Let me get this out of the way now. I’m a huge Dynasty warriors fan, I’ve been playing them since Dynasty 2 and for whatever reason I have been magically drawn to their style. Now that I have gotten that off my chest I can begin, Xtreme Legends Dynasty Warriors 8 is the newest addition in the Tecmo/Koei published, W-Force created game. It retails for $59.99 and came out for PS3, PS4 (Reviewed), and PS Vita. So with out further delay lets find out if the latest in the W-Force series holds up for me and is worth playing for normal people.
Dynasty Warriors has never been the industry leader when it comes to graphics, and while that still holds true today, it is good to see that they are improving. The cut scenes looked great and I could definitely tell the difference in the game from the original Dynasty 8 that I played on Xbox 360 the characters themselves were brighter and their armor all had more detail on it. The game was smooth and crisp, and it’s always enjoyable seeing the little details like the fire trails in Red Hare’s tail leaves as he runs.
The base gameplay in the series has largely been untouched since the 2nd installment in the series and they’ve only added better moves or newer abilities since then. Xtreme Legends is no different. If you’ve never played one of these games before I will say now that the three most used buttons in the series are the Square, Triangle, Circle or on Xbox X, Y, B. Those buttons will control your light attack, heavy attack, or Musou attack, switch back and forth between light and heavy attacks on groups of people until you have built up enough Musou to use that, rinse, and repeat until you have beaten the enemy into submission. The impressive thing is how well the new hardware can handle the massive amount of people on the screen and very rarely have any frame rate issues. If you have played a Dynasty Warriors before than you know that usually when there are a lot of people on the screen and a general or two, the frame rate usually takes a pretty sharp dip, thankfully that only happened to me when there were a crazy amount of people on the screen and 4 or five generals at the same time. There were sometimes so many people on the screen that I couldn’t even see my own character anymore, I just had to keep swinging and hope I could cut my way through the endless amount of spear fodder until I could see them again. Even after all that however, the frame rate didn’t drop that terribly, which was great to see. Ambition mode came back and was just as fun/long as ever, this mode has you picking your character then staring in a poor village and fighting battle after battle until you can build up the village to a prosperous town and welcome the emperor to stay in your town. On a side note, it really has impressed me how much game time they can cram into these titles lately, building up the village to max and finding all of the playable characters took some serious time, and when you finally do welcome the emperor to your town, congratulations, that’s the halfway point of the story. Xtreme legends also added 5 new characters to the mix and brought back the challenges mode.
Xtreme Legends Dynasty Warriors 8 Complete Edition lets you choose one of the 5 factions in the game and tasks you with the simple job of conquering China. Although the overall story of the series has stayed the same since way back in the ancient times of 2002, I do like the more historically accurate direction they have been going in (while still keeping it’s over the top style). Characters who now start off story, 99.999% of the time don’t make it to the end of the mode, and considering this was a time of constant war and back then 45 was pretty damn old, you can kind of understand. That and also because they have 75+ playable characters this time around and they have to fit them in somehow. Now I say 99.999% chance, because while I haven’t played it yet, there is a story mode added to this entry that focuses on everyone’s favorite unstoppable monster on a red horse Lu Bu, I assume his story is just him destroying history on a rage filled rampage to control everything ever. Anyways, the other story modes are focused on the three kingdoms of ancient China Wei, Wu, and Shu this loosely follows history and the book Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I say loosely because this is still a game where one man can take on an army of 3000+ with relative ease. Also since the 7th installment in the series, they also have incorporated the actual winner in this ancient war time the Jin dynasty. Xtreme Legends also added the possibility of what if scenarios or by doing certain things in a map opening up a completely new battle. Now since I played the PS4 version I will side note with the additions for the Dual Shock 4, pretty much all they did was change the pad to the pause button and when you get into the game all the generals speak through the speaker in the controller instead of the T.V.
The music is the same style it has been since the second game, if you don’t like electric guitar then be warned. Now while I do like their music style, even I can only handle it for the first few times and then it all blurs together like one long guitar solo that may never leave your brain. Then again their are worse types of music to get stuck in your head I guess.
The voice acting in this game is something I think I hear the most controversy over. Some people love the English voice actors, some people hate them. I fall on the side that loves them, and I love them because they aren’t the greatest. Dynasty Warriors isn’t trying to be the Last of Us or Grand Theft Auto, and that’s fine, cause it’s Dynasty Warriors, and I personally thank W-Force for keeping mostly the same voice actors in the series for as far back as I can remember. Seriously. Terrance Stone has been my character Zhao Yun since Kessen 2…KESSEN 2!!! I’ll let that sink in.
Overall Xtreme Legends Dynasty Warriors 8 Complete edition is a welcomed addition to the family and a mindlessly find game to play. If you’re able to grab the PS4 version of the game, go for it, if you’ve already played through this game on the PS3 however I would have to say unless you’re a die hard fan, you may want to hold off until it gets a little cheaper than $59.99. I don’t think the new additions are worth paying full price twice. But hey, between Ambition mode, 5 different story modes, free mode and the challenge mode you certainly won’t be out of things to play.