I picked up Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires for the PS3 on Saturday, so here are my thoughts. I’ll be focusing on the aspects of the game that matter to us the most, namely the character and empire creation, and the coop:
– Don’t fix what ain’t broke. Open up any copy-paste blog or game site review of this title (or DW5 or 6 for that matter) and surely you read the same things. “Fun, but nothing ground breaking” or “More of the same” or “same old hack ‘n slash action.” Sound about right? Well, it’s true for the most part. But that is not always a bad thing. Especially when you take everything that was good about the last title and soup it up.
For those that don’t know, the Empires spinoffs of the DW series do two important things. They give you the tactical overview mode, which means you’re doing more than just killing Chinamen by the thousands, and more importantly it gives you the character creation mode. So, basically, let’s say you don’t really give a fuck about the history of ancient Chinese warring states, but you’d like a solid coop game where you and a friend can create characters and an empire and just have some fun all on the same console and/or, you liked DW5: Empires. Well this game is for you.
– Character creation is much better. Okay, this isn’t Soul Caliber where you can go into crazy detail on your character, but it is a big step up from DW5:E. You now get to change hair color, and you can design your armor from different parts now rather then a simple shirt and pants option from the previous game. Now, the choices are not to vast out of the box, but you get to choose upper and lower armor, gloves/gauntlets, boots, helmets and even accessories like eye patches and such. Of course, you also get to choose from a large pool of interesting weapons, with some new choices as well as the classics (like the oversize “broadsword”). It is a great improvement.
– The battle system is more streamlined. In the old games you did different powerful moves by doing a string of weak moves followed by a press of the strong button. This system is gone. The strong button now has only two moves, a hold and a tap move, while the weak buttons lets you flail your weapon around haphazardly as always. While this simpler system certainly won’t be satisfying your inner Devil May Cry fan, there is more to it.
When you create a character, you get to choose a special move from a list. In addition to your Musou bar and it’s special attack, you get to choose another special ability that will be available to you at regular intervals. Some examples of these are healing, and increasing your speed for a period of time. As you progress in your game you can use money and treasure to buy more of these for a total of four different abilities. You hold L2 and the corresponding face button to use these in battle.
So while the battle system is more simplified and streamlined, you actually end up with more options and freedom. This new system is likely to be easier to learn for new players as well. Oh yeah, and you get to scale cliff sides and swim and stuff.
– Maybe I just need to get used to it, but the new game is quite busy. That is, in a battle a whole lot of shit is going on and sometimes it seemed like it was a little harder to follow than the previous game. Also, the generals and rulers are often harder to spot. We were typically getting 700-800 kills per battle EACH while playing split screen, so there are a lot more troops on the screen. On the plus side, the frame rate stays up even in coop, with there only being a couple brief slow-downs that I noticed.
– If I had to choose a bad thing about this game it would be that only one of the scenarios (?? –Chaos) allows you to pick all custom characters for a battle. In the previous game, when you picked a scenario, you could then pick a ruler and two officers. In this game you only can do that in the one generic scenario. On the plus side though, you get to pick a ruler and three officers now. All of which can be created characters.
All in all, the game is a great addition to the series. Like I said above, if you liked DW5: Empires, you’ll love this game. If you’re new to the series but are looking for a fun and easy to pickup coop game, it’s worth it too. Another plus is that brand new the game is only $39.99, what’s not to like about that?
I also picked up Hot Shots golf. So when I’m not so tired, I’ll write some up for that game a well. But I’ll say I like it to.