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Game Informer Magazine
Another month, another Dynasty game to review. Maybe it’s not really that bad, but it feels that way sometimes. At first I thought this Dynasty might actually be fun. The Battle Deck system seems like a fresh way to power up your character and add allies, and the game isn’t bogged down by an impossibly dull story (it’s still dull, just not very present). However, Dynasty’s old faults – poor AI and monotonous battling – are readily apparent. Because it works, all you’ll do is input the biggest combo over and over again until you can unleash a Super Musou attack. Bosses fall to the same formula. It’s like repeatedly punching the same math formula into a calculator.
Take this little quiz. Question 1: Are you a Dynasty Warriors fan? Question 2: Do you have a couple of buddies with DSs? The results of this quiz should pretty much let you know whether or not you’ll enjoy Dynasty Warriors DS. Answer “no” to both and you probably don’t have much of a reason to play this.
Between the simple card system, the short length, and the anime look, Fighter's Battle feels like a game that was meant to get younger players interested in the Dynasty Warriors series. Longtime fans may be irked by these changes and the lack of a story, but it's still a DW game at heart.
Over the last decade Dynasty Warriors hasn't made too huge of a leap as far as gameplay is concerned, so we've got to give Fighter's Battle props for trying something new on DS and combing the addictive nature of card games with classic gameplay and an interesting "capture the base" game design to make the experience directly competitive when playing against humans or computer rivals. Still, the series has a long way to go before we'd wholeheartedly recommend it to DS owners, as animation, pop-in, and general repetitive gameplay still plagues the series after a decade of rehashed designs. Dynasty Warriors: Fighter's Battle is a far better pocket experience than its GBA predecessor, but it still has issues, and while we're down with the new design some polish - and attention to detail, particularly in the graphical and A.I. portions of the game - is greatly needed. The concept is fun, it just needs some fine-tuning.
Given Fighter's Battle's very short single-player game (two hours at the most) and repetitive combat, it's a shame no minigames or alternate modes exist. And multiplayer Wi-Fi is essentially the same exact game as you'll find in single player, only with a friend as your opponent instead of the computer. So if you get sick of the single-player game, chances are you'll get sick of multiplayer before long, too. Oh, and Fighter's Battle makes no use of the touch screen (not even in menus), which kind of stings. Given the possibilities available on the DS, we were hoping for more innovation.
The best path through any battlefield is usually easy to determine, and although you'll have to kill a certain number of enemy soldiers before proceeding through each area, we never found the resistance strong enough to make soldier slaying anything more than a formality. That means we kept the attack button tapping, the run button pressed and hoped like hell for the freeze spell to show up on the roulette wheel of magic. The game is about trying to get through the simple fights just a bit faster than the other guy. We like that the other guy is a warlord with an infinite supply of loyal soldiers willing to die for him, but repetitive gameplay is a bit too much for us to bear.
Had Koei put more thought gone into the card battle system, the character selection and the in-game combat, Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle could've stood out. Sadly, , the game endures the same repetitive fate as other entries in the series. Perhaps a more focused sequel will offer something more fulfilling.
Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle is a game that will please neither the hardcore fan of the series nor those just looking for a bit of hack-and-slash on the go. The stump-dumb combat won't keep you interested for long, and the obnoxiously cheap nature of the game structure will probably have you looking for your return receipt if you don't snap the cartridge in half first. It's only what you dislike about Dynasty Warriors, and none of what you like. Take a pass on this one.
Pocket Gamer UK
It's too short, feels tired and repetitive – not unlike war, Fighter's Battle seems mostly futile.
PAL Gaming Network (PALGN)
It's Dynasty Warriors, but it's hideously ugly and devoid of content, and therefore not worth the two hours it takes to beat.