Review: Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper kicks ass on the Wii U, despite some small issues
Among the many ports that found their way to Nintendo's new console, the Warriors series found itself to be one of them. It's also good to know that if you're getting any sort of Warriors port to the Wii U, at least it's best one out of the entire series. Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper takes over 130 characters from Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Ninja Gaiden, Bladestorm, Legends of Troy and Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll, with a couple new characters, and adds a completely new Duel mode, making this the most complete Warriors game to date.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper doesn't do much differently from its Warriors predecessors. You pick a team of three characters and you duke it out on the battlefield made up of thousands of soldiers waiting to fall straight on your blade. In fact, it really is the same game that you've played on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 earlier this year.
It's sad then that not much thought has been put into the gamepad functionality, if any. While playing, you have the option to simply mirror everything you're seeing on your screen, which in my opinion, is a battery waster, or simply turn on the mini-map. It's somewhat understandable that either the team over at Tecmo Koei didn't have enough time to figure something out for the gamepad, or really, there was nothing they could come up with to actually utilize it with. Either way, it's somewhat of a missed opportunity.
However, where the gamepad does come into play is with multiplayer. I've always been a fan of bringing a friend along for some good old, mindless hacking and slashing in the Warriors games, but sharing that TV real estate really did take away from the overall experience. Here, one players can play his characters on the TV, while the other plays on the gamepad. It might not seem like a fair trade-off for those stuck playing on the gamepad, but it really isn't that bad.
The game still sadly suffers from the same problems that plagued the series since... well forever. What's worse is that the Wii U has a bit of a harder time processing these things. Character pop-in is pretty attrocious, and sometimes happens even directly in front of my character, and the draw distance is still pretty laughable. Things start to get worse when a lot of enemies show up on screen at once, and the game suffers from quite a bit of slowdown. Still though, it's almost a part of how the Warriors series works, and the sooner we can come to accept that, the sooner we can actually get to the fun part, which is the gameplay.
Running around as Ryu Hayabusa in this world of Dynasty and Samurai Warriors certainly helps its appeal, not to mention the guest characters are all extremely fun to play as. Don't get me wrong though, even the standard warriors are a joy to hack and slash with, and you're bound to find a few that truly resonate with you, and that you'll want to keep using again and again.
The coolest feature of Hyper is the inclusion of the new Duel Mode, which essentially turns the game into a Warriors themed fighting game. You still pick three characters to duke it out, but now fight one on one, instead of amidst hundred of peons. Much like the card system worked in the Vita version of Dynasty Warriors, you'll be able to equip and use four different stat boosting cards that can give you or the opponent the edge in battle. It's actually a worthwhile mode outside of the main campaign, and stands out as one of the better features to be included in the Wii U version.
If you haven't yet played a Warriors series, then this one is definitely the most fully featured. It still has the problems that plague the past games, however the gameplay is fun, especially if you have friends to play it with, and the new duel mode is a worthwhile time investment.