Game: Dynasty Warriors 5
Scroll down to read my impressions on the game. Please read this page carefully before you e-mail me about DW5! Your questions are probably answered below.
(Shin Sangoku Musou 4)
|24 Feb 2005||Playstation 2|
|North America||Dynasty Warriors 5||29 Mar 2005||Playstation 2|
|Europe||Dynasty Warriors 5||24 June 2005||Playstation 2|
(Shin Sangoku Musou 4)
|25 August 2005||X-Box|
|North America||Dynasty Warriors 5||13 September 2005||X-Box|
|Europe||Dynasty Warriors 5||autumn 2005; possibly September||X-Box|
As far as I know, the only enhancements to the X-Box version of DW5 will be an option for Japanese voices with English subtitles, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and reduced loading times.
Note that all 42 characters from Dynasty Warriors 4 will be returning in Dynasty Warriors 5 with new costumes. In total, DW5 has 48 characters (42 old, 6 new, and no Nu Wa or Fu Xi).
- Xing Cai (星彩 Sei Sai) - Zhang Fei's daughter, Liu Chan's wife. Wields a long fork and a shield
- Guan Ping (關平 Kan Pei) - Guan Yu's son. Wields a big sword.
- Cao Pi (曹丕 Sou Hi) - Cao Cao's son, first emperor of Wei. Wields connected twin blades.
- Pang De (龐德 Hou Toku) - Wei general who carried his own coffin to the battlefield. Wields two halberds.
- Ling Tong (凌統 Ryou Tou) - sworn enemy of Gan Ning, later his friend. Wields nunchaku.
- Zuo Ci (左慈) - Magician who taunted Cao Cao. Wields a deck of cards. (Picture from Treasure Box artbook; scanned by Ms. Austin. Many thanks!)
I reserved the game and picked it up the day it was released. Here's what I think about it so far.
Musou Mode: Each character gets his own musou mode, consisting of 5 or 6 stages, and his own unique CG ending sequence. There's more storytelling in this one, and in my opinion the cutscene direction is better. You get some kind of coherent, cohesive story now.
Gameplay: Just the same as all the other games, with some changes.
- Bases (also called gateways) are guarded by captains, who you must defeat to take the base and use it for your own side. These bases improve an army's defense, strength, or morale. Supply bases have pots with healing items inside. The game does not have the strategic elements of DW4 Empires.
- Enemies mob now -- instead of coming at you in small groups, they will come in waves, in hordes even. If you love being in the thick of things, you'll be in heaven. I'd say battles are more exciting and involved than before.
- Stages have been redesigned. I think they're better designed than before -- more varied and visually interesting, and laid out in what seems to me a more logical way.
- There's no more dueling, praise God. There's no taunts either, though, which makes me sad. I miss the twirling and saying "Beautiful!" I'm a retard like that. :D
- To use Musou Rage (Kakusei), you must collect a token, which is dropped by enemies or is inside boxes, then click the R3 button (which was the taunt button in DW4 -- press down on the right analog stick). Musou Rage is like getting Musou Full, Speed Up, and Attack Up items at the same time. It last about 20 or 30 seconds.
- The Evolution Attack is available when you equip weapons with a little white icon next to their name. When your Musou meter is full, you can get additional combos tacked on to your attacks. There's nothing special about it.
- Character stats improve through picked up items, as in DW2 and DW3. When you defeat a captain or an officer, he might drop a +Attack, +Defense, or +Life item. +Musou items seem only to appear in boxes, though I could be wrong.
Weapons System: Clearly based on Samurai Warriors. You collect weapons during battle, and at the end you pick which ones you keep and discard. You may keep only four. Each weapon has unique stat bonuses. Weapons also have weight grades: this affects the damage you deal and the speed of your attacks.
Bodyguards: You no longer have sets of bodyguards -- you collect unique named bodyguards and choose one (only one) to come along with you in each battle (you can of course choose not to bring one along). Bodyguards have different ratings, which affect stat growth and skills. Bodyguards are more intelligent and aggressive than before, and some can even heal you when you're low on health. You might actually call them useful now. ^.^ Press the Select button during battle to change their tactics -- Attack, Defend, or Hold. You may have up to eight bodyguards.
Graphics: I have not yet encountered any battle slowdown or enemy popup (when enemies disappear right next to you) in one player mode, despite having hordes (and I mean HORDES) of enemies onscreen. In two player mode, slowdown and popup still happen when many enemies are onscreen. Draw distance (how far into the distance you can see) has been extended.
Sound: Same hard-rock soundtrack as before, more like DW3 than DW4. Voice acting is in English with no option for Japanese voices. It seems that most of the voice cast of Dynasty Warriors 4 has returned for DW5; some voices seem different. There are still no voice actor credits at the end of the game or in the manual. >_>
Character Edit: There is no character edit mode.
Versus Mode: There is no versus mode. There's no DW4 duels either. You can still co-op play with a friend in Musou and Free Modes.
New Characters: I think they're pretty cool. XD Xing Cai has an annoying voice but is very cute. Cao Pi has a pretty good voice and is delectable. Mrow. Ling Tong clearly wishes he were Maxi from Soul Calibur, but he's cute as a button and he kicks ass. Pang De is pwns -- nothing more needs to be said. Zuo Ci I haven't played yet, but he looks like fun to play.
Miscellaneous Thoughts: Just some random observations--
- Lu Bu is more powerful than he's been in a long time. DW3 and DW4 Lu Bu were pushovers.
- The game reminds me a lot of DW2, oddly, with the massive enemy mobs and the stage designs.
- Difficulty-wise, I wouldn't say it's markedly harder or easier than the other games.
- You'll gawk when you see all the slots in the Movie Gallery.
- I wish Koei had put in subtitles for the CG scenes, or had an option to turn off voice acting completely.
- Manual design is uninspired.
- Script has some bad lines -- and spelling "cue" as "queue," WTF? Koei, proofread.
- For you own sake, stay away from archer towers. You can knock them down, but if they fall on you, they really hurt.
- Each character gets four costumes. The second costume is a recolor of the first, the third is his costume from DW4, the fourth is a recolor of the DW4 costume. If the character wasn't in DW4, the third and fourth costumes are small variations on the first costume.
Summary Verdict: If you want more of the same only different, then you'll love DW5. If you're longing for more drastic changes to the gameplay you're out of luck here.
Personally, I adore it. It's the most fun I've had with Dynasty Warriors in a long time. I know gaming websites and magazines are rating it poorly because it lacks innovation, but my philosophy is if it ain't broken, it don't need to be fixed. Someday I'd love to see more complex movesets and strategy elements -- maybe in the expansion packs.
Last updated: 17 April 2008.