-ons, the mainline entries always feel like they’ve had a bit of extra love lavished on them, and that’s certainly evident this time. The recipe may be familiar, but Dynasty Warriors 8 skillfully addresses fan criticisms in the most engaging, well-rounded entry in the series to date.

It does this not just by adding more stuff, as is the way of the sequel, but by making that stuff matter. So while a host of new playable characters takes the roster well over the 70 mark (and thus making it a bit confusing for the uninitiated), this time they all handle differently thanks to distinctive moves and special attacks. Take two of the nine newcomers, for example: the Wu kingdom’s suave Lu Su sweeps aside opponents with a rake, while Shu’s Guan Xing carries a pair of wingblades, gliding and swooping across the battlefield. I also enjoyed Jin’s Jia Chong, albeit less for his combat style than his dark personality and devious machinations; he’s the kind of ally you can never fully trust. They’re brought to life with the usual hammy or overly mannered performances that have grown oddly endearing over the years, though it’s about time Omega Force did something about the battle cries of the defeated, which repeat ad nauseam.

Elsewhere the developer does its best to alleviate the inherent repetition of its simple combat systems, giving each character a preferred weapon that conveys an attack bonus and a unique


Dynasty Warriors 8 follows the stories of the kingdoms of Wei, Wu, Shu and Jin through the actions of historical military and political figures of the time as they fight to gain control over the Three Kingdoms of China.


EX attack triggered by a simple combo. The second weapon they carry into battle can be selected from a generous array of alternatives that only increases the longer you play and the more officers you beat. While in the past it’s been all too easy to stick with the same weapon type, here you’re actively encouraged to switch during battle thanks to a new affinity mechanic: for Heaven, Earth, and Man (read: rock, paper, scissors). Deliver repeated attacks to opposing officers holding a weaker weapon type and you can launch into an unstoppable flurry of blows that not only looks great, but rapidly drains your rival’s health bar – and usually takes out any nearby troops into the bargain. An exclamation mark alerts you to enemies with a stronger alignment, but even here you can turn things to your advantage: wait for them to launch a charge attack and a well-timed switch can lead to a powerful counter.

Finishing off an opponent like this is satisfying enough, but you’ll also benefit in other ways. Defeating officers with a full health bar or while they’re afflicted with a status effect, for example, upgrades a series of abilities, of which five can be equipped at any time. These offer passive buffs like increased fortitude against projectile attacks, or more frequent item drops. In fact, by the time I’d finished the second of the four campaigns - each of which lasts around five hours - every enemy with a title was coughing up weapons, meat buns, gold, and refills for my Musou gauge, enabling me to pull off those spectacular special attacks increasingly often.

The latter is particularly useful when it comes to making the most of your character’s Rage meter. When filled, a click of the right stick allows you to go on an extended rampage, and combined with a Musou attack, you can chain a truly ludicrous number of hits (well into four-figure territory) until you’ve bled the gauge dry. Essentially you become a human cyclone, striding forward as clusters of dazed grunts whirl around you; it’s particularly amusing as Jin officer Zhong Hui, who waltzes along spinning his finger in the air, casually conducting this whirlwind of pain.

Indeed, most characters have subtly tweaked movesets, and everyone benefits from three unique Musou attacks: ground and airborne variants are joined by a third special move. The latter is your reward for reaching a higher character level, just one element that gives DW8 a much stronger sense of progression than its predecessors. It’s persistent across all game types, too, so you can start the next kingdom’s story (or a different mode) with the abilities and weapons you unlocked in the previous one. In other words, starting over doesn’t feel like a step backwards.

The four campaigns offer more variety, while their longevity is boosted by branching paths, triggered by failing or fulfilling certain objectives. In some cases, it’s as simple as character appearances in later battles; in others you get to play side stories or several battles in a whole new hypothetical timeline that rewrites history. The objectives are kept secret until you complete them or finish the campaign, meaning you won’t have to keep plugging away using different tactics until you happen across them by accident.

Ambition mode is another successful addition. Offering a twist on the aptly named Legend mode from DW7: Xtreme Legends, it asks you to build up a settlement from meagre foundations, turning a dilapidated camp into a thriving city, fit for welcoming the Emperor to your cause. Its missions are short compared with the epic battles of the campaign: brisk skirmishes allow you to pick up materials to develop shops and facilities, while rescue missions earn you additional fame, which in turn allows you to recruit allies from battles. Famous officers bested in duels can be pressed into service as bodyguards, offering support bonuses as their bonds with you grow, as well as dual Musou attacks if they’re close by when you let loose.

