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Square did it for Final Fantasy: Make it Open World Single Player

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    Dynasty Warriors 9

    Rating: 3.5 – Good

    Square did it for Final Fantasy: Make it Open World Single Player

    If you’ve read my review of Warriors Oichi 2, and seeing how it’s the only review of the game for the XBox 360 I would go take a quick look at it, you’d know I’m pretty fair when it comes to the Dynasty Warriors series. Mostly because it’s fun. And when I heard about Dynasty Warriors 9 coming out, I instantly was wanting to get my hands on it, as it looked like the game was going in a new direction. The question is, is that direction a new golden age of the series that makes the open world concept amazing, or will it fly off the cliffs of Chi Bi into the flames of Cao Cao’s navy?

    Concept:

    Take your one-man nuclear-equipped battle tank and have them slice in half armies of enemies that are mostly cannon fodder to your power. This isn’t going to change much in that idea, other than it’s a more open world environment. At first, you’d think this would be really boring as you have to go to point A to point B a lot, but it never feels boring. Part of the open world is always moving, you can see how people are fighting in real time and seeing how the battles are going while you’re on the move. Also, everything is given to you in a simple to find setting. Farming is never hard to do, as all you have to do is touch an item rather than stop, press a button to pick it up, and repeat. You can do this on horseback and it makes things a ton easier. Also when you do make any kind of move, you’re always finding another mini-battle to fight. These small conflicts don’t feel forced or even feel like they interrupt the flow of the game, which was the major issue of Final Fantasy XV or Saints Row for example. It feels more natural than demanding, which is huge. It may be slow to start, but almost instantly you’ll forget it and enjoy what’s next. 10/10

    Gameplay:

    The new combo system is what’s needed, getting rid of the basic button mashing for a bit with a more one-sized combo setting without ever feeling like everything is the exact same thing. Ether it sets up for another attack or gets you ready to finish someone off. It isn’t as good as Dynasty Warriors 5’s fighting styles, but they don’t feel so out of place that you get annoyed with how much they are copy and pasted. In addition, the very stupid rock-paper-scissors gimmick that further added to the nightmares that were in both Dynasty Warriors 7 and 8 are gone, meaning one weapon being powered up to the max works for everyone. And honestly, I love that! 10/10

    Controls:

    Attack, jump, power attack, ultimate attack, and with an additional set-up using the right button as I said before, specialty attacks that help you deal with a ton of enemies even more importantly. Using these attacks and then hitting them with a normal attack keeps the combo going, and repeat, repeat, repeat. None of these are infinite attacks so you’re going to have to reset eventually. Using a bow and arrow is a bit harder, as you have to press down on the D-pad, but it’s there to hunt animals. It’s a bit different then what you’re used to, but the flow is still there and never seems hard to remember. 10/10

    Graphics:

    Ok, now the major problem of this game at least on the XBox One: The graphics look old. The framerate is really low, and it looks like it does in Dynasty Warriors 7 and 8 on the XBox 360. Now, I don’t mind a slower framerate or weaker graphics so long as there’s no slowdown, which hurt a lot of the other Dynasty Warriors games. This time these graphics have produced very little slowdown to talk about, so I can actually deal with the poor graphics if I don’t have to stop like crazy like I did with Dynasty Warriors 6. So meh graphics are fine if they don’t stop the action. I know it sounds like it fixes one problem by making another, but really it’s better to not see slowdown in a game for my taste. 6/10

    Sound:

    The music is just as amazing as it normally is. There isn’t a huge go-to track in this case, but everything is just good all the way around so there’s not an issue of finding something you would like to have. The attacks are the same as they were in previous Dynasty Warriors games, which you can gather already. The problem: THE VOICE ACTING IS SOME OF THE WORST IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY! Not just who they have, but the lines they speak have almost no emotion. They changed the whole cast and they just don’t seem to be inspired. The voices never seem to match the characters’ mouth movements at all. To be fair to some degree, the faces just don’t move a lot anyway when they’re speaking, but that’s no excuse for good voice acting. Still, I’d rather have bad voice acting in a Warriors game so I know what’s going on at least than no voice acting at all that makes me have to take my eyes away from the battle to read. 4/10

    Story:

