Giant Bomb News

39 Comments

Koei Still Chopping Down Hordes of Dudes

Billions sliced, diced, shredded, minced since 1978.

Koei held a media day in the big scary city yesterday, and I rolled over there to see what the House That Dynasty Warriors Built had to show off. All this went down in the Clift Hotel's famed Spanish Suite, one of the most overused venues for game industry press events in all of San Francisco. The Spanish Suite is known for its lousy old electrical wiring that shorts out at the drop of a hat, so I was looking forward to seeing whether some overzealous camera crew would plug in one too many lights and bring the whole thing to a halt.

No such luck--the event was awfully low-key, with just a few game stations and a small handful of press dudes and dudettes milling about. After Koei opened their Toronto studio a few years ago (the one that cranked out the middling racer Fatal Inertia), I was hoping to start seeing more variety in the types of games the company puts out. Nope. How about some games where you run around a battlefield and slaughter thousands of enemies? Maybe you're familiar with this concept? Throw a few kid-friendly DS titles in the mix, and you've got Koei playing it disappointingly safe with the stuff it knows best. Can't blame them if people are buying, though; everybody's got bills to pay, and I don't think Fatal Inertia served that particular need.

Here's a wrap-up of the games at the event.

Warriors Orochi 2


SO MANY DUDES
Orochi is kind of like Dynasty Warriors All-Stars, bringing in a bunch of the noteworthy characters from Dynasty Warriors and its Japanese-themed counterpart, Samurai Warriors--if you can remember who those characters are, I guess. There are so many of them, they all started to run together for me over the years, but then again so did the games themselves. You get some fantasy-style original dudes thrown into the mix here too. Anyway, I'm happy to report that hammering on the X button ad nauseam is still a viable tactic. I couldn't see a lot of difference between this one and the innumerable past Warriors games; keep on running around a big battlefield and waste endless mindless drone soldiers with your gigantic weapons. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Actually, the only thing that really piqued my notice in this one was the main character, Orochi the dragon king. That guy is way metal! He's like eight feet tall, scaly reptilian armor, big snake-looking tails hanging off the back, big horned helmet, the works. The only thing that could rejuvenate my interest in this series is if they went all the way to the extreme end of the crazy spectrum and filled it full of big gnarly metal imagery. I want the next one of these to look like some Dio and Iron Maiden album covers had an ugly baby.

Prey the Stars


Me so hungry.
Looking at the invite for the event, this is the title I wanted to know more about based on its name alone. Turns out it's a kiddy DS action game that's part Mario Kart, part Katamari. You run one of four animals around a small map that's filled with random everyday objects, from fruit and cakes to buses, houses...basically whatever fits the theme of the map. You're competing to see who can consume the most objects within the time limit. There are three ways to eat something--bite, lick, or suck--so you have to figure out which one to use to successfully chomp down. Yes, this is supposed to be a game for kids. I don't suppose anyone noted the irony there. The items you pick up give you different kinds of special powers, but the key is that you have to eat three of the same item (or at least the same type of item?) to get a power. So you're trying to eat stuff as fast as you can, but you also need to turn an eye toward eating the right kind of objects so you can unleash some offensive abilities at your opponents.

The Katamari element comes in as you increase in size by eating more and more objects. The bigger you are, the bigger the stuff you can devour. Eventually, you'll be eating stars and entire galaxies and whatnot.

Prey the Stars is actually coming out of the Toronto studio, so at least that place is still kicking even though Fatal Inertia failed to impress.

Monster Racers


Gotta race 'em all?
This new DS game was just being announced at the event. As you might guess from the name, you race. With monsters. The racing is all in 2D so you're basically running left to right all the time, jumping over pits and up to higher ledges when appropriate. There are some power-ups you can pick up and use against your opponents. There's four-player wireless play. The racing gameplay had a simple, old-school feel to it that sort of reminded me of the NES era, though I don't know it would hold your interest for very long.

Per Koei's own description, this is basically Pokemon with racing replacing the standard turn-based battling of that series. So there's also the light RPG components you'd expect: roaming around an overworld, visiting other cities, chatting with and racing against other trainers. Of course there's the requisite "gotta catch 'em all" element where you collect some or all of dozens of monsters, train them to improve their stats, etc.

Come to think of it, I've been thinking we need a Gotta Catch 'Em All concept page of some sort, to attach games like this, Pokemon, and Mega Man Star Force to. Is there something like that in the database I'm not aware of? If not, somebody go make it! It might need a more elegant name, though.

