Warriors Orochi 2 Xbox 360 Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Warriors games, with their flamboyant character-rosters and cheesy voices and music, have always been odd concoctions to say the very least. The Warriors Orochi series is an even odder mix, that sees warriors from the Three Kingdoms and the Japanese Samurai come together for a massive helping of Warriors fan-service complete with all that lovable cheese.

Amazingly, for Warriors Orochi 2 the already 79 strong character selection from the original game has been further expanded, with the addition of 11 new warriors, which for those not good at numbers (in which case you’re in good company) means there is an incredible 90 warriors to take charge of.

Like the first game, you’ll assemble a team of three warriors and in typical Warriors style you’ll take on legions of enemies in large-scale skirmishes. Your three warriors can be freely switched between during battle in a tag-team like fashion, allowing severely injured officers to recover on the side-lines. The powerful musou attacks can also be chained together, resulting in even more devastating results for your enemies. Just as it was in the first game, the team-based aspect is a fun twist on the Warriors formula, but often makes the game a breeze to get through, at least on the default level of difficulty, whilst the harder difficulties will be far too punishing for all but the most ardent of Warriors fans, there’s sadly no middle-ground here.

The team aspect aside, Warriors Orochi 2 is a typical Warriors game, that gives you the power to lay waste to entire armies and in the process take over bases. The missions are mostly about killing people, but there’s some variety in there with escort missions and such. As always, it’s very repetitive but also very engaging.

Defeating officers and obtaining weapons and experience points from the fallen bodies of officers is part of this, but it isn’t just the fighting that makes it so compulsive. In between battles, two weapons can be fused with one another to gain new effects and make your team of warriors even more godly.

Warriors Orochi 2 is quite simply a visual mess on occasion though, which can take away from this compulsiveness somewhat. Character models are solid and largely well designed, but there’s some nasty pop-up shrouding the sizable battlefields, whilst there can be an impressive amount of soldiers on the screen at one time, it’s made much less so when the faltering frame-rate comes into play, making the game quite simply painful to play as well as affecting the timing of your combos. A patch has been announced to sort out this technical shortcoming, but even so there‘s simply no excuse for releasing the game in such a sorry state.

Warriors Orochi 2 is a weighty game, with five big campaigns (one of which allows you to control Orochi himself) and plenty of optional things to keep Warrior addicts busy, such as finding treasure by fulfilling certain objectives. Away from the campaigns, there’s the new Dream Mode, which sees three warriors (not necessarily from the same game) come together to fight a battle unrelated to the main storyline. There are also a generous amount of multiplayer options, but as is always the case, they’re fun but never more than throwaway fun. A notable new feature in this regard is the games new tag-team versus matches, but Warriors mechanics are simply not up to the task for this and people should really stick to Soulcalibur for their weapon based versus matches.

Warriors Orochi 2 is when it works, a very enjoyable game, but far too often it’s blighted by horrific frame-rate issues, thus potential buyers should first await the incoming patch before they even think about making the purchase. With that said and the fact that there’s a lack of new features, for now Warriors Orochi 2 should be considered as nothing more than a lazy update and a considerably worse game than that of its predecessor.

Even with all the lovable cheese intact.