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lordnikon
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Posted:
Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:29 pm
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This is a thread devoted to all of the games developed by Omega Force, and Published by KOEI that feature beatemup action in Ancient China and Japan. This includes all of the Dynasty Warriors & Samurai Warriors titles, including spinoffs and expansion discs. As you will read on in this thread, I will be giving you an overview of the various game releases.

If you own or have played these games, then lets talk about it here in this thread!


The Primary Warriors titles: Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, & Warriors Orochi

I started playing these games around late 2007 or late 2008, and have become addicted to them ever since. The primary Warriors games all focus on beatemup/hacknslash action. You essentially take your warrior into battle and attack hundreds upon hundreds of enemy solders, cutting your way through to victory. Each battle map has different geographical challenges and boss type characters are always worthy opponents. Where these games really shine, are their accessability. You can pick them up and start playing without having to deal with story archs or item inventories. You select a character, and just dive into a map. While at the start of a battle there may be a cutscene, the actual gameplay does nothing to get in the way of the action. It is non-stop from start to finish. As Nobunaga Oda would say "It's just that simple".

The "Dynasty Warriors" games focus on Ancient China during the Three Kingdoms period

The "Samurai Warriors" games focus on Ancient Japan during the Waring States period

The "Warriors Orochi" games are crossover titles that merge the worlds of Dynasty and Samurai for one huge free for all.

It is important to note that while these games are all based on real historical figures and geographical locations, the character personalities are for the most part fictional. They are also extremly over the top. This isn't a humdrum action game based on historical reality, these are like arcade games with big super moves and combos. Also I think the developers really nailed the tones of these games. When I played Samurai Warriors for the first time, they really made it much darker in nature than the Dynasty Warriors titles.


Xtreme Legends

For many games, there are Xtreme Legends releases. These are actually expansion discs. They are designed to interact with the original game, via disc swapping. So you can use content from either disc to expand the overall experience. The XL games add new weapons and abilities, new playable characters, new difficulty settings and new modes. The games can be played standalone, but to get the full experience you really should own the original game for that release as well.

These games are pretty unique. I can't think of another game on PS2 that supports this disc swapping functionality.


Empires

Now, these games take the series in a drastically different direction. If you start playing Dynasty Warriors games, and at somepoint you want "more" from the overall experience, then you need to look into the Empires titles. These games merge the traditional Dynasty/Samurai warriors action gameplay, with the simulation and strategic gameplay of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games (we can make a seperate topic on the ROTK games). You can use political strategies to affect the outcomes of battles, customize the heirarchy of your army, and there is a greater emphasis on acquiring items and completing smaller game objectives.

The Empires titles have a map of the entire country of China or Japan, and the final goal is the unite the country under your rule. So where the previous Warriors games just had battles at certain locations, here you are trying to conquer specific territorial regions to extend your influence of power.

Basically if the original Warriors games are comprised of accessible action gameplay, the Empires games are definatly for when you want to get more into the nitty gritty of a more complex gameplay experience. The action gameplay is still there, it is just includes these other features as well.


The Game List

    DYNASTY WARRIORS

    • Dynasty Warriors 2

    • Dynasty Warriors 3
    • Dynasty Warriors 3 Xtreme Legends

    • Dynasty Warriors 4
    • Dynasty Warriors 4 Xtreme Legends
    • Dynasty Warriors 4 Empires

    • Dynasty Warriors 5
    • Dynasty Warriors 5 Xtreme Legends
    • Dynasty Warriors 5 Empires

    • Dynasty Warriors 6


    SAMURAI WARRIORS

    • Samurai Warriors
    • Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends

    • Samurai Warriors 2
    • Samurai Warriors 2 Xtreme Legends
    • Samurai Warriors 2 Empires


    WARRIORS OROCHI

    • Warriors Orochi
    • Warriors Orochi 2


Graphics, Sound, System Performance

So far, all of these games throughout the entire series have managed to dodge any cheesy slapped on nextgen effects like lightbloom. There is none of that here. The games are all crisp and detailed.

