I can't believe it, but I'm enjoying a Dynasty Warriors game...

So I blindly bought Warriors Orochi 3 the other day off PSN; mostly because it supported 3D and had good ratings, and a little bit because I've been watching too many kung fu movies on Neflix recently...

The last Dynasty Warriors title I even played was on Ps2 or Dreamcast, and I was kinda lack-luster about the experience back then. I remember thinking the vast scale of it was cool, but the game seemed shallow and clunky. Well, I'm glad I went back for another go, because while it's still a little clunky (and dated), this game is mad fun.

I'm wicked impressed with the fighting engine for one thing. It's so much deeper then I thought this franchise ever went. They pull a surprising amount of depth and variety out of two attack buttons and a special move. Apart from that, I had no idea thee was weapon "crafting", or that there were RPG and RTS elements... I had always considered these games to be simple hack-n-slash affairs, and now I see that there's a lot more here then that.

The most amazing part is of course the huge selection of characters, who all seem to play completely differently from each other, which is quite a feat in and of itself in my book... I had no idea DOA corssed over with this franchise either, so seeing those characters was a nice surprise. Half the fun of this game for me so far has just been playing around with creating different teams; it reminds me of when I first played Xmen Vs SF... I've been playing for hours and hours on the same maps, and the game feels as fresh as the first hour I was playing. I have yet to even scratch the surface of weapons or characters the game has to offer. It's just ridiculous.

The graphics are nothing to scoff at either, especially the character models. I just can't get over how detailed every character is when there are this many. It's unfortunate that the evironments don't have the same level of detail, because they are really the only thing holding this game back from looking fantastic... It would be nice to have some interiors and a bit more variety in the scenery, but I suspect they are pushing hardware limits as it is with this many gorgeous character models on screen at once and all the amazing effects. Obviously there are hordes of same-same warriors on every side of the war, but there are so many unique generals and special characters walking around that the repeating models are almost forgivable. (It would really be nice if they had a couple models rather then just one for most infantry, but it's still pretty slick)

The only real complaints I have are that managing the camera is a full-time job, and the amount of crap on the screen is insanely distracting. It's unfortunate that there are no options to move any of the hud elements around or just remove them completely. As important as it is to see the text and health bars, I'd give that info up in a second to unclutter this screen. I had intended to give this game a go in split-screen with the wife, but I suspect the amount of junk covering the screen will make that a royal pain in the neck.

One truly remarkable thing here is that the 3D is fantastic, which is still somewhat rare on Ps3. It surprised the hell out of me just how well it is implemented here... The cutscenes especially are some of the most impressive 3D I've sene outside an IMAX BD. Shit actually sticks out of the screen, there is no ghosting to speak of, and the depth is just amazing. The effect isn't quite as good during gameplay, but it is still up there with some of the best 3D I've played yet, and it really does help immerse you in the playing field.

What a nice surprise this game is for me; I went it to it with very low expectations, and I'm having a blast playing it.

8 Comments
9 Comments
Posted by Noct

So I blindly bought Warriors Orochi 3 the other day off PSN; mostly because it supported 3D and had good ratings, and a little bit because I've been watching too many kung fu movies on Neflix recently...

The last Dynasty Warriors title I even played was on Ps2 or Dreamcast, and I was kinda lack-luster about the experience back then. I remember thinking the vast scale of it was cool, but the game seemed shallow and clunky. Well, I'm glad I went back for another go, because while it's still a little clunky (and dated), this game is mad fun.

I'm wicked impressed with the fighting engine for one thing. It's so much deeper then I thought this franchise ever went. They pull a surprising amount of depth and variety out of two attack buttons and a special move. Apart from that, I had no idea thee was weapon "crafting", or that there were RPG and RTS elements... I had always considered these games to be simple hack-n-slash affairs, and now I see that there's a lot more here then that.

The most amazing part is of course the huge selection of characters, who all seem to play completely differently from each other, which is quite a feat in and of itself in my book... I had no idea DOA corssed over with this franchise either, so seeing those characters was a nice surprise. Half the fun of this game for me so far has just been playing around with creating different teams; it reminds me of when I first played Xmen Vs SF... I've been playing for hours and hours on the same maps, and the game feels as fresh as the first hour I was playing. I have yet to even scratch the surface of weapons or characters the game has to offer. It's just ridiculous.

The graphics are nothing to scoff at either, especially the character models. I just can't get over how detailed every character is when there are this many. It's unfortunate that the evironments don't have the same level of detail, because they are really the only thing holding this game back from looking fantastic... It would be nice to have some interiors and a bit more variety in the scenery, but I suspect they are pushing hardware limits as it is with this many gorgeous character models on screen at once and all the amazing effects. Obviously there are hordes of same-same warriors on every side of the war, but there are so many unique generals and special characters walking around that the repeating models are almost forgivable. (It would really be nice if they had a couple models rather then just one for most infantry, but it's still pretty slick)

The only real complaints I have are that managing the camera is a full-time job, and the amount of crap on the screen is insanely distracting. It's unfortunate that there are no options to move any of the hud elements around or just remove them completely. As important as it is to see the text and health bars, I'd give that info up in a second to unclutter this screen. I had intended to give this game a go in split-screen with the wife, but I suspect the amount of junk covering the screen will make that a royal pain in the neck.

