Review by ACPhantomCoreGundam
"Warning: Only for Hardcore Warriors"
Dynasty Warriors 3 Xtreme Legends is KOEI's expansion pack to Dynasty Warriors 3, and is designed as such a product with rather limited content. It expands upon the addictive Dynasty Warriors hack and slash franchise, while offering a lower price point as well as standalone play.
First and foremost: Gameplay :7
This game changes almost nothing in terms of its gameplay, but the DW3 engine is now showing its age. This time, all characters are selectable from the start instead of having to be unlocked. Notable additions include the New Bodyguard Units and the "Very Hard" difficulty mode, which makes the game nearly impossible to win even with completely maxed out characters.
XL is an expansion, however, so the original characters will not have a Musou (story) mode stages, and the original DW3 stages cannot be played without a Dynasty Warriors 3 disc, so complete character development is nil for 30+ characters without DW3.
For newcomers to the DW series, either get Dynasty Warriors 3 or 4 instead if you want a gaming experience, otherwise much of this game's potential will be lost to you. If you happen to have a friend however, the experience in this game is great because it features both full-on cooperative play and Versus.
Graphically, the game is identical to DW3, with the exception of certain stages which are now played at nighttime instead of daytime. Don't expect mindblowing graphics here, because KOEI did not improve graphics for XL.
Dynasty Warriors is a series based on the Three Kingdoms Era of Chinese history, and specifically the book Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Seeing as how the game divides the story into a Musou Mode for every character, the 7 Stories presented here do not provide much historical value, as much of it is complete fabrication (in "what if?" scenarios). The game offers little continuation to the story line and gives little reason to care about these characters.
An encyclopedia is provided so you can see who was who historically however.
Sound is very clear in this game. Elephants sound like elephants and horses sound like horses. Soldiers scream when they are hit. There is nothing out of context....
except for the pseudo-American electric guitar Rock soundtrack. It seems rather out of place, but it gets you in the mood for some hacking and slashing.
Difficulty: depends on you
It could be simple stress relief by playing Easy, or Very Hard if you want to get your butt kicked. It's simple enough, the goal always comes down to killing the enemy commander,
Replay: 6 or 10 with DW3
The game provides hundreds of hours here by allowing you to completely maximise characters by collecting powerups on the battlefield as well as fulfilling certain requirements to get better weapons. With 35+ characters and the ability to reset your character, as well as over 20 rare items to collect, replay is good.
Overall: 6 or 10 with DW3
The game is not for casual gamers who haven't played a Dynasty Warriors game. If the improvements listed make no sense to you then this is not the game for you. For people who have never played get DW3,4 or Samurai Warriors instead. You'll have a much better experience.
However, if you happen to also own DW3, then this game offers tons of hours of replay and more gaming excitement. All original stages will be selectable upon confirming that you have DW3 (all of the data is already on the XL disc). You will be able to import all of your characters amd their weapons, stats, as well as all of your items.
I enjoyed this game a lot, but this is for the hardcore fans only.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/13/04
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