30 Days of Gaming : Day 4

I really thought I was going to miss today! Family issues and homework makes me late for everything. Heck, I haven't had a proper meal all day. Although the semi-non-processed KD my sister made for me was pretty cool. Thanks, Andrea.  
 
At any rate, let's get down to this one. It's... it's gonna be a long one.

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Samurai Warriors 2 (and the entire rest of the Dynasty/Samurai/Gundam Warriors series)


 Like this, only there's so much more button mashing than you could possibly ever imagine.
 Like this, only there's so much more button mashing than you could possibly ever imagine.
 I paid a visit to my girlfriend at work the other day and had a short-yet-all-too-true conversation with her boss the other day. They both work at the EB Games I used to work at and we were just casually talking about stuff when a family comes to the store asking for Dante's Inferno. Apparently, another store called the store we were at and had asked to put a copy of the game aside for them. Thing is, neither my girlfriend or her boss received any call about it and were left confused. They didn't have a copy of the game so Jay, the boss, had to go tell the family who had grown impatient and annoyed that they didn't have a copy and had never gotten any call. Stupidity ensued and so began a conversation of just how obnoxious most customers are. Fortunately, that is an unrelated story and I should probably dive into it another time but what this whole thing leads to was Jay telling me that some of the most annoying customers he gets are the Dynasty Warriors customers. Those 40 some-year olds who know you're wrong about DW and will threaten your well-being if you tell them otherwise. I agreed, as I've had to deal with them more than a handful of times. 
 
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... then I, in the most defeated of ways, had to admit that's I'm also one of those guys. ... Alright, well, I won't get outraged if you tell me you don't like the series because I can more than understand why anyone would be totally against it but I unconditionally love Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors and even the awful, awful Dynasty Warriors: Gundam games. I highlighted Samurai Warriors 2 because it's without a doubt the one I played the most. I aggressively hate that I lost my Xbox 360 save file of it but somewhere in the netherworld of lost data, there's a Samurai Warriors 2 file with like... 90 hours on it and it's mine. However, to not make this the most archaic explanation of a completely unfounded point of view, I will refer to the games as Dynasty Warriors. 
 
What I love about the DW games is that, more than any other game or game series, I can just completely turn my brain off and play them while still having the time of my life. Yes, it has performance issues. Yes, it has terrible voice acting. Yes, the soundtrack is even worst (which the odds of being so are astronomical). Yes, the gameplay is repetitive. Yes, the graphics are lacking in every possible area. Yes, it's historically inaccurate. Yes, it's done NOTHING for ANY genre in video gaming for the past god-knows-how-many years. Hack n' slash games have evolved greatly since Dynasty Warriors 3/4 and the transparent additions they've done to the franchise since has done nothing to put them back into first place. So let's de-construct everything I wrote about up there. I'll take every argument I've ever been told about why it's garbage and then tell you why I agree and why it totally doesn't bother me. Heck, in certain cases, I'll even tell you how you might be wrong! You'll learn something, kids! Aren't you thrilled
 

"Yes, it has performance issues."

  I couldn't be more bummed out when I popped in Dynasty Warriors 6 into my PS3 for the first time and saw that the draw distance was worst than my own vision (-7, for those of you how know what that means). This wasn't a PS2-port like the Xbox 360 version of Samurai Warriors 2 was. This was a built-for-next-gen version of the series and they still couldn't find a way to get a bunch of dudes on screen at once and not have it bog-down gameplay? Ninety-Nine Nights did it, and that game was a piece of shit! And even with like, 50 dudes on-screen it still managed to lag. I got kind of angry at the game and decided I just wouldn't play it because I knew I was in for a bumpy ride if they couldn't even get that shit straight. ... yeah. That... that didn't last so long. 
 

"Yes, it has terrible voice acting." 

