Dynasty Warriors 6 Review (PS3)

Never has a game split an audience as much as the Dynasty Warriors series. Adored my thousands but simply detested by the same number, the Dynasty Warriors audience is as divided as PC and console gamers. The reasons for the split are also just as clear cut. You see, the Dynasty Warriors has always been riddled with what some would call Ďminor imperfectionsí whilst others would call game breaking, shoddy graphical implementation. Yes youíve guessed it, slow-down a plenty and more tears than a pair of Don Johnsonís Leviís.

The high quality cutscenes make her look even more beautiful than she does here!
One of my favourites moves in the game.

Also, the reason why so many dismiss the game is because of the developerís inherent lack of interest in converting the non-believers. From a financial point of view itís hardly worth it as the numbers who buy the game are sufficient to turn over what could be considered a handsome profit. However, the naysayers have berated Koei for not really trying to add new features to the game itself. They have simply pandered to the fan base and given them more of the same. Sounds fair enough on the one hand but on the other I can see that where the criticism is leveled from.

So the salient question is: does Dynasty Warriors 6 do anything different from the previous games to suitably interest people who have previously dismissed the game? The very short answer is no, it doesnít. There are no new gameplay elements to woo any of you who have had reservations about the series before this release.

The longer answer is that all of the same annoyances are there. You simply button-mash your way through countless enemies not really knowing what it is you are doing. There is no real skill involved. Well, none for the new-comer anyway. Iím sure the hardcore know what moves are best for what situations but simply put, a five year old could simply hammer the buttons and the directional stick and make a decent amount of progress in the gameís many story modes.

The map in the top left shows you were you need to be and who you need to defeat.

Is that a big sword in your hand or are you just pleased to see me?!

The graphics have been improved, however, especially for the cut-scenes. In fact, letís be straight about this, the cut-scenes are superb and are some of the best Iíve seen to date. However, the actual content of the cut-scenes leave much to the imagination. Usually a short movie before the action is used as a tool to explain certain vital story elements and give character background. In the case of Dynasty, the characters arenít really introduced. Sure, you get their name and rank, but who they are and why it is you are talking to them/doing their bidding isnít really explained. In a game where your basic quest is getting from A to B and hacking and slashing everything in your path, some kind of motivation for doing so could have quite easily brought the experience a little over that of the mundane.

And what a mundane experience it unfortunately is. Koei have tried to spice things up this time round but sadly in terms of core gameplay thereís nothing much to discern this experience from the last five incarnations. The changes have been dubbed as making the game Ďvastly differentí from the previous few but if you think that your character swim, climb, control rowboats, destroy walls, and pull off unlimited combos with the use of the new Ďrenbu system adds a great deal of variety then you are sadly mistaken. They are nice touches sure, and add both a sense of realism and yet even more ways to make the combat child friendly and thus the game easier but it really isnít worth the full price being asked.

They have made great strides to improve AI, this time round making it adaptive. This is surely to negate the button mashers but as soon as the AI gets used to one type of attack then all you need to do is press a different button-combo or simply attack from another angle and itís plain sailing thereon in. The aforementioned renbu system allows players to learn new moves by of a level meter that fills up when you pull off attacks and goes down when you get hit. Again, a nice idea if these combos actually made any improvement to the core mechanic, but seeing as you never really learn any moves due to the fact hit random buttons works, the incentive isnít really there.

A nice bit of motion-blur highlighting just how badass he is!

Tough men, in tough situations, make tough decisions.

So all in all we have a game that doubtlessly thousands of you will love. But then again this review means nothing as youíve already bought it on release. For those of you reading this who have never really been tempted by the series then unfortunately thereís nothing new there to drag you in or change your mind. For those of us who can take it or leave it, the same applies: youíll probably enjoy when you get round to playing it, but I wouldn't advise you to rush out and get it. Oh well, maybe next time, eh?

Top gaming Moment: Seeing hordes of enemies fly around the screen as you unleash a devastating combo!

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