|System: PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Omega Force||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: KOEI||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 19, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Dynasty Warriors is one of those tried-and-true franchises that it seems every gamer has played an itineration of at some point in their lives. It features an interesting mix of historical detail and melee-style gameplay that has yet to be recreated. However, one of the main issues that many have with Dynasty Warriors as a franchise is that it seems that every new entry in the series is a little too similar to the last.
What once seemed original now seems mundane, and Dynasty Warriors 6, I'm sad to say, continues this underwhelming trend. To its credit, there are several mechanisms in place in Dynasty Warriors 6 to try to combat this tendency. But while these new improvements are a welcome change, they are not big enough to make a real difference in the gaming slump that the Dynasty Warriors franchise seems to have found itself in.
Most Dynasty Warriors games revolve around The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is a classic piece of Asian literature. It deals with the power struggle and war that broke out during the fall of the Han dynasty. The book features many characters, and Dynasty Warriors features about 40 of the most significant. The story upon which it is based features drama, romance, and of course, action. However, the game has always has an issue conveying the latter two in its story mode. I was really hoping for a more in-depth story this time around, but unfortunately it seems that the story still lacks some of the poignancy of the work upon which it is based. Still, the story does suffice for an action game and features the story behind a select few of the more prominent Dynasty Warriors. Most of the characters are returning for this game, with old favorites like Cao Cao and Lu Bu being the main focus of the game. I can't really dole out too much hate on the story, but I must admit that I was a little disappointed with how shallow the story mode ended up being. The story mode feels like it is stuck in second gear and can't quite convey what it wants to. But as I said before, it suffices for what it is.
The battle system in this game is really where it all falls apart for me. The battle system is simply a button mash fury where you will succeed at any level on any difficulty setting just by pushing the main attack button at a furious pace and occasionally hitting the special attack button. The game tries to combat the button mashing frenzy by implementing a "Renbu" system that allows you to gain more power as you fight and trigger special abilities. However, I found that in practical gameplay the Renbu system is almost completely immaterial. Sure, there are a few numbers at the bottom of the screen that say you're doing a good job, but this doesn't detract from the button-mash-centric style of gameplay. If anything it promotes this technique, which is definitely a bad thing. When all you do to play through a game is repeatedly mash the same buttons, it gets horribly boring. I know arcade fans out there might disagree with me, but as an arcade fan myself, I can tell you that the approach to battle in Dynasty Warrior 6 is just not enough to hold your interest for more than an hour at the most.
Individual levels in Dynasty Warriors 6 also suffer from a large degree of monotony. Although there are several characters who have playable stories, you'll find that most of the different stages overlap and you'll end up fighting the same enemies and doing the exact same thing for each of these levels. In addition to the various story modes, there is also a challenge mode where you can see how many enemies you can take down without getting hit, how fast you can run through a stage or even how many total KOs you can get. The challenge stages are alright at best, but they suffer as well from being way too repetitive. They borrow small chunks of the level stages and don't have enough unique value to merit additional playthoughs. The only exception to this might be if you are really into the whole leaderboard scene, as you can upload your best times and kills to a Dynasty Warriors national leaderboard.