BUT MY LORD, I MUST PAY FOR MY COLLEGE TUITION SOMEHOW WHICH IS WHY I WAS HIRED FOR THIS VOICE 
BUT MY LORD, I MUST PAY FOR MY COLLEGE TUITION SOMEHOW WHICH IS WHY I WAS HIRED FOR THIS VOICE 
I don't know who at Koei is responsible for hiring these talentless imbeciles but he deserves a medal. An award. A fucking 3-feet tall trophy. And then he deserves to be pummeled to death with it. Already that they bastardize the characters into some weird pseudo-fantasy acid-trip designs but that they give them ear-shatteringly poor writing and voice is just... man that shit should be illegal. I can't even defend this one. It's just... it's just awful. In every way. 
 

"Yes, the soundtrack is even worst [then the VO]." 

HEY GUYS WE'RE JAPAN WE HEARD YOU LIKED GUITARS HECK WE HEARD YOU LIKED THEM SO MUCH THAT IT'S PROBABLY ALL YOU WANT TO HEAR, RIGHT? COOL GOOD 'CAUSE THAT'S ALL THE MUSIC WE HAVE SHIT THERE'S LIKE DRUMS IN THERE BUT REALLY IT'S JUST GUITAR. IF WE TRIED WE MIGHT OF BEEN ABLE TO GET A DRUM MADE OUT OF GUITARS BUT WE DON'T HAVE THE BUDGET FOR THAT SO WE GOT SOME GUYS TO SHRED SOME SICK RIFFS AND PUT IT IN THE GAME DURING EVERY FUCKING IMAGINABLE SCENE. 
 

"Yes, the gameplay is repetitive." 

I will make no excuses to the nature of DW's combat. You hit the Square button a lot. Sometimes you'll hit the Triangle button, but you might want to wait on that one. That's some advanced shit right there. It's button-mashing at it's finest and despite the small amounts of guarding, dashing and dodging you'll do, you'll still be hammering on the same button over and over again just watching the kill count go up. It's like how Call of Duty rewards everything you do when you kill a dude. The constant addition of points... it's satisfying. It really is. The only difference is that in DW, the addition is just dudes getting sliced. Once that kill-count gets up into the hundreds (and even thousands), you know shit is mad real. 
 
And in DW's defense, some of the additions they made to the combat in DW6 was actually pretty substantial. They added a terrific skill-tree system that let you gradually upgrade your combat abilities in a way that made the repetitive nature of the fighting feel fresh. Upgrading would unlock different combo paths for you to perform in-game depending on which part of the tree you started building towards and it made playing through with a character a lot more engaging than it's previously been in the series. 
 

"Yes, EVERYTHING ELSE I WROTE UP THERE."

  This is getting far too long for something you've already gotten the idea of. No, I'm not particularly fond of the graphics. And as a history nut, I'm kind of annoyed at how trivialized and generalized the events of the dynasties and events they portray are. Ultimately, though, everything requires to be approached with a little suspension of disbelief and Dynasty Warriors is where I let all of that shit out. I spend the vast majority of my gaming playing the stuff we all play. Dead Space, Persona, Call of Duty, Gran Turismo, You Don't Know Jack, Need for Speed... I love all of them and will always be fair to them if they end up having major problems. I take that shit seriously on some level and I feel like I enjoy the experience more because of it.  
 
But sometimes, it's just fun to put in a game and forget about all of those "standards" I hold everything else to. I know what to expect out of a DW game. If I didn't, I wouldn't of bought it. What I want is something I can sit down for an hour or two. Play while either listening to the sounds of poor audio design or play a podcast over it and just zone out for some time while I take a chill pill from the serious gaming I love to do the rest of the year round. 
 

Days of Gaming Recap!

Feb 13th, 2011 - Day 1: Your Very First Videogame
Feb 14th, 2011 - Day 2: Your Favorite Character 
Feb 15th, 2011 - Day 3: A Game That Is Underrated 

I'll attach this one to the General Discussion forums because despite being a continuation of my long-ass series of blogs, I think it addresses thoroughly enough the issue of "why do people like Dynasty Warriors?".    

See 'ya tomorrow! :D         
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