Dynasty Warriors Next Review
- Posted March 29th, 2012 at 18:40 EDT by Timothy Nunes
- 10 Comments
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A great rendition of an old IP by using the functionality of the PS Vita in the best ways
- Wonderful use of Vita functionality
- Stellar graphics
- Diversified gameplay
- Camera is too close and stiff
- AI can be unpredictably obnoxious
With fear of potentially having Dynasty Warriors lovers cursing my entire namesake, I'm a bit ashamed to say that I had never played a Dynasty Warriors game until I picked up Dynasty Warriors Next. Every time I saw my friends playing it, it always looked like a bunch of enemies standing around while my friends mashed buttons to slaughter them; unfortunately, I looked at it shallowly. I went into this critique thinking that I'd be bored out of my skull trying to see what the game had to offer; hoping against hoping, I wanted to see what my friends found so enticing about something that looked so incredibly simplistic from my ignorant standpoint. Needless to say, for the sake of this review, Dynasty Warriors had its work cut out for it to get past my initial, blind belief of what I thought I knew.
The story is fairly simple: take different groups of characters all around China to overtake enemy territories. This simplicity is almost welcome, since this game is all about the gameplay. It started somewhat simplistically, running from location to location fighting off hundreds of enemies to claim each area on the way to conquering the base. Then the game blatantly diversified, as it threw in interactive events like ambushes and duels. These events each had a brief disclaimer for how to deal with them, but each one initially still felt surprising, leaving me with a slight sense of panic as I executed the information that I had just processed. And all of these spontaneous events revolve around the touchscreen, used to cut down enemies, arrows, or parry attacks in a duel. Duels took the longest for me to familiarize with doing, but after a few failures, swiping and block breaking became as natural as mashing the square and triangle buttons.
The soundtrack to this game assimilates with the gameplay incredibly well, since hard rock and button mashing go hand in hand. Graphically, however, I was the most surprised. It could be that the sheer horsepower of the PS Vita is still a bit unfamiliar to me, but seeing facial movement during attacks and special abilities surprises me. The sheer amount of enemies on-screen was awe-inspiring, and the game almost never hiccupped. The ability for this game to bounce between button-mashing goodness and interactive diversity really countered my initial and unfounded misconceptions of the Dynasty Warriors series.
Next also features different gameplay modes. As expected, it starts with a Campaign Mode, but it extends out into a Conquest Mode, a Coalition Mode, and a Gala Mode. Conquest Mode is where players go online and play invasive chess against each other in sections of China by invading each other's territories until one player is cut off and is forced to surrender. Coalition Mode is a cooperative mode where up to four players can Ad-Hoc their Vitas together and fight against the CPU. Finally, Gala Mode is where players can play all of the different interactive modes that are interlaced and unlocked in the Campaign Mode.
My biggest issues with this game are with the camera and the enemy AI. The camera always feels too close and stiff, so looking around for enemies is a chore in close-quarters combat. On top of that, any named enemy has some sort of frustrating ability to juggle the player like in a fighting game. I would frequently be yelling at my Vita because some random lieutenant would come up behind me while my combo count is through the roof and would toss me back and forth with some guy named Wang Dong. Frustrating, but I could still get away most of the time, but the camera never helped like luck did.
Dynasty Warriors Next is a game that takes the functionality of the PlayStation Vita and accentuates it, and it brings the player an experience that's really worth having. Though the camera and the back-stabbing AI are issues throughout, the sheer diversity of the gameplay and the pace of it all, including some of the fastest loading I've seen on Vita games so far, puts this up with Wipe out 2048 and Uncharted: Golden Abyss as a must-own game.
- 7:19pm EDT - March 29th, 2012
Holy Crap. This is the first time in about 7 years I've seen Dynasty Warriors get over a 7 from a site or reviewer(s) that I actually like. You mean to tell me this Dynasty Warriors, unlike the others, DOESN'T just feel like a lawn mowing simulator that trades blades of grass for braindead AI with no apparent sense of comraderie on the battlefield? Wow...threw me for a loop.
- 10:07pm EDT - March 29th, 2012
I was really blown away by it.
@honomaru With your response, that really deters me from wanting to try other Dynasty Warriors games. I'm glad that I started with Next, though. Maybe I can get around other games later.
- 4:32am EDT - March 30th, 2012
The demo was actually pretty fun. It was still pretty much the hack and slash of the past, but the way you do some moves and blocks with the touchscreen front/back were pretty fun. This is going on my list to get later. If you liked the past games you'll love it. IF you didn't like the past games, at least give the demo a try.
- 7:28am EDT - March 30th, 2012
@2 Honestly I've been playing DW from the 4th one and they just got progressively worse. 4 was pretty good for its time but it's so dated at this point that I wouldn't recommend it. Also it's on ps2. If you want a similar game that actually is somewhat fun to play, I recommend you get Sengoku Basara 3. Same bland system but more interesting and dynamic fight mechanics that can help hold you off for awhile.
- 11:45am EDT - March 30th, 2012
@honomaru Okay, sounds good. I'll check that out, after I get through my LONG list of games piled up by my TV. lol First world problems, eh?
- 3:33pm EDT - March 30th, 2012
@5 lawl. You said it.
AcesHigh291 | AcesHigh291
- 4:12pm EDT - March 30th, 2012
Dynasty Warriors is inherently fun. As long as you don't get in a rut of buying every one of them, I don't see why it's hard to enjoy the titles.
- 4:27pm EDT - March 30th, 2012
Tim Nunes You should (emphasis on should) really enjoy Dynasty Warriors 7. I haven't played NEXT yet, but Dynasty Warriors 7 really stepped up the gameplay of this series. It seems Techmo gave Koei a kick in the butt when they joined, and Koei have really got their act together of late.
- 5:44pm EDT - March 30th, 2012
Good to know, @Dantess. I'll definitely give it a shot. You know, after I get through this first-world problem of mine. lol
@AcesHigh291 I can appreciate that outlook, and I got lucky by starting with Next. From the way it sounds, it should grease the door, so to speak, for me and get me interested in this long-time franchise.
- 10:24pm EDT - March 31st, 2012
@honomaru Based on our tracking Dynasty Warriors Next has an overall score of 76.25% after 4 reviews. Not a bad deal...the graphics look awesome. The gameplay is what you would expect from the franchise.
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