One of the coolest things about modern day gaming is the ability to convey a sense of grand scale. The way that the game throws you into what seems like an impossible situation can be such a great and powerful feeling. The first time that I ever played a Dynasty Warriors game was before the Playstation 2 launch, and this was one of the “next gen” games that were going to change everything.
The series quickly gained a reputation for being overly repetitve. Dynasty Warriors was a game loosely based on the Chinese epic Romance of The Kingdoms strategy games that Koei has been putting out since the 80s. After many sequels, Koei developed the Samurai Warriors series, which is the Japanese equivalent of Dynasty Warriors. Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is the Wii U version of Orochi 3, the less-realistic spin on the massive combat beat ‘em ups.
In Japan, the Dynasty and Samurai Warriors games are commonly known as the Musou series. This franchise always involves you taking control of a character with great strength, as you destroy waves and waves of enemies in a war setting on a grand scale. Dozens of enemies fill the screen, and regardless of which character you choose, chances are that you’ll make short work of them. Many gamers find joy in the Musou series, while some just feel that it gets old quick.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper has you in control of a group of three characters locked in an epic battle against a giant multi-headed Hydra. This Hydra is pretty much the main evil in the game and the source of the great, possessed army that you must fight. You only have direct control over one of the members of the team at a time, but you can switch among them just by pressing the ZL or ZR buttons. The characters that you control also contain a mystic power called Musou, which can be used on the battlefield in the form of a powerful magic attack, these are always really fun to watch.
The graphics in Orochi 3 are a mixed bag with some serious issues. The overall look of the game is nicely detailed, with some flat textures occasionally popping up now and again. However, the draw distance is absolutely horrible, to the point of being embarrassing. Dozens of enemies will disappear and reappear right before your eyes. Another issue is the frame rate, which has the tendency to slow the game to a crawl. I understand that developers needed some time to take advantage of the Wii U hardware, perhaps they will have better luck next time when they don’t have to meet a system launch window.
One the coolest things about Orochi 3 is the variety of characters to play as. Over 130 characters can be unlocked and played with, including characters from Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Warriors of Troy and even Ninja Gaiden. There are also several modes to play in as well, including online mode which can be played cooperatively, or the new Duel Mode. Sadly, the online mode is a ghost town, and you will be waiting a long time to play with somebody. However, if you have a friend you can team up with players on their own screen thanks to the Wii U Gamepad. It’s a very nice addition indeed.
Overall, Warriors Orchi 3 Hyper is a good game, but not a great game. There is lots of fun to be had. Unfortunately, there are some graphical issues and game play repetitiveness, but then again most fun things in life are repetitive in their own way.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.