Devil Kings PS2 Review
Have you played Dynasty Warriors lately? Well if you have not it seems Capcom have and I think they liked it. They liked it so much that they made a game in homage to it which contains all the best bits that we all know and love from the hours we spent from with the DW series. In fact, Devil Kings looks so much like Dynasty Warriors that if the fabled DarkZero Towers actually existed (some say it does!) and one of us walked by when the other were playing we could easily mistake one game for the other and then laugh at our unfortunate mishap over a drink of tea. Well that’s enough about us, let’s get back to the game and even though it is a clone of another title, it still plays very well and can be very entertaining
Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery
Devil Kings tell the story of a group of warriors in feudal Japan fighting between each other over power. The story is no where near as serious as the ones that took place over the course of the Dynasty Warriors series as Capcom have gone down a goofier, over the top crazed style for Devil Kings. The game also chooses not to give much back story on any of the characters and instead lets you find out for yourself through many cut scenes as the game progresses. This is both a strength and a weakness for the game as it compels you to play forward and find out what the game is all about and makes you want to know what’s around the next turn but it can all make you feel distant from the characters and not really care about what’s happening around you. Even if you do end up not caring much for the story there is still loads of action to be had as the hoards of enemies all dash across the screen to attack you.
This is where the game starts to feel really familiar as once you start fighting the hoards of enemies you will almost instinctively know what to do and what buttons to press if you have played a DW game beforehand. The game starts off with six characters available to play with and more are unlocked when you complete conquest mode. What is conquest mode I here you shout. Well basically it is the game story mode which consists of a big arse “risk style” map with 14 different countries displayed on it. Your quest is to take control of each of these sections. Once one of the countries is picked you are dropped into a big battle with the character you chose and you start to decimate everything that stands before you.
A few more changes to the Dynasty Warriors formula come with all the characters being far more “out there” than you would expect. First off the main characters you control are even more overpowered than you would expect them to be. Not only do they brandish swords but they even have shotguns and other high powered weapons, one of them even has control of a huge chain gun. The enemies are even zanier as most of them are not human, robots (robots are so cool!!), winged demons and many others make an appearance throughout the game. Then comes the actual fighting and this is where the game bares most resemblance to the DW series as it plays in almost the same way. Instead of the “musou meter” Devil Kings gives you a “fury drive” meter which both perform the same task. A simple press of the “O” button once the meter is full means a huge attack is coming your enemy’s way. Depending on which character you have chosen these attacks will vary with some being automatic and some controlled by you.
Combos are also available in Devil Kings and are very crucial to staying alive in many parts of the game. Getting combos also increase your experience points significantly when preformed. The higher the combo the more experience you get with a 100-hit combo doubling the experience gained, 200 tripling you experience and so on. The more experience points you get the better special moves you have access to. These moves can be assigned to the R1 + square and the R1 + triangle button combos. You can also equip three items to your character when entering battle (armour, weapon, and an accessory).
Graphically Devil Kings is above average. The areas you fight in are usually very large which leads to some sacrifice in polygon count and crisp textures. The game still manages to be good at many points and no one should proclaim that “this looks crap” while playing it. The game uses fog to try and cover up some of the pop-up that happens but sometimes not even that as enough. Seeing as there is so much action on screen at all times this pop-up is in no way a deal breaker as it would be near impossible to make the game without some sacrifice on a current gen machine. The camera can get a bit wonky at times but a tap of the L2 button positions the camera behind your character’s back so it is always able to be kept in control. The frame rate also seems to hold up very well at most times with little or no slowdown. In terms of voice acting the game is absolutely terrible as the voice actors delivered their lines in the corniest way possible which may actually want to make you cringe in embarrassment. The sound effects are much better as they all seem to have good base and all collision of swords seem very metallic and effective. The music contains many different kinds of rock riffs that will either be a love or hate experience depending on who plays it
If you are a Dynasty Warriors fan this game should instantly appeal to you as it offers the same trills with a few changes. It can get slightly repetitive at times and the main campaign is a bit short and can be completed in a few hours (if you want to unlock all characters it will take much longer though). Without doubt the game is a great take on the button bashing action genre. In fact it is so good it may push Koei to make their next game that bit better which can only be a good thing.
7.9 out of 10