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SummaryA Warrior Worth a Thousand!
The Good- Fast-Paced Gameplay - Buzillions of playable characters - High Replay Value (Lots of stuff to find/do) - In-game character switching
The Bad- Some voice acting is bad - Less than plausible plot
The Bottom LineThis may be a bit bias because I'm a big fan of the Warriors series, especially Dynasty Warriors. I've read the book, I've played many of the other games based on the 3 Kingdoms era (Dynasty Tactics, Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, Destiny of an Emperor) This game is what Warrior fans have been waiting for. Its like a fanboy-gasm. My heart stopped when I saw Yukimura Sanada and Zhao Yun drop from the top of the building and start fraggin' baddies in the opening cinematic. Besides the crossover, it’s everything a Warriors game usually is (which is a relatively good thing): find items, weapons, and first and foremost kill lots and lots of people. Switching between 3 characters in a stage is awesome, and useful to power up low level characters, because you can take a strong one with you just in case things get ugly. You can swap out any of your 3 warriors between stages in story mode too! Also because there are so many Warriors to choose from you would think it would be hard to level them all up. But Koei thought of that, and in every stage you play you earn spendable experience points (Beside the normal exp the warrior you use gains from defeating enemies and such) so you can level up a character you have never used before you actually go into battle. You still have to find a better weapon, but the Lv ups are a nice head start.
But its not all roses, they have changed many of the previous voice actors, and no sir, I don't like it. But that really is my only major gripe. The plot is actually pretty cheesy even from a huge fan's perspective; my wife just rolled her eyes when she heard the narrator tell how Orochi melded the 2 time periods together for his own unscrupulous purposes. But frankly, I could care less! As long as Lu Bu gets to fight Honda I don't care if one of them had to hop in a Delorean with Doc to get there. On the other hand without the restraint of a historically based story line things can get very interesting. I get to see the warriors I've come to know and love in a new environment. They struggle with new threats and situations that they do not fully understand, and out of necessity ally themselves with people who may have normally been their enemy. It’s also interesting to see the Samurai Warriors react to the well known Asian historical figures of the Three Kingdoms era. For example fighting an army led by Zhuge Liang, one of history's most revered strategists would prove a bit intimidating.
With all that though, if you haven't played any Samurai/Dynasty Warriors games, I would recommend at least playing Samurai Warriors 2 and Dynasty Warriors 3, 4, or 5 (5 is the best IMO) first. You kind of have to know the characters to get into the story. They are both excellent games as well and you can probably get them at a bargain price by now. If you HAVE played them and liked them, buy this game. Period. If you own an Xbox 360, unlike me (I don't buy anything from Microsoft unless I have to (Windows), Bill Gates has enough pocket lining already, and I really don't want to see Microsoft monopolize consoles like they do with operating systems...just say no!!) But if you DO, this game's graphics look better on that evil, evil piece of hardware yuck! Also it looks great for Windows, which is available by purchasable downloads only.