|System: X360,PS2, PSP||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: Sept. 23, 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 Pete Richards
For those unfamiliar with the original Warriors Orochi, the spin-off combines elements from the entire Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series, catering to those who simply cant get enough of the wildly popular Koei franchise.
Warriors Orochi 2 (WO2) features all your favorite characters from the Warriors universe as the worlds of Sanguo era China and Sengoku era Japan are combined by loosely-explained demonic forces. Picking up where the first left off, the story of Warriors Orochi 2 is not much different here, as peace in the new land has not lasted, and you must fight to restore it against newly formed armies. Unfortunately, with very few improvements and newly added features, Warriors Orochi 2 sticks a little too close to the series tried and true formula.
The biggest selling point for fans of the franchise is the amount of characters included in the game, including all from Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends, as well as five brand new characters: Taigong Wang, Yoshitsune Minamoto, Sun Wukong, Himiko, and the coolest, powerhouse Kiyomori Taira. Warriors fans will salivate over the whopping total of 90 playable characters. At first, the number is impressive. But even with the five new characters, only 13 are really new to the Warriors Orochi series, having not been included in the first installment. Even with the amount of playable characters, this may not be convincingly innovative for fans who own the original many characters are extremely similar and dont really offer a much variety to this very repetitive hack-n-slash. To give more depth to the cast of characters, each can be leveled up with new weapons. Making a return from the first Orochi title, players can combine strengths and elements from obtained weapons to create new tools to help you on your way. With so many characters and weapons available to upgrade, Warriors Orochi 2 does possess a lot of re-playability for those who arent turned off by the games repetitiveness.
Four brand new stages are also introduced to the Warriors franchise, which is another reason fans may want to check this out. Youll start off playing in Hinokawa and later unlock the Japanese island of Itsukushima, the Chinese Wuhang Mountains, and the ancient Japanese country of Yamatai. All other stages are carried over from Dynasty Warriors 5 and 2, with absolutely nothing new about any of them. They havent been given any new features, and graphically, they all look exactly the same as weve seen them in the past. It would have also been nice to see more variety of levels plucked from various Warriors games. With recycled levels and unimproved graphics, playing WO2 often feels like a dated experience that is visually unimpressive. While playing, it constantly feels as though Koei is milking their franchise for all its worth while not really offering fans anything new.
Even with the amount of characters and weapon possibilities that make WO2 interesting, playing the game often becomes boring, sometimes frustrating, and downright visually atrocious. The most noticeable eyesore is the amount of slowdown and framerate issues that continually occur. The extent of shuttering usually depends on the amount of characters and activity onscreen at once. Its a shame that framerate issues exist at all, making even the newly-added battlefields such as the cool-looking Itsukushima a less enjoyable experience. There seems to be more enemy attackers than usual in this title, which is another reason why developers should have prepared to ensure there wouldnt be framerate issues with so much going on at once.