These games all run at 60 frames per second. The developers use this as a standard and take steps to ensure that the game runs fluid. I have great respect for developers that do this as I love titles that run at 60fps. They use a variety of tactics to pull this off, and gradually improve upon it from game to game. Early titles like Dynasty Warriors 2 and 3 can have heavy fogging in the distance, as well as enemies that are right in front of you but will be set to invisible. This happens when you have a massive amount of enemy troops surrounding you, but they will only display a certain number of enemies so the framerate doesn't dip. As you kill enemies, others in the area will re-appear. Though as time goes on, the later games like Dynasty Warriors 5 and Warriors Orochi have virtually no enemy popup whatsoever.

While all Warriors games run at 60fps, they have moments where the action can get super intense, and instead of dropping frames like other games do, the game will instead slowdown slightly. In most titles this rarely ever happens, but in Dynasty Warriors 6 and Warriors Orochi 2 it has been reported to happen more frequently. I don't own these games yet on PS2 so I can't confirm this. I have watched tons of YouTube videos but I can't seem to find definative evidence. If you own them please report with your findings!

The music in each series varies. The Dynasty Warriors games have more rock influenced tracks, where-as the Samurai Warriors games have more techno inspired tunes.

Voice overs in each game have been a huge topic of debate over the years as their functionality keeps changing from title to title. Some games have English and Japanese language options, and some do not. Some games have Voice volume or mute functions, and some do not. Its sort of spotty, so you will just have to cope with what each game offers.


Purchasing Advice

A lot of these games can be picked up for cheap, especially Dynasty Warriors 2 and 3. Just remember that the XL expansions are just that, expansions, and that you probobly want to get those after you get the originals unless you see them for a super cheap deal.

These games are all very similar. So maybe you have no intention of collecting them all over time, and want just the "definative" game. This is really hard to answer, but I think the best option for someone like this is to buy one of the Warriors Orochi titles. Simply because the games merge the worlds of Dynasty and Samurai, so you get to play as characters from both era's in one game.


Videos

Dynasty Warriors 2
Dynasty Warriors 3
Dynasty Warriors 5
Samurai Warriors Xtreme Legends
Warriors Orochi
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:26 am
quote : #2
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I finally popped Dynasty Warriors 3 in the old ps2 for the first time and played it for 2 or 3 hours straight haha. I see why you like these games so much now. The first battle I was in I was somewhat clueless on what to do and I got killed fairly quickly, but then I spent a few minutes reading the manual and my next battle went much better.I picked the character with the wolverine-like claws and the battle lasted an hour and I killed like 800 soldiers and managed to win the battle haha. My side was getting destroyed for the majority of the match, but I managed to slowly work my way back up to my commander to defend him just as he was starting to get overtaken. By the time I arrived a freaking army had surrounded him and the enemy commander and an officer were both attacking him lol. I had to keep drawing them away and running back to my commander to knock some enemies over every once in awhile. I can see myself being very addicted to this game in the future.

I really like how they make you feel like you are in a real battle, I have not played a game on the ps2 that has conveyed this feeling before. I mean while you are locked in a particular battle with a group of enemies or an officer you see the other battles playing out on your map and get alerts as to where you should head to help out.

Also, what do the gate officers do? Like when you defeat them does it make less enemy reinforcements show up or something? I never really notice any difference when I secure gates.
  _________________
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lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:08 pm
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Yea these games are great because they manage to push the number of characters on screen to the limit, yet the games still run at 60fps. This doesn't speak so much as to the power of the PS2 per say but the skill of the programmers at Omega Force that craft these games.

The points that the Gate Officers guard are strategic in nature. By capturing them you restrict where they can spawn more reinforcements. Also, even if no enemies are coming out of an area at one moment, later on TONS of enemies may swarm out, ambushing the leader of your Army resulting in Failure.

