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Dynasty Warriors Next Review

Dynasty Warriors Next Review

The PlayStation Vita has just come out, and with it, so has Dynasty Warriors Next, Tecmo Koei's latest game in the Dynasty Warriors franchise. It's a franchise that has been around for quite a while now, with Dynasty Warriors 7 being the most recent iteration on the home consoles - Dynasty Warriors Next is tasked with bringing that same quality to the handheld platform, but in some ways, it struggles to stand toe to toe with its bigger brother.

The game features the age-old story of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and in the campaign mode, once you reach a certain point in the story, you're able to then go in and choose which Kingdom you want to side with as they try to take over all of China. Each one has their own progression, but the end result is always the same.

To those who are unfamiliar with Chinese history or the Dynasty Warrior games, the story can actually become incredibly confusing with all the different character names and locations. Though, in the end, the story is only one of the reasons to play Dynasty Warriors.

Another reason is the combat. It's what people either love or hate about the franchise, so if you adore the hack-n-slash genre, you will fall in love with Dynasty Warriors Next. If you can't stand hack-n-slash, it's not going to do anything to convince you otherwise.

Each stage is a battleground where you are tasked with taking over the enemy's main base. In most cases, you can run directly into the base and claim it by defeating a certain number of enemies while inside it. However, you'll want to go take control of some of the enemy outposts first (also by killing a certain number of enemies). In doing so, you not only reduce the number of enemies in the main base, but each outpost has a certain combat boost that will aid you. Some will allow for items to drop from the mini-bosses while others will increase your attack power and defense. These bonuses are absolutely crucial when playing on the harder difficultly levels.

A new addition to this installment is how you prep for battle. Before you start a new stage, you'll be able to choose certain stratagems. A stratagem is basically a boost or a power-up while fighting in a stage. Each stratagem costs money to use, but at the higher difficulties, they are absolutely necessary. In addition, players will be able to choose a different horse (if they've collected them), a gem that will give them certain physical attack bonuses, and items that will help increase certain attributes like speed, item drops, etc.

But, the newest addition comes with the Vita's touch panels and motion control. Koei makes use of these by having you do short mini-games where you use the touch screen to slice down projectiles and enemies while using the motion controls to turn the camera and find the different directions that said enemies and projectiles might be coming from. There is also a mini-game that has you use the motion controls to steer a horse. It was incredibly cumbersome to do and really didn't work well. In all, the addition of these mini-games really didn't help and felt very contrived; it was as though Koei was just throwing it in at the last minute.

However, in the end, the game doesn't put a strong focus on strategy. More often than not, you'll charge head first into an enemy encampment and will slaughter everyone with little trouble. Dynasty Warriors 7 allowed players to use just about any weapon type with any character, whereas Dynasty Warriors Next takes it back to where it originally was and only allows a character to wield one weapon type. Some may find that annoying, but it's a minor gripe.

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