Warrior's Orochi 3
Action, Hack and Slash
March 27th, 2012
Warriors from ancient China and Japan must come together once more to protect the world. Orochi has been defeated, yet now a fierce hydra threatens to devour the world. Many great warriors and heroes have already fallen, yet thanks to the mysterious Kaguya, our heroes are able to travel back in time in order to save their allies and change the course of the future in order to defeat the hydra. Along the way, they must discover the truth about the horrible creatureís origin, along with who truly masterminds Earthís destruction.
Though the graphics are smooth and flow well, there lingers a subpar feel to the overall graphical look. Some levels are incredibly dark. Even after cranking up the brightness, I found myself using the map to find my way around. The character artwork, copied straight from the other Dynasty/Samurai Warriors
games, is also darker than versions on the PS3. The text also presents a problem. Even on higher definition televisions, the gameís text is almost too small. Set against the backdrop of an almost constantly flowing scenery, reading text while in battle is a distracting annoyance. The HUD clutters up a good portion of the screen in a very unflattering fashion.
All of the spoken dialogue for the game remains in Japanese. While the authenticity remains, the lack of any English dialogue is a bit disappointing. Given the size of the cast, however, itís not entirely surprising that Tecmo-Koei decided to opt out of having to supply an English track for the substantial amount of dialogue. Having to read unstoppable conversations in the heat of battle is distracting. Some speech has no subtitles at all, leaving those with no understanding of the Japanese language to guess at what is being said. Much of the gameís audio has been recycled from previous games; music has been remixed and the same sounds for weapons clashes and the vocals for peons. Overall the music is largely forgettable and later blurs together.
Little has changed for this hack and slash series. Combos are executed with a variation of two buttons, and a powerful attack is unleashed with a third. One of the small tweaks added is the ability to instant switch characters during battle, allowing for the player to maintain a destructive, uninterrupted assault on the oncoming enemy forces if timed correctly. Despite having three characters to select from, if one unit falls in battle, youíll receive a game over rather than be allowed to continue with only two characters. As characters level up, more combos become available to use during combat, but little else changes aside from weapons. Weapons are given a base power level, but through infusion can become more lethal on the battlefield. Stats such as an attack bonus or elemental property can level up the more you keep combining with weapons of with the same traits.
The game revolves around time travel and what events could be altered. Certain generals may die in battle, yet if you obtain the right characters, you may be able to travel back in time and change the past. This opens up the range of battlefields with different objectives, and saving generals adds to the multitude of soldiers to battle with. Any soldiers added to your ranks will be set to level one. Late in the game this makes the unit practically useless against the stronger foes, however throughout the course of the game points are automatically saved up. Using these points can level up your soldiers. How many unlockable characters are there? Tecmo-Koei has gone all out and placed over 120 characters on the roster. Naturally only a few are playable at first, but that list quickly grows through progression.
The game features over 120 characters. Each characters has their own unique weapons to obtain, gallery art and costumes to unlock, and bonds with other officers to max out. This certainly gives the game a long lifespan for dedicated players. However, much of these tasks will become tedious. Using the online Musou mode, players can create their own battlefields, customizing their favorite fights into hellish warzones or very simple one on one duels. The longevity of Warriors Orochi 3
lies in the playerís ability to put it down and come back to it a few months later to continue the drudge of unlocking/mastering all there is for each general.
That game has its flaws, the largest being that it can become repetitive quickly. The text and Japanese language can also deter players, but because levels will be replayed often they wonít miss out on many story details. It is fun to mix and match teams, but finding a niche with some units can easily cause you to limit yourself. Aside from early in the game there is never any real reason to swap characters once you find a favorite. Itís great that the creators of the game wanted to include all the fan favorites, and even those that arenít as popular, but I canít help but feel that sometimes more is not always a good thing.