Pop Cutie


This is a game for the DS where you make and sell your own fashions and...you know what, no. Nevermind. I do like that you start out selling your stuff in a flea market, though. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
39 Comments
Posted by Brad
Koei held a media day in the big scary city yesterday, and I rolled over there to see what the House That Dynasty Warriors Built had to show off. All this went down in the Clift Hotel's famed Spanish Suite, one of the most overused venues for game industry press events in all of San Francisco. The Spanish Suite is known for its lousy old electrical wiring that shorts out at the drop of a hat, so I was looking forward to seeing whether some overzealous camera crew would plug in one too many lights and bring the whole thing to a halt.

No such luck--the event was awfully low-key, with just a few game stations and a small handful of press dudes and dudettes milling about. After Koei opened their Toronto studio a few years ago (the one that cranked out the middling racer Fatal Inertia), I was hoping to start seeing more variety in the types of games the company puts out. Nope. How about some games where you run around a battlefield and slaughter thousands of enemies? Maybe you're familiar with this concept? Throw a few kid-friendly DS titles in the mix, and you've got Koei playing it disappointingly safe with the stuff it knows best. Can't blame them if people are buying, though; everybody's got bills to pay, and I don't think Fatal Inertia served that particular need.

Here's a wrap-up of the games at the event.

Warriors Orochi 2


SO MANY DUDES
Orochi is kind of like Dynasty Warriors All-Stars, bringing in a bunch of the noteworthy characters from Dynasty Warriors and its Japanese-themed counterpart, Samurai Warriors--if you can remember who those characters are, I guess. There are so many of them, they all started to run together for me over the years, but then again so did the games themselves. You get some fantasy-style original dudes thrown into the mix here too. Anyway, I'm happy to report that hammering on the X button ad nauseam is still a viable tactic. I couldn't see a lot of difference between this one and the innumerable past Warriors games; keep on running around a big battlefield and waste endless mindless drone soldiers with your gigantic weapons. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Actually, the only thing that really piqued my notice in this one was the main character, Orochi the dragon king. That guy is way metal! He's like eight feet tall, scaly reptilian armor, big snake-looking tails hanging off the back, big horned helmet, the works. The only thing that could rejuvenate my interest in this series is if they went all the way to the extreme end of the crazy spectrum and filled it full of big gnarly metal imagery. I want the next one of these to look like some Dio and Iron Maiden album covers had an ugly baby.

Prey the Stars


Me so hungry.
Looking at the invite for the event, this is the title I wanted to know more about based on its name alone. Turns out it's a kiddy DS action game that's part Mario Kart, part Katamari. You run one of four animals around a small map that's filled with random everyday objects, from fruit and cakes to buses, houses...basically whatever fits the theme of the map. You're competing to see who can consume the most objects within the time limit. There are three ways to eat something--bite, lick, or suck--so you have to figure out which one to use to successfully chomp down. Yes, this is supposed to be a game for kids. I don't suppose anyone noted the irony there. The items you pick up give you different kinds of special powers, but the key is that you have to eat three of the same item (or at least the same type of item?) to get a power. So you're trying to eat stuff as fast as you can, but you also need to turn an eye toward eating the right kind of objects so you can unleash some offensive abilities at your opponents.

The Katamari element comes in as you increase in size by eating more and more objects. The bigger you are, the bigger the stuff you can devour. Eventually, you'll be eating stars and entire galaxies and whatnot.

Prey the Stars is actually coming out of the Toronto studio, so at least that place is still kicking even though Fatal Inertia failed to impress.

Monster Racers


Gotta race 'em all?
This new DS game was just being announced at the event. As you might guess from the name, you race. With monsters. The racing is all in 2D so you're basically running left to right all the time, jumping over pits and up to higher ledges when appropriate. There are some power-ups you can pick up and use against your opponents. There's four-player wireless play. The racing gameplay had a simple, old-school feel to it that sort of reminded me of the NES era, though I don't know it would hold your interest for very long.

Per Koei's own description, this is basically Pokemon with racing replacing the standard turn-based battling of that series. So there's also the light RPG components you'd expect: roaming around an overworld, visiting other cities, chatting with and racing against other trainers. Of course there's the requisite "gotta catch 'em all" element where you collect some or all of dozens of monsters, train them to improve their stats, etc.

Come to think of it, I've been thinking we need a Gotta Catch 'Em All concept page of some sort, to attach games like this, Pokemon, and Mega Man Star Force to. Is there something like that in the database I'm not aware of? If not, somebody go make it! It might need a more elegant name, though.

Pop Cutie


This is a game for the DS where you make and sell your own fashions and...you know what, no. Nevermind. I do like that you start out selling your stuff in a flea market, though.
Posted by viking

Me like choppin'!