One truly remarkable thing here is that the 3D is fantastic, which is still somewhat rare on Ps3. It surprised the hell out of me just how well it is implemented here... The cutscenes especially are some of the most impressive 3D I've sene outside an IMAX BD. Shit actually sticks out of the screen, there is no ghosting to speak of, and the depth is just amazing. The effect isn't quite as good during gameplay, but it is still up there with some of the best 3D I've played yet, and it really does help immerse you in the playing field.

What a nice surprise this game is for me; I went it to it with very low expectations, and I'm having a blast playing it.

Posted by bibamatt

Wow, this has got me excited to play this! I've never played a Dynasty Warriors game but saw a few good reviews for this. Just had it posted out to me today as a rental. Seems like it could potentially be overwhelming, but maybe a good time to try the series?

Posted by redlitez76

i love this game. it is a great game to play in between serious games. The characters are insanely detailed. great blog!

Posted by Totori

Then that'll teach you to not be so judgmental about games.

Posted by jakob187

First off, you didn't play a Dynasty Warriors game. You played a Warriors Orochi game. There actually IS a difference. Orochi is a mixture of characters from Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors, and a fair bit of original characters that may or may not be a bit demonic and/or supernatural. Dynasty Warriors is based on historical figures doing ridiculous combat shit. Samurai Warriors is kind of the same, but the systems are different in many ways for upgrading weapons and such. Dynasty Warriors Gundam is QUITE different from all of these.

With that said...

Second of all, I'm glad to hear someone gave them an honest chance. Yes, they are a bit mindless, but once you kick up to higher difficulties, the level of twitch gameplay and strategy involved can be incredibly satisfying when you earn a victory on any given scenario. There's also the loot whoring and crazy upgrading systems, which is part of the reason I love it so much. There's a fair bit of customization in all of that stuff.

Third of all, the clutter of the HUD is annoying now, but it becomes incredibly natural and you realize you couldn't have it any other way once you've played for significant portions of time. I wouldn't mind a bit more opacity to it all, but every piece of information in those games is something that you will 100% use on Chaos difficulty (if that's still the highest they offer in the Orochi series).

I need to check Orochi 3 out, but I'm still hung up on Gundam 3. I hate Gundam (the anime) with a passion (but I hate almost all anime), but that game is so fucking awesome. The scenarios are much shorter than Orochi or DW or SW, but it's that short and concise "in-and-out" gameplay that makes it so satisfying for me.

I hope you enjoy digging further into the game. These types of games only get better with the time you sink into them.

Posted by Noct

@jakob187 said:

First off, you didn't play a Dynasty Warriors game. You played a Warriors Orochi game. There actually IS a difference. Orochi is a mixture of characters from Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors, and a fair bit of original characters that may or may not be a bit demonic and/or supernatural. Dynasty Warriors is based on historical figures doing ridiculous combat shit. Samurai Warriors is kind of the same, but the systems are different in many ways for upgrading weapons and such. Dynasty Warriors Gundam is QUITE different from all of these.

With that said...

Second of all, I'm glad to hear someone gave them an honest chance. Yes, they are a bit mindless, but once you kick up to higher difficulties, the level of twitch gameplay and strategy involved can be incredibly satisfying when you earn a victory on any given scenario. There's also the loot whoring and crazy upgrading systems, which is part of the reason I love it so much. There's a fair bit of customization in all of that stuff.

Third of all, the clutter of the HUD is annoying now, but it becomes incredibly natural and you realize you couldn't have it any other way once you've played for significant portions of time. I wouldn't mind a bit more opacity to it all, but every piece of information in those games is something that you will 100% use on Chaos difficulty (if that's still the highest they offer in the Orochi series).

I need to check Orochi 3 out, but I'm still hung up on Gundam 3. I hate Gundam (the anime) with a passion (but I hate almost all anime), but that game is so fucking awesome. The scenarios are much shorter than Orochi or DW or SW, but it's that short and concise "in-and-out" gameplay that makes it so satisfying for me.

I hope you enjoy digging further into the game. These types of games only get better with the time you sink into them.

Oh please don't be so anal-retentive; I was making a point. I bought the game, I'm well aware of the title and the characters within it. You either already know that and just wanted to spout off some knowledge about it, or you are really so crazy-serious about Warriors Orochi that it ruffled your feathers. I'm not sure which is worse... =P

Heh, anyways, my point was that I lost interest in the base franchise here a long, long time ago, and despite this game being clunky and dated as all hell, I love it.

Totally agree on the hud information being mad-important the deeper into the game you get, but there has to be a better way to give me that info man, and even after playing it for hours, I stand behind my saying I'd still turn it off and play blind if I had the option.

At any rate, I'm of course not playing this much anymore, but I still feel the same way about it. Wicked fun experience, very underrated, and probably very misunderstood.

Posted by believer258

Well, this is the second thread of yours I've read that has you praising a game you never thought you'd play.

Posted by Morrow

I'm enjoying it too, I like some mindless hacking and slashing from time to time, and the customization options are neat. And the characters are all so pretty too :D

Posted by Hunter5024

Yeah dude I dont know what it is but (even though everything about Dynasty Warriors is kind of terrible) it's a pretty addictive series.