The button-masher hits the PSP with some mixed results
The multi-million selling Dynasty Warriors series has long been renowned for pitting a lone warrior against an army of thousands. Now for the first time up to four players can team up to create a Strikeforce of legendary warriors and head into battle against cunning enemies and massive bosses.
Those of you who read my review of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 will know that I was unimpressed with the small changes made and ultimately it still felt like the same damn game that I’ve played for years. KOEI seems to have finally taken this onboard with Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce by allowing you to customise weapons, accept side-quests and play with 3 other players locally. But is it enough?
Well, it feels like the same old DW game that I’ve become accustomed to, but it does change things up with the way you accept missions and customise things. It has 3 campaigns that you would usually expect, but that’s about all there is to the menu options. Besides that all you can do is install the game to your PSP to cut down on load times which takes up about 300mb of your memory stick.
Missions take place in similar situations to most DW games. You go to an area, find the bad guys…kill them, and move on. There’s no difficulty setting for Strikeforce, so it starts out quite easily and gets a bit tougher as you advance. Sometimes you can get stuck if an enemy hits you in a certain area of the map and he can just pummel you senseless with no way to get out of it, it’s only happened to me a few times but it’s so cheap that its worth mentioning.
There are also some new additions like huge monster bosses, which doesn’t make the game as historically accurate as it first seems, well I’m no smartass when it comes to Chinese history, but I’m pretty sure that huge monsters weren’t around, not that the game ever claims to follow the history accurately. There are multiplayer missions to be found as well, but since it only works with other PSP’s in the area, I was unable to put the feature to the test.
The visuals are fairly good, yet they don’t push the PSP as far as I’d have hoped. Voice-acting is a mixed bag, but overall good. As far as advancing the series goes, I think Strikeforce is a step in the right direction. Combat is more satisfying, despite the odd irregularities. It’s still as easy as past games, but it has taken the series forward with aerial and ground fighting, more customisation than ever and ultimately it’s more fun than the older versions. Sure it still lacks that edge to make it a must-have title, but hopefully this is a sign that KOEI are finally starting to get the message that we need bigger improvements from the series, otherwise all you’ll get is people like me ripping it apart.
Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce is an average button-masher, but in terms of a DW game…it finally pushes the series further than its console counterparts. Let’s hope this is the start of the series finally starting to grow up…