Dynasty Warriors 5 Xbox Review

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Retro Content, Retro Reviews, Xbox

Much like your local town, there’s a comfortable familiarity with the Dynasty Warriors series, in the way that when you’re heading in you’ll know just exactly what to expect from it.

But it could be said that many people can tire of familiarity and regularly desire change. Of course the same rings true for the Dynasty Warriors series as many have since grown tired of the same elements being constantly used in game after game, with for the most part, little real changes to speak of.

Now on the fourth game in its current form and not counting its myriad of updates (the first game was a one-on-one fighting game) Dynasty Warriors 5 is just as expected, more of the same with all the usual large scale battles against men (and the occasional women) who don ludicrously ostentatious armour, although as always there’s seemingly just enough tweaks here to satisfy the fans of the series.

This Xbox version doesn’t feature a lot different over the latterly released PS2 version but does feature Dolby Digital 5.1 support, which is sure to go down well with sound buffs. It also gives you the option for the original Japanese voices, and with how comically inept the English voices happen to be this is actually a very good thing.

The game features 48 characters (6 of these are new to the series) and impressively in the Musou mode they all have their own unique storyline, much less impressive is the fact that none of these are particularly interesting yarns. On the brighter side, 48 characters, each with loads of weapons to find means this mode is seriously massive and those with an obsessive personality are sure to spend a large chunk of their life running around this virtual China, finding every weapon and of course, beating up lots of men with comical beards.

However the battlefields are considerably larger this time, meaning this weapon searching business can on occasion be a tedious task, but the real diehard fans of both the game and exploration probably will see it as a further challenge, which is good for them but not so much so for the rest of us. Whilst we’re on the subject of battlefields we have to commend Koei on finally making China far less of a foggy place, by pushing the ugly fog further back this time around. It’s still there, but is generally much less noticeable, and this coupled with an improved framerate means the visuals are quite an improvement over previous games, but still looking decidedly dated next to newer contenders like Kingdom Under Fire and Spartan: Total Warrior.

As it brought some welcome tactical elements to the series and was just an all round good game, we were quite enamoured with Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, but many of those new features that the game introduced to the series aren’t present in this game, which likely has something to do with future plans to release an Empires version of this fifth instalment.

This is the very reason why we can’t recommend the game to all but the most Dynasty Warriors hardcore and series initiates as going by the past, Koei will some time down the line, release upgraded versions of this fifth instalment. Dynasty Warriors 5 is still as mindlessly entertaining as ever though.

6/10

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