Game: Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends
Except as noted, all information is based on the North American release of the game.
|Title:||真・三國無双４: 猛将伝 (Shin Sangoku Musou 4 Moushouden) [JP]
Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends [NA & EU]
|Platform:||Playstation 2||Disc Type:||DVD-ROM|
|Release:||2005 [JP, NA], 2006 [EU]||Players:||1-2|
|Controls:||Digital/Analog/Vibration||Memory Card:||150kb (shows Guan Ping cheering)|
|ESRB Rating:||Teen 13+ (mild language, violence)|
||Stages (Legend Mode):||
Review of Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends
Yet another expansion pack that adds fun gameplay features, features that aren't as deep as they ought to be, and which probably won't make it into DW6 anyway. But hey, it's fun while it lasts!
Is it worth buying? is the second thing everybody asks (right after "Are there any new characters?"). And I'd say, hell yes! It's worth $30, easily. The previous XL games were, in my opinion, sadly lacking and only marginally worth the purchases, but this game is on par with Empires. Improved Edit Mode, an excellent Legend Mode, a fun Destiny Mode, and a two-player Xtreme Mode.
Legend Mode is basically the same as Legend Mode in DW4xl: short, story-based stages centered around specific characters. Most stages are based upon battles in the novel, which for whatever reason haven't been included in Musou Mode. I enjoyed playing through this mode, a whole lot actually, because each stage is a unique set of circumstances and challenges. For example, in Ou Xing's Rebellion, playing as Huang Gai, you have to snipe sentries with your bow to avoid detection. In Battle of Han Shui as Zhao Yun, you have to prevent enemies from passing the gate/bridge you're defending. The character you play as affects these in-stage challenges, so playing through as Zhao Yun and Huang Zhong in Han Shui, for example, would give you two different experiences. Much as I like DW's "just go kill everything" premise, it bores most people quickly, and making stages more varied in this way would increase replay value.
Xtreme Mode is just as it was in DW4xl, with some changes. You play short random stages to collect iron (to upgrade weapons) and points (to purchase meatbuns and other items), and try to keep going as long as you can. The only signifigant improvement I can see is allowing a second player in certain stages. A fun mode, though not my favorite.
Edit Mode's supposed "20,000 possible combinations" is grossly misleading. There's just not as much variety as we were led to believe. For each gender, there are 3 voices, 10 faces, 10 hairstyles, and 10 outfits you can mix and match as you like. The male character edit choices are particularly disappointing — most of the faces and hairstyles are quite unappealing. It's better than any previous Edit Mode, but it's still not good enough. Another annoying little thing is that you can't create a character in Edit Mode, then use him in Destiny Mode; the character has to be created in Destiny Mode to be used in it. If you clear Destiny Mode with him, then you can save him to Edit Mode.
Destiny Mode is, in my opinion, the best thing to happen to Dynasty Warriors since Empires Mode. It's a sort of RPG mode, where you create a character and play through 8 stages, purchasing skills, collecting weapons, and maybe switching loyalties along the way. Points are acquired through completing objectives, like, say, killing 6 officers in 10 minutes, or getting 140 KOs. With points, you can purchase skills, which means everything from 3-hit combos, health upgrades, and (my favorite part) tactical skills like Fire Attack and Ambush. Every playthrough is different from the last. This is where I've always wanted the series to go: tactical elements, in-stage challenges, choices that affect the storyline. I hope Koei will include these things in future sequels.
Challenge Mode, I've never played much in any of the games. I play each challenge just long enough to beat the default record, then I never touch the mode again. The challenges in this game are Time Attack, Gatekeeper, Speed Strike, Rampage, Sudden Death, and Bridge Melee. The only ones I rather like are Sudden Death (where you and all enemies die in one hit) and Rampage (where you kill as many enemies as possible in ten minutes).
Not much to say on this point. Like most DW items, they're mostly useless. Interesting, but useless.
There are no fifth weapons in this game, but, there is a new Camp feature that lets you power up characters and weapons beyond their default maximum value. As you play through Legend Mode, you collect points (called books) that can be used to increase character or weapon stats. This feature doesn't interest me much; I don't like Legends mode enough to play it long enough to get all the points I need to make Zhao Yun godly. He's godly enough already anyway.
No Japanese, or Chinese, voice option for this game. Alas. For the North American release, a few of the voice actors have been changed from DW5. Crispin Freeman, the voice of Guan Yu, is conspicuously absent. Xing Cai's, unfortunately, hasn't changed, and it still makes me want to harm myself. I enjoyed Sun Quan's actor's performance here — he's better than the Japanese actor, and in this game I appreciated it.
No new opening edit. Sad. Didn't like the DW5 one, was hoping for something different to play with. No ending edit either.
The instruction manual is astonishingly useful. It tells you everything you need to know about every mode. If only all instruction manuals were this thorough.
Last updated: 15 April 2008.