Koei Tecmo has been known for their Warriors-style games and the occasional games that let segments of their master roster of IP meet each other, but until Warriors All-Stars we haven’t had a game where Koei Tecmo has essentially went hog-wild. So does this combination result in a game that widely meets fan expectations, or is it too much of a good thing?
As stated earlier, this game brings together a number of different Tecmo Koei properties together: around 27 representatives from Atelier, Dead or Alive, Deception, Dynasty Warriors, Haruka, Nights of Azure, Ninja Gaiden, Opoona, Rio, Samurai Cats, Samurai Warriors and Toukiden are all represented and accounted for. So as you can see, it’s not just the popular entries — they also picked from some of their more obscure back-catalog franchises.
There’s a simple “heroes and villains summoned against their will by a unknown entity” storyline that acts as the gimmick for the storyline as a whole. It works in practice, and while you may feel inclined to initially skip it and get to the gameplay, I’d honestly suggest against it as the game’s a
bit short in length being single-player only, lacking a free-play mode nor multiplayer. While you get a lot more mileage out of knowing the characters from their original games, they’re still written in a way that doesn’t exclude newcomers and they’re paired together nicely with one another in battles (i.e. sword-users are paired together, ninjas are paired together).
If you’ve played a Warriors-style game before, you know how these games tend to play. It’s essentially a hack-and- slash through generic enemies till you get to the “boss” of the area (or bosses occasionally) which puts up an actual challenge. Things are a little more zany in this title, with comical items like banana peels and hearts being things you can throw out at enemies, as well as the new “Rush Stars” ultimate move mechanic where you gain levels while
using it by defeating enemies, with each group of 1,000 kills increasing your level. And did I mention that your team cheers you on and showers you with items while this goes on? It’s absolute chaos and fits exceptionally well with the crossover theme of the game.
Warriors All-Stars features a new world map mechanic, but it’s more akin to a Ubisoft-style collectible-thon than rewarding the player. Koei Tecmo’s prior Hyrule Warriors had an adventure mode with a map system that clearly laid out what the end goal was and never felt like it was wasting your time. Unlike this game’s implementation, which feels like more often than not the quests are “kill X of these units” quests.
Graphics are about what one would expect from a recent Warriors entry, serviceable and stylish but with some occasional pop-in issues at times and texture weirdness occasionally. The music is surprisingly one of the highlights, also, with some really stand-out tracks included.
Perhaps due to the scale of a large crossover project like this, Koei Tecmo had to pair things down from what fans usually expect out of a Warriors title. And while it’s serviceable, it’s still a disappointment considering what it could have been. In this case, less would have been more.Warriors All-Stars was reviewed using a PS4 Digital Copy provided by Koei Tecmo. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
|Music is one the game's highlights.|
|The character interaction among the large cast is fun to watch.|
|The world map mechanic is padded with mundane busywork.|
|Feels like the developers focused too much on the character count and not enough on the actual game itself.|