In the run up to E3 I find myself anticipating one announcement in particular that would make me very happy. Koei Tecmo recently announced their line up for E3 and told us that they have a secret project in the works that they will announce at the show. Personally, I’m hoping it’s an announcement for Dynasty Warriors 9 which is my favourite gaming franchise.
It has to be said, with the exception of sports games, there aren’t many franchises that manage to live so long and have so many titles released over the years; 9 is a big number in the gaming world and that’s not even counting all the spin off titles and other series that it’s spawned. Dynasty Warriors is exceptionally long lived, much to the bemusement of many people, so as a fan of the series I feel it’s time I explained why.
Based on ‘The Romance of the 3 Kingdoms’ Novel and increasingly on other historical sources they have picked one of the most intriguing eras in human history. From the first battle in 184 AD against the Yellow Turbans to the unification of China in 280 AD there is no shortage of intrigue, plots, battles, fascinating characters, invasions and the rise and fall of various heroes looking to quell the chaos that had enveloped the land. In other words, there is plenty there for the creative team to work with.
Of course they have to combine all that with a game of some sort. Omega Force have done just that in a fashion that is now synonymous with that team. Action packed arcade style stages take the form of the battles from that era with a 1 Warrior vs 1000 mantra to make the player feel like a true hero amongst the chaos. It’s a simple hack and slash game mechanically but that’s what makes it so much fun. With loads of characters and weapons to choose from each with custom attacks and special moves there are few titles that can match the sheer breadth of content provided for you to play with.
All in all its an impressive package so how could they possibly improve it? I have a few suggestions for them.
1. Improving the difficulty balance. – I find that in DW8, when you increase the difficulty the normal soldiers are still quite easy, but when I find the right difficulty level for them I discover that the generals are much too difficult by comparison. DW3 is my favourite in the series and that is largely down to the difficulty balance being absolutely spot on so I would like to see this tweaked a little.
2. I really enjoy playing through the Musou Mode (Campaign) by Empire and experience the full story throughout history. But I would like to see them compliment that by adding in a Musou Mode for specific characters. It’d be unrealistic to expect all of the characters to have this but there are several which have really fascinating stories within the larger conflict that should be told. Zhang Liao, Taischi Ci, Guan Yu, Zhen Ji and Jiang Wei spring to mind as examples.
3. Continue to improve the English Dub. Definitely don’t get rid of it, having the English Dub is really important in allowing the game to be accessible to a broader audience. Of course the pronunciation can always be improved as well, the most important thing is to ensure it is still in the game.
E3 fast approaches, terrifyingly quick in all honesty, so let us know what you are looking forward to seeing at E3, what are you hoping to see? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook and on Twitter where you’ll find me @adamthomas1994.
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