Warriors Orochi 2 Xbox 360 Review

I’m going to start off this review with a very interesting video game fact for you. Koei’s first Dynasty Warriors game was released back on the Playstation in 1997. It was also a one on one beat-em-up with graphics that were similar to the first Tekken. It wasn’t till 2000 that Koei released Dynasty Warriors 2 on the Playstation 2, that it became the style of game we know. Playing as one soldier taking on a massive army, you go around slashing and smashing your way through simplistic minions.

Since then there haave been countless releases and ports for the franchise. Did you know that if you include every game (not including ports) in the franchise – Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Warriors Orochi – there are over 20 games released at this point in time. I tell you one thing, that’s bloody crazy, 20 games that are pretty much identical when it comes to the core gameplay. But you know what the craziest thing about it is? They all still sell, and Koei knows this because otherwise they wouldn’t keep creating the damn games.

It’s amazing really that Koei can get cash with minimal effort, just by adding new characters, settings and stages, they can sell the game off to the fans. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to give a verdict on the new game in the Warriors series, Warriors Orochi 2.

If you aren’t too sure what the Warriors Orochi series then this will help you. Essentially it’s a merger of both Dynasty Warriors and the Samurai Warriors series. The first game had a simple story about the Serpent King, Orochi, who wanted to bring the greatest warriors together. To do this he created a new world and brought all the warriors to it. He wanted to test exactly how good they were. He’s a bit of a power freak you see. However his confidence was thrown back in his face when he was finally defeated at the end of the first game.

Now you think after that they would all be living happily ever after… well no they aren’t. The people that were under the rule of Orochi decided to go make their own armies and now they are all at it again, war can be a funny thing. They are five stories, one for each major faction of the game, Wu, Shu, Wei, Samurai and Orochi. They all tell the story of the war in the new world apart from the Orochi storyline, which unlike the others is a prequel to the first Orochi game. I really can’t say much about the story because there really isn’t much to it, it’s bland and you can see Koei haven’t really tried had to give the game a solid tale.

You really wouldn’t be able to tell if you walked into a room and someone asked you if the guy was playing Warriors Orochi 1 or 2, unless the player was using one of the new characters. Serious this game really isn’t all that different from the first one at all. You still run onto the battlefield, slashing and dicing opponents that have the I.Q of a stale carrot. The gameplay is bang on identical apart from a new move they put in called the Triple attack. Triple attack happens when you have all three characters in the red zone for health. Having them on full Musou bar as well is needed. If this is the situation you find yourself in then pressing both LT and RT will enable the triple attack. The other two characters you have selected for your tag team squad will come in and assist you in a Musou attack.

There is more to look at if you speak of the game’s content. While the game looks like a copy clone, they are new modes to select. The biggest new one is Dream Mode. This takes a selected group of three soldiers from the Dynasty and Samurai universe and sets up a special scenario. Versus mode from Dynasty Warriors 4 makes a return, which has some special rules built into it, for example survival mode, which doesn’t need explaining. In reality you won’t be touching any of these apart from Dream Mode.

Warriors Orochi 2 comes with twenty new stages and 92 characters. That’s a huge character roaster and 13 more than the original’s 79. There’s no doubt now that everyone’s favourite character is now featured in the game. It will take some time to maximize the level of all the characters, which most of you probably won’t be arsed to do unless you are an uber hardcore Warrior fan.

I’m finding it hard sitting here to think of any more positives for the game. If there was a graph to show how my review was going, then basically we’ve just taken the game up a notch from the bottom, the bottom being rehash. Now it’s basically just going to fall back down onto the line.

So what’s making it move back down there? Well the whole package pretty much smells of rehash. The game graphically looks identical to the first one. It also looks like the Playstation 2 version of Warriors Orochi 2, which has been up scaled to look cleaner and crisper, but is let down by the god awful popup and fogging. Surely the power of the 360 really should be able to handle the disappearing of the fogging and increased enemies put on the screen, obviously not because when you play the game in co-operative, there’s this god awful slowdown that keeps coming into play when you get on to a screen full of killer Chinese men. Koei has acknowledged this and are saying they will be a patch soon for it.

While playing through you also notice that there is a hell of a lot of voice clips being reused. I don’t mind a game reusing samples from before, but Warriors Orochi 2 takes the biscuit with this, you will most likely hear some guy or girl say something every 3-4 minutes that was said in the first game, it really is rehash central.

I could really go on and on at how it’s just the same thing over and over again, but then it will probably be like the last review of one of the other games in the franchise. It’s about time Koei decided to do something with the formula. They could at least stick in online play for 2 or more players. I really hope they do something like that as I could see more players really making it become less of an adventure of repetition. If it wasn’t done so much before then it would be understandable, but the amount of times they have churn the core gameplay out is mad and it really affects the final verdict. Koei have had plenty of carnations of the game to improve on it.

Fans won’t even bother listening to the review, and other people who aren’t fans are probably already put off it. If you’ve never played one and are somewhat interested then you are best of buying Dynasty Warriors 6 instead because Warriors Orochi 2 just doesn’t get past private rank anymore in this world of dynasty wars.

4 out of 10
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