The countdown had begun (at least for me) upon hearing late last year that the next installment of the Dynasty Warriors series was finally ready to be released for the next-gen systems. In anticipation of the February release, I took it upon myself to re-experience Dynasty Warriors 5, and start from scratch. Needless to say, three weeks, countless hours, 26 Musou modes, and countless Free Mode battles later, I have accomplished my goal: I have unlocked all of the harnesses, orbs, items, and characters: something that I didn't even do my first time through the game.
Koei has become famous, and infamous at the same time for the Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors series. The diehard fans like myself are always satisfied with the pure satisfaction of taking down peons and generals alike by the hundreds (sometimes even by the thousands! - I hit 2,000 in "The Battle of Chi Bi" just moments ago), while casual passersby always seem to say the same thing: how hard can it be to just mash buttons over and over? The answer: more fun than you can possibly imagine.
Despite the fact that in its simplest form, the Dynasty Warriors series is just an updated button masher, there is ACTUALLY strategy in these games. Don't pay attention to the components of the fire attack in The Battle of Chi Bi, and the promising advance of the Allied Forces come to a grinding halt. Before you know it, Zhang Liao has obliterated Zhuge Liang, Xiahou Yuan likewise with Huang Gai, and they're advancing on Sun Quan with blistering speed. And suddenly, your 500 K.O.'s don't seem to mean that much. Think you're doing well taking out the lesser generals? Take on Lu Bu in the Battle of Hu Lao Gate, and see the fearsome general go from Hyper mode into Hyper RAGE mode, and experience fear itself, and the frustration of a promising battle gone terribly wrong.
With the next Dynasty Warriors adding new components, and an updated A.I., so that moves won't be as easily abusable, this game has made the leap that mainstream gamers have been hoping for. For fans of the series, you'll still be able to take down forces by the hundreds, but taking down those final generals may take a little more gusto than you're used to. Moving Dynasty Warriors into the next generation hasn't changed the fact that it's a button masher...
But why fix what isn't broken?