Again, there’s a tangible sense of progression, each trip outside the gates prompting a development of some sort, whether it’s the arrival of a merchant selling animal companions (because who doesn’t want to ride a bear into battle?) or troops you’d sent to another province returning with a sizeable haul of materials to forge new weapons. You’re handsomely rewarded for engaging in successive battles in a single outing, though with your health bar only replenishing a little between encounters, there’s always the risk you’ll return empty handed. It’s a smart piece of design in a mode that is, like so much of Dynasty Warriors 8, a welcome refinement of past ideas.

The Verdict

Dynasty Warriors 8 is the most satisfying and complete Warriors game yet, dethroning the excellent Warriors Orochi 3. It’s at once familiar and fresh, instantly recognisable at its core yet subtly transformed by intelligent additions and a series of small but noticeable tweaks. Wider changes may come in future instalments, but if this is the last we see of Dynasty Warriors in its current form, then it’s a hell of a way to bow out.

Dynasty Warriors 8 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

8.7
Great

Dynasty Warriors 8 builds smartly on the series’ core ideas, as Koei’s most famous franchise reaches new heights. RT

+Terrific new combat mechanics
+Compelling Ambition mode
+New weapons and characters
– Repetitive battle cries
– Occasional slowdown
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Old 07-18-2013   #2
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I already wanted this game enough without seeing a ~9 rating from a place that usually gives these kinds of games 6s.
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Old 07-18-2013   #3
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I remember when this series was, like, the laughing stock of review outlets.


WHO IS LAUGHING NOW?


ME. BECAUSE I ALWAYS HAD FAITH.
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Old 07-18-2013   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yvls
I already wanted this game enough without seeing a ~9 rating from a place that usually gives these kinds of games 6s.
IGN has a history of assigning reviewers seemingly at random for its "official reviews" (like giving a shooter to someone that mentions in his opening line how much he hates shooters) so there's never been a whole lot of consistency with their scores. This guy doesn't sound like he would have given those scores to the previous games though, so that may not be the best metric.

None of the changes described excite me all that much. And the story mode sounds like how DW4's was set up, which brings back bad memories (though DW4 was a horrible game for a lot more reasons than just its horrible story mode). I guess we'll see.
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Old 07-19-2013   #5
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The last DW game I bought was DW6, and Dw5 Empires before that. I love the Dw series as I played the heck out of Dw3 the most that I remember.
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Old 07-19-2013   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Raisto returns! View Post
(though DW4 was a horrible game for a lot more reasons than just its horrible story mode)
DW4 did something incredibly right though - the morale system. It really made you feel like you were having a measurable impact on the battle and added a layer of strategy that's since been lost. I've been disappointed that future installments got rid of it. But I'll admit that it had its set of major flaws, even though that was the first DW game i played.
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Old 07-19-2013   #7
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The only measurable impact you had on anything in DW4 was defeating officers. Nothing else mattered. Ever. It was just a series of walking a line to one officer, killing him, walking two minutes in a line to another officer, killing him, rinse and repeat. There may have been a morale system, but I never had any reason to pay attention to it on normal (and we all know how freaking dumb DW's higher difficulties are). 80% of the time you literally didn't have to fight anybody at all except for the enemy commander, and the only reason you did was to level up - by defeating officers.

But hey, at least it wasn't Drakengard.
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Old 07-20-2013   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Raisto returns! View Post

But hey, at least it wasn't Drakengard.


Drakengard at least had its whole "Everyone in this game is a reprehensible fuck" thing and the best ending ever. And it led to the best game ever, Nier.

So Drakengard is alright.

DW4...well it had Lu Bu.
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Old 07-20-2013   #9
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That's a pretty boring way to use the system. I'd defeat generals until all my enemies died in a single hit from their low morale, then slaughter them all, causing their army morale to drop, and so on until I could win a skirmish without even having to fight it myself. Including on higher difficulties. It might have had balance quirks, I don't remember, it's been too long, but at the very least I felt it had potential.
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Old 02-23-2014   #10
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I want this game so bad. I missed out on DW7. I didn't even know it had been released until I heard that 8 was coming out. They kinda...suck at advertising games here. Unless it's like CoD and stuff like that then they don't bother advertising it. I intend to get my copy once I get paid this month.
then I say this every month and I somehow always end up poor.
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