Title: Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires
Release Date: June 24, 2009
Rating: T for Teen
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Omega Force
Product Link: http://www.amazon.com/Dynasty-Warriors-6-Empires-Xbox-360/dp/B001L8DKK2/ref=dp_cp_ob_vg_title_3
The Dynasty Warriors series has been pretty well known for its fighting games, which exemplify weapon vs. weapon combat and massive battles that often pit one warrior against hundreds of enemies. In Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires the fighting game aspect has been removed and the epic battles emerge as the center-point of the game.
Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires consists of only one game mode, Empire mode. This is a primarily action mode but also includes some strategy and RPG aspects. You begin by choosing a mercenary from the hundreds of playable characters or create your own custom character to use, you then agree to work for one of the leaders of a section of China during the Three Kingdoms era. Doing jobs for your ruler will increase your reputation with him and earn you higher rankings, better salaries and a voice in future decisions concerning your controlled area.
Technically speaking, this game is awfully good. The graphics are beautiful. The environments are vast and breathtaking. The sound effects are also quite impressive. The music is a blend of old world Chinese sounds and modern rock and a dozen or so tracks are available to choose from while playing. The only technical hiccup is frame-rate slowdowns when there are too many enemies on screen at once. However, it would be kind of hard to avoid these slowdowns since massive battles are the name of the game.
The gameplay gets stale very quickly. When in battle you only have three options for attacks; a normal attack, powerful attack and magic attack. The normal attack hits enemies directly in front of you for minimal damage, the powerful attack hits enemies in all directions but takes a couple seconds to charge and the magic attack is an instant high-damage, multi-hit attack that can only be used after your character charges it up; it’s much like a limit break from Final Fantasy VII. You also have the options to dodge and block attacks, but blocking only affects hits that are coming straight on. When you’re constantly taking shots from all directions, blocking is useless.
Enemies come in three varieties as well; normal enemies (I’ll call them Red-Shirts), mini-bosses and bosses. In most missions you have to dispense of a certain amount of “Red-Shirts,” who are accompanied by one mini-boss. Once you bring down so many of these, the main boss appears surrounded by two or three mini-bosses and about a hundred Red-Shirts. The main bosses are the only part of the game that offers a challenge, but when coupled with a few mini-bosses they become extremely hard to kill. When mini-bosses are by themselves they can be killed with a chain of normal attacks, but you cannot string together more then a couple shots at a time without the main boss knocking you off your feet. If you try to take down the main boss first, the same thing happens but with the mini-bosses attacking you. There are only two strategies I could come up with for these battles, I could either deal one or two attacks at a time and dodge the main bosses attacks, but this was very time consuming, or I could deal one attack at a time and try to block all of the incoming attacks, but this usually only worked for a couple attack or until two enemies attacked at the same time from different directions. On top of all this, the main boss will blocks a great majority of the attack you throw at him, making these battles even harder.
Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Again, like others in the past, this game has a great concept going for it, but it just cannot implement all of these ideas ideally. All the lesser important aspects are great: graphics, sound, concept, but the gameplay its self is just sub-par.
Overall Rating: ***
The Gaming Savant, Ryan Smith
September 2, 2009