Should I lament how better the console version of Dynasty Warrior is to the GBA version? Dare I reveal how much depth and fun is lacking compared to the console version? I could, I should, I would and I will.

Dynasty Warriors Advance cannot be at all compared to its console counterpart. While it may be unfair to compare, I think that KOEI deserves to be slammed for drawing the comparisons simply by using the Dynasty Warrior title on this inferior little button masher. This game should have been called something else entirely. Then it wouldn't disappoint so much and possibly tarnish the Dynasty Warriors series in the process.

Dynasty Warriors Advance is a basic, button mashing, hack and slash. The console version featured more moves and many more enemies onscreen at the same time. There are only a few enemies onscreen in this GBA version and as a consequence there isn't that sense of immediacy or superhuman accomplishment after decimating an entire army single handedly. The primal basics are missing which leads me to the conclusion that this isn't a Dynasty Warriors game.

Each battle is reduced to only five enemies. You can't get to the next wave of five enemies until you kill the very last one in your present battle. Then you get to do it all over again in virtually the same place. The environments don't vary and even though the enemies may become more challenging the gameplay is so repetitive that the biggest challenge will be battling boredom.

Power-ups give you some diversion since the control system itself is limited. You will unlock new weapons, armor and characters which also adds a bit of diversity but after a few more rounds of the same old gameplay you'll be begging for a quick, merciful end.

Dynasty Warriors Advance is not long on looks. While I knew better than to expect an epic tale rife with well-acted, fully animated cutscenes, I did expect a little more than the lame maps and sprites that I encountered. The cutscenes are presented nicely with good quality artwork and at least a desire to tell a story with some depth to it although it's too concentrated. Too much detail is thrown in which overshadows the raw emotion of the situations which the characters would draw their inspiration from.

The music is good but like the graphics, the soundtrack also repeats.

As a pure, out and out challenge, Dynasty Warriors will give your button mashing fingers a real workout. If you're looking to experience and explore the depth of the Dynasty Warrior series you might as well pick up a Zelda game.

System: GBA
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Koei
Release: Sept 2005
Players: 1
Review by Fenix