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN
Posted by exfate

The key to sucess is clearly combining the Dynasty Warriors-esque mass frantic chopping with Cooking Mama... Thousands of cucumber, only one knife, do you have what it takes to Chop 'Em All?

Pokémon Racing type thing sounds fun.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

do you journalists just pretend to be nice at koei's events? seriously?

Posted by Kenzo287

woohoo...more dynasty warriors in disguise

Posted by Mourne

The original Orochi game was OK.

Posted by deaux

Koei needs a bold new direction.  Aerobiz 3.

Posted by MisterMouse

i like the samurai warrior if it is played with friends but it needs more depth to it and something more...

Posted by MisoRonery

I've always been toying with the idea of a side-scrolling 2-d racer with a wild art style, but somehow I don't trust Koei to do the dream justice.

Posted by RedSox8933

eh. not really interested in any of these.

Posted by Bucketdeth

Come on Koei, Dynasty warriors 3-4 kicked ass, then it went downhill, as in the same cloned game over and over and over, think of some new shit.

Posted by SkyTurnsRed

Koei is really, really going downhill. Boring overall.

Posted by Hailinel

Warriors Orochi 2?  Bring it on!  I can't get enough of those games.

I would like to see how the next Romance of the Three Kingdoms is turning out, though.

Posted by Anonymous

  Nothing I care about, but then again I don't really care about the company itself.

Posted by albedos_shadow

Wow, those are some horrible games.

Posted by Rowr

no word of DW6 empires?  :(

Posted by TheWesman

I appreciate you actually attending this, Brad.  Some of us are still Koei fans...

Posted by Usagi

It would be nice if Koei would actually do a sequel to a game that is actually good, like perhaps Gitaroo-Man!!

Posted by jarryd

can anyone remember the last good koei game

Posted by cikame

Dynasty Warriors 5 was good, simply because the only one i'd played prior to that was number 2 and there were a hell of alot more characters and a fair amount of gameplay changes. Maybe i'll get number 9, assuming they change stuff again and make it look pretty.

Posted by Death_Burnout

Yeah Orochi looks cool, he did in the first one too, i like Warriors Orochi a lot, and im getting 2 because dynasty warriors 6 (or technically 5) was a total let down for me

Because 6 actually made you tap one button all the time with its renbu, the others had more depth, i swear they did

Posted by PureRok

I've owned every major Dynasty Warriors (the ones with numbers without extra words), both Samurai Warriors, and Warriors Orochi. I'll admit it: I love them all. I can't get enough cutting down hundreds of enemies without taking a scratch. I hope Koei keeps making these games whether people complain or not because I know I'll still buy them. Warriors Orochi 2 is sounding really good.

Posted by Venatio

Koei is extremly awful right now, I hope they get better

Posted by duxup

When exactly will the legacy of the Dynasty Warriors series finally constitute a war crime?

Posted by Foxdemon2k

I wish Koei could concentrate on Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors. And ofcourse Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Koei <3

Posted by The_Icon

Whats Koei?

Posted by Davin

Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2: DO IT.

Posted by Coolarman

koei is still a threat

Posted by BigBoss1911

The only game I ever played from Koei was Winback.

Posted by Jordan23

Koei "Dynasty Warriors" franchise is still a cash cow and can be even more better if they would implement online co-op... I'll be so thrill.

Posted by Enigma2099

Dear Koei,

F*** Warriors Orochi... get back to Dynasty Warriors 6... AND FIX IT.

Sorry, Jeff... but I LOVES me a good beatemup... button masher or no... so the DW series gets a pass...

Posted by Discorsi

I love the dynasty warriors type game and i will not stop downloading them or buying them. 

Gotta slash em all. KO E I! (If you catch my drift :))

Posted by BigBoss1911

How about WInback 2?

Posted by NotaStalker

lol can anyone remember any good koei game?

Posted by Jiquk

seriously i got bored after dynasty warriors 2.

Posted by Blazer74

There is no such thing as a good Dynasty Warriors game, sorry to say that if think they are you have very bad taste in game and probably shouldn't leave your house.

Posted by PLWolf

I'm enjoying DW6 on the PS3 and really lovin Warriors Orochi on the PSP. Too bad #2 is not coming to the PSP as well. :(

Posted by PureRok
Blazer74
on Aug. 11, 2008
"There is no such thing as a good Dynasty Warriors game, sorry to say that if think they are you have very bad taste in game and probably shouldn't leave your house."

Yea, because you are the ultimate authority of what constitutes "good" taste. Why don't you take your arrogant ass outside and take a break.