Review by The Retro Goat
"May not be the most popular game ever, but it's one of the most addicting."
Warriors Orochi 3 is the third game in the franchise released internationally, and the fourth game released overall. It's a collaboration of Koei's two biggest franchises, Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, mixed together with ancient mythology. It's a hack and slash style game, where you'll mow peons down by the hundreds, literally. While not flawless, it set the bar for the series, and it's definitely a fun game, and will likely have you spend many hours playing it.
Since this game is a crossover and the third in the franchise, they have to not only incorporate the changes in the other Koei Warrior games but also progress thier own personal storyline. This game easily managed to do that, and make an impressive plot out of what they could. Warriors Orochi 3 is easily the most plot driven out of any of the Koei Warrior games, and it makes the battles have more purpose. The story itself revolves around the Serpent King Orochis third coming, and the appearence of a mysterious...giant eight headed dragon named Hydra. Not much of a spoiler, but the Hydra is not your friend. In fact, the game starts with the enemy winning, and your party goes back in time to try and set things right. It can feel a bit cliche at times, with the use of time travel on a series already based on time warping, but it manages to make things not as confusing as it sounds. It also has multiple endings, which is a nice touch, though the requirements to unlock the stages for the endings can a bit annoying as you have to do things such as unlock special non plot important stages with some characters that don't really matter and then beat those stages to unlock one character to repeat...it can get tedious. The time travel playing a huge part in the game also irritates me, as I feel like it's a bit of a cop-out to go back in time whenever something in the story goes wrong. Overall it works though, as I do wish to save the characters I've played as over the years. Not perfect, but it wasn't going to be an easy task to create the story.
Character Roster- 7/10
This character roster is HUGE. Every single character ever playable in all of the franchises, along with a handful of new Warriors Orochi exclusive characters AND crossover characters from unrelated franchises brings this games playable roster to a whopping 132 characters!! Oh, and you only have three unlocked from the start. Have fun unlocking the other 129. They literally did not miss a single character, so anyone who has a favorite doesn't have to worry about whether or not they'll be omitted. While this sounds incredible, it also means you will literally play the game for months if you have plans to max out all the characters. It also means dozens of the characters share weapons that you'd have to upgrade over and over again, although they did manage to make almost every character have a unique moveset. It certainly feels like we have too much of a good thing, as anyone with a life will never be able to truly complete this game. As mentioned, it also has characters from entirely unrelated franchises, such as Ryu Hayabusa and Ayane from Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, Joan of Arc from Bladestorm, and the gladiator Achilles from Warriors; Legends of Troy. I understand that the crossover characters do come from other Tecmo Koei franchises, but it feels like they added even more to an already absurdly large amount of characters. Though I must admit, it is also really fun playing as any person you desire, and it can create for some humorous moments.
The gameplay doesn't try to make any real changes from the other games, but why would they? If it isn't broken, don't fix it. With them managing to give 132 characters their own movesets, it's incredibly impressive. Though they're not so diverse that you'll notice much of a difference from different characters with swords or lances or things of the like. I will note that, though it isn't exactly "push X to win", there isn't a great deal of strategy to do each attack. It generally is one button does normal attack, one button does charge attacks, etc. There isn't much to say about it, if you've played a previous game you'll know exactly what to do, and if you haven't you won't have any trouble picking up a controller and learning fast. The stages aren't too plentiful, as there's around 50 battles on 25 stages. It can get repetitive, but this game is already huge. I can understand why they didn't have more diverse stages.
Graphics and Sounds- 9/10
This is easily one of the most beautiful games I've seen that wasn't from a huge company. It's also got one of the coolest soundtracks around. Each character looks really fleshed out, and the attention to their outfits is amazing. The stages are also beautiful and surprisingly detailed, and the only flaw I can think of is the enemies still all look the same. Though, with hundreds of enemies attacking you the entire time, it's understandable why they aren't less generic looking. As noted, the soundtrack to this game is awesome, and it's really cool getting to kill thousands of peons to the tune of techno rock. There is always room for improvement, but this would be hard to one-up.
Buy or Borrow?
I'd say buy. This is a highly addictive game, and one that anyone can play. While I understand that some may be put off by the simplicity of the game, it is still a great play with a nice story. Koei did an excellent job with this one, and it personally leaves me anticipating what they have in store next.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/12
Game Release: Warriors Orochi 3 (US, 03/27/12)
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