reviews\ Sep 19, 2005 at 8:00 pm

Dynasty Warriors 5 - XB - Review

If you have not heard of Dynasty Warriors then either you are new to gaming or have been living under a rock for many years. Since the original PlayStation, players have had the chance to take on and kill myriads of oncoming soldiers to accomplish their overall goal. Each successive game allows players to do new things, such as ride a horse, or sportin a deeper combat system, or better enemy AI. Does Dynasty Warriors 5 bring anything new to the table or is it the same game with a new suffix? Read on to find out!

If you have ever played any of the Dynasty Warriors series, then you will basically know the story for it. The game is set in the second century in the land of China. The Three Kingdoms are in a war for supremacy. This game tells the story about the heroes and the villains of the story. As well as show the peace, love, chaos, and prosperity of the time. If you really like Chinese history then this game will be right up your alley.

There are several different options available to players of this game. The game modes are: Musou, Free, and Challenge mode. If you want to see the different officers, weapons and items that you have acquired during the course of the game you can go into Camp. If you would like to read about the history of the Three Kingdoms and the biographies of all the officers from the story you can go into the Encyclopedia and read to your heart's content.

Musou Mode is the real meat of this game, as it is the main story mode. It will ask players which nation they wish to fight with and then which officer you wish to be. Players will have their endurance and wits tested as they see if they can be victorious for their warring faction. Before each mission players will be able to select a bodyguard to help them defeat their enemies, change weapons, and equip various items. These additional options really help flesh out the game a little more since you have someone that “has your back” while fighting through the levels and having items that prolong your life.

Free Mode is where players can select any one stage to play. The more levels that are beaten in Musou mode, the more levels players can fight on in this mode. What I really liked about these two modes is that a friend can join you in your quest to defeat that particular level. This is something that I found highly enjoyable because you can set up a nice strategy to take out some of the tougher enemies.

In challenge mode, players will have to beat the clock or do various other things in a short amount of time. This mode really challenges the player’s skills and patience to see how good they really are. After you finish the mode, you are given a password. Players then take that password and input it in a ranking site to see how you fared against everyone else in the world. In other words you can get real bragging rights if you do really well in this particular mode.

One of the best additions to the single-player game is the Double Musou attack, which has been exclusive to co-op gaming in the past. Once you and your bodyguard, or second human player, fill up your Musou gauge and stand next to each other you will notice lighting will be emanating between the two of you. If you hit the Musou attack button, a special attack will occur where you will both take out almost any enemy in your range. This is a really good addition and a good reason to stick close to your bodyguard.

The Dynasty Warriors franchise is really starting to show its age with this latest release. Even though you can fight more enemies on the screen at once and the fog of war has been pushed back, players can tell that this game is really taxing the limitations of the current generation of console systems. The character models look nice and the animations are really good, but it is starting to all look the same, especially after defeating hundreds of enemies. I do not think players will really seen any dramatic change to this series until it moves on to the next generation of consoles, which will mean better character models, more varied texture use, and more detailed environments.

Now everyone knows what is coming up: time for me to bash or praise the audio department, and I must say that today’s review will consist of me bashing it. The English voices, what were they thinking? The voice acting for this game is horrid and pathetic, but the developers have a surprise for you. If you want to listen to the Japanese voice acting, then all you have to do is select the option in the options mode and you will get your wish. This helps bring players closer into the game and makes them feel like they really are in this time period. The music for the game is not the best, but it is palatable and gets the job done just fine.

Dynasty Warriors 5 is rated Teen for use of alcohol and violence. It also uses in-game Dolby Digital.

Review Scoring Details for Dynasty Warriors 5

Gameplay: 7.9
If you have ever played a Dynasty Warriors game, then you should know exactly what to expect from this game. Hack and slash your way through myriads of enemies trying to prevent you from accomplishing your goal.

Graphics: 7.0
There are more enemies on the screen at once, and the fog of war is pushed further back so that creates less popup. This game is really starting to show its age.

Sound: 6.1
The music in this game is palatable but the English voice acting is just horrific.

Difficulty: Medium
You can change difficulty settings in this game; some are extremely easy and other are mind numbly hard.

Concept: 5.9
Even though various enhancements were made to this game, nothing really “new” is added.

Multiplayer: 7.9
My brother and I played the co-op for a long time together. Playing this game with someone else really makes this game a lot more fun as you can coordinate attacks and do various other things. The co-op mode really enhances the game's replay factor tenfold.

Overall: 7.2
I highly enjoy playing the Dynasty Warrior games, and Dynasty Warriors 5 is no exception. The thing that is wrong with this game is that it is getting caught up in the technological limitations of the system. It will not be until this game is made on next generation system where a lot of highly needed changes will be implemented. Until that time comes you can be sure that you will get many hours of enjoyment out of this game, even though this game does have some faults.


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