May 5, 2010

[Games] Dynasty Warriors 6 (PS3)

Dynasty Warriors 6 (PS3)Sequels are a lot easier to realize when it comes to the world of games. I know I rant a lot about how movie sequels have a very big chance of being bad but it's not quite the case when it comes to games for some reason.

I guess it's because with games, it's really more of giving us more levels or better items as based on the original game engine. Game developers know not to deviate too far away from the original game concept and just add little innovations here and there. Of course given the fickle-mindedness of the game-playing population we either love the new addition to the gaming world or we complain that's just a rehash of the older edition and is not worth playing. Or worse, we complain the game has grown too far away from the original and the elements that made it fun the first time around just didn't come out well anymore. You know how it is.

This is one of those game franchises that has innovated very little over the years but I'm glad that it largely remains the same. A lot of game reviewers have criticized the series for its supposed lack of creativity over the years, but it's still a great game to kill time with.

Dynasty Warriors 6 is the first edition of the franchise that was ported to the PS3 as released by those campy developers at Koei. Of course this staple of the PlayStation universe was bound to make an appearance on the newer platform - the game was one of the first highlights of the PS2 upon its release and not seeing it in the latest generation of the console would seem highly irregular indeed.

Guan Yu as he appears in Koei's Dynasty Warrio...Image via Wikipedia

Dynasty Warriors is based around a simple premise - that people like to spend hours upon hours hacking and slashing through hundreds upon hundreds of enemies. The game was one of the first great depictions of Wuxia as set in the fictional history of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. All the big heroes are here such as the three brothers Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei or the crafy Cao Cao and his bodyguards Dian Wei and Xiahou Dun. And you have the Sun family of Sun Jian, Sun Ce, Sun Shang Xiang and Sun Quan. There are a total of 41 characters in this edition with 17 of them having Story Mode quests available.

The usual game modes are there - Musou (Story) Mode and Free Mode. Plus there's Challenge mode for online ranking options.

The game has many changes compared to previous versions beyond the somewhat radical redesign of many of the characters in the game. One of the key additions to the game is the Renbu system, which gives the player longer and longer possible attack combos based on the number of times you get to deal damage. There's also a new skill tree system which reminds me a lot of the old sphere grid system employed in Final Fantasy X. There are a number of other innovations but on the whole it's still the same game we've all come to know and love over the years.

As with previous versions, the missions remain largely the same since they're based on events in the same story. There are changes to how the mission objectives are presented and this includes new targets that you can try to achieve in exchange for experience points. Experience helps your character become stronger and of course gives you skill points for spending. On the whole it's a pretty solid design that veered away from over-dependence on getting better weapons for driving longer attack combos.

Of course there's a bit of repetitiveness to the game and if you don't appreciate hack and slash adventure games of this nature, then it's never going to work. It's really a bit shallow in this way and it just rewards you for higher and higher number of kills. Plus the cut scenes are pretty silly at times which gives the game a somewhat campy feel. It's like watching one of those older Hong Kong movies with really bad dubbing or something.

Given this is the first Dynasty Warriors on a new platform, I was expecting a lot more from the game in terms of graphics design, which was sadly lacking. It looks like any other Dynasty Warriors that I've played in the past on the PS2 and perhaps they'll catch up in terms of development later on.

I'm looking forward to when they'll port Samurai Warriors or Warriors Orochi over to this console. I need my hack and slash gaming fix. When you get down to it. games like Dynasty Warriors are practically casual games in their own right. They're a great way to de-stress after a long day, especially if you can find someone who appreciates the genre to play along with you.

Dynasty Warriors 6 gets 3.5 dazzling displays of Wuxia-style might out of 5.

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