    I would get you bored with the Three Kingdoms age of China, but I won’t go that far. That’s pretty much it. Same deal as the last 7 games, repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s not bad but it’s just you know what’s coming. I think I like 6 best as each character had their own story that didn’t really have to have an ending point, but at least the battles are constantly getting you involved. So, it’s buyer beware: you know what’s about to happen if you’ve played any one of the Dynasty Warriors games. 4/10

    Challenge:

    Mostly, how easy or hard do you want to make it in the options? Normal difficulty will pretty much take care of going through the game without much trouble, but any easier and the game gets boring. Hard is tougher but ok. And of course, Chaos difficulty is as it sounds. I think the hardest part is that for some, who have ‘main’ characters in a game, Dynasty Warriors activity wants to put you into a character that you’re not used to. I barely like anything that Wu has, I’d rather stick with Wei if I could, but that’s part of the challenge: How well do you feel outside your comfort zone? For me who’ll play anything and everything, I find with mixing it up, but I can see if you’d rather not play someone like Taishi Ci if you’re a fan of Zhang He. 8/10

    Replay Value:

    Once again, one character doesn’t seem to be enough. Even though this time it feels like you can run through the game with just one person, it just feels better to keep going with every single character. The weapons sets aren’t what you’re used to more than likely, but everyone still has a solid personality that just lets them shine. Even with the poor voice acting and straight-forward style of the story, each character has a good feeling to it. One issue, there isn’t much of a secondary mode when the game starts. At the time of this review, I haven’t had the time to clear the game and see what happens when one’s done, but it does feel kind of weird. There isn’t a free mode even at the start, which isn’t normal. You could say the open world IS the free mode, but that’s not the point. Well, at least it isn’t that stupid tile game in Dynasty Warriors 7. 7/10

    Fun Factor:

    You may find the open world idea boring, but honestly, I don’t. Dynasty Warriors 9 takes away all the negative problems with an open world setting like farming that takes days and totally empty areas where all you’re doing is going from point A to point B. The side quests aren’t always important, as I ran into one that I had early on that gave me a hint that I already knew about, but at least some do give you a point that could help you in another mission. So they don’t always feel like questing for the sake of questing, which is a slight boost to making grinding easier. And that’s what I want to see in the open world setting: Make it easier for all the farming and questing to flow. Finally, there’s a game that does that. 8/10

    Fandom:

    This time, there’s a bit of an issue. Tenco Koei did everything it could to put this out to the masses, and, it feels like there isn’t enough drive for this game. Unlike all the other Dynasty Warriors games, however, where there’s zero on the company’s part to do anything, I give them respect. Also, they could have forced nothing but a Japanese voiced game at us like they’ve done before, so I do agree the company helped out. However, outside of this, the Warriors games aren’t exactly popping other than Fire Emblem Warriors (which I haven’t played but heard it’s good). And it’s kind of sad as the Warriors games couldn’t have been hotter. This would have been a great time to capitalize on the series’ cult following, being production team Omega Force’s 20th anniversary, but it doesn’t feel that way this time around. Still, at least they’re giving themselves something to build on in the open world setting, so I’ll give them that. 5/10

    Overall Rating:

    There’s a lot more to like about Dynasty Warriors 9 than there is to hate. The graphics are meh, and the voice acting is garbage, but the core gameplay is still there, it’s still as fast paced as it was before, the open world setting actually helps you more than it hurts you, and you don’t seem to get bored of the game as a whole. Is it as fun as it could be? Not really. Is it for everyone? No. But if you love open-world games or Dynasty Warriors games, then this is exactly what you’re looking for. And dare I say it, despite the graphics being plain and the voice acting being a disaster, it’s better than Final Fantasy XV… but take my words with a warning: If you’re a fan of nether, or you just want to do something new, this game is the exact opposite than you’re looking for. Do not bother with it in that case. But if you’re a fan and can get past the voice acting, I’m totally ok with how long this single-player game is (multi-player in a Dynasty Warriors game is overrated anyway), seeing how you’re going to keep going at it for a while in any event. But I’ll be fair: If you didn’t like FFXV, this is going to be harder for you to stand. More hack and slash and more running around. But I say, for what you get, picking this up for $60, you could do worse.

    But I think you should go ahead and try it out at least. 73 out of 100

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