Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2

Dynasty Warriors Vol.2

Dynasty Warriors Vol.2

More Three Kingdoms! Come on!

When Koei decided to port its mega-successful (in Japan) Dynasty Warriors series to the PSP, the company had an utter masterstroke of genius. Instead of undertaking a straightforward port that would have imposed technical limitations on the hallmark huge battlefields and constrained the free-roaming action and multitudes of combatants, the game was broken down into more manageable bite-sized chunks. Each battlefield was divided into a series of smaller areas, and the action itself was divided across turn-based movement over a map of these areas, and real-time combat whenever you moved into an area held by enemy forces. What's more, you could save your progress between each area.

Not only did this make the epic scale of the series possible on a handheld, it also made it superbly suited to portable play, and added a new strategic emphasis to the original game. Now, in addition to sashaying across the battlefield and destroying thousands of hapless enemies, players actually had to think harder about how to navigate the battlefield, and had to give more thought to how they would manage various resources, from the time taken to move to new areas, to the defensive bonuses granted by controlling forts, or health benefits of entering a supply depot. Not to mention the hard thinking they had to do at the start of each battle, choosing four officers who offer assistance in battle as well as granting stat upgrades and various support skills.

Unfortunately, of course, nobody reviewing the game outside of Japan liked it. But then no reviewers outside of Japan seem to like any of the Dynasty Warriors series much in any case (or Samurai Warriors for that matter), even though all of the games are utterly brilliant. So if, like the majority of reviewers, you see the Dynasty Warriors games as a standard third-person action game with the sheer number of soldiers masking their limited AI, you can probably stop reading now because you're not going to like Vol 2. any more than the other games. If, however, you're one of the initiated few, who enjoy the unique blend of third-person action and real-time strategy, and find it sublime to swagger through the rank and file to strategically important locations or incidents, or to epic showdowns with enemy officers, read on.

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