The funny thing is, if you are away somewhere else on the map. If just 1 enemy approaches one of your Gate Officers, he will almost always take it over in time. So you kind of have to be careful at times, and make sure you secure these spots as you cut through a battle.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:31 pm
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Ah, yea I guess I should make an effort to take all the gate officers then. I would sometimes kill them just because I knew when they died a powerup or possibly health would show up.
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
No_Limits
rank 14
Posted:
Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:53 pm
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I own Dynasty Warriors 5, but I haven't played much of it yet. I keep getting distracted by some many others games I want to beat and/or play online. I had fun from what I've played but I was definitely put off a little from the fact that you can't rotate the screen.
  _________________
PS2>all other systems
lazybum
rank 24
Posted:
Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:29 pm
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No_Limits wrote:
I own Dynasty Warriors 5, but I haven't played much of it yet. I keep getting distracted by some many others games I want to beat and/or play online. I had fun from what I've played but I was definitely put off a little from the fact that you can't rotate the screen.


Ah yea not being able to use the R stick to shift the camera bugged me a bit at first too but I got used to it. If you press the guard button you can quickly center your view. So you can turn behind you quickly and press that button to see in different directions quickly.
  _________________
blog - game collection - youtube Xlink Nick = lazyhobobum Tim and Eric must die!
No_Limits
rank 14
Posted:
Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:26 pm
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lazybum wrote:
If you press the guard button you can quickly center your view. So you can turn behind you quickly and press that button to see in different directions quickly.


That's good Smile , thanks for the snippet of info.
  _________________
PS2>all other systems
TheMytho
rank 38
Posted:
Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:15 pm
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I wanted to know what the general consensus was regarding the best Musou/Warriors games on PS2. So far, I own:

  • Dynasty Warriors 2
  • Dynasty Warriors 3
  • Dynasty Warriors 3 XL
  • Dynasty Warriors 4
  • Samurai Warriors
  • Samurai Warriors XL
  • Warriors Orochi


Despite my enjoyment of the series, there is no possible way I can invest my time in every single entry. I'm also not sure if I wish to delve into the spin-off games such as Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 or Mystic Heroes. I know lordnikon is a big fan of DWG2, so I'm open to hearing more about that game in particular.

I researched DW6 on PS2 and after watching some videos (There are very few quality videos of DW6 PS2 up on YouTube), that game is off the table for me. It's widely regarded as a buggy, poorly produced entry.

So far, the games I have on my list are Samurai Warriors 2, SW2 XL, SW2 Empires, and Warriors Orochi 2. I can still grab new copies of SW2 XL and Warriors Orochi 2 for around $20 a piece. I'm searching for the Musou games that provide the most content and still deliver solid performance.
  _________________
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lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:30 pm
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Here are the KOEI Warriors/Musou games I currently own:

  • Dynasty Warriors 2
  • Dynasty Warriors 3
  • Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends
  • Dynasty Warriors 4
  • Dynasty Warriors 4 Xtreme Legends
  • Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires
  • Dynasty Warriors 5
  • Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends

  • Samurai Warriors
  • Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends
  • Samurai Warriors 2: Empires

  • Warriors Orochi

  • Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2


The tricky part about these games is that they are all mostly the same game, with minor graphical improvements and content additions over time. This is part of what makes the series interesting as they just kept pushing the PS2 hardware while retaining 60fps all the way up through Warriors Orochi and DWG2.

I love this series, but its also hard to play all of them in the same capacity long term. I could play every single game here and not play any other game in my collection due to the scope of these games (if you try to play every character in every game). I love replaying these games, but am I going to continue to replay all of them equally? I am not sure. One option is to just play through less desirable games in the series with 1 or 2 characters, and fully master the compaigns for all characters in the versions that you really like.

I really need to revisit this series on PS2 again with a different eye and start doing more research on the true differences between some of the games. It is very clear where DW2 and 3 stand, but 4 and 5? I am not sure. DW6 is to be avoided as it is a bit of a mess on PS2 due to sloppy porting late in the system's lifecycle. Also, Warriors Orochi 2 might be in the same boat. I believe I read about it having performance issues and lacking challenge. WO1 might be preferred over 2, but more research is needed there also.

I think we need to start playing the games that we currently own to figure out what we like about them, and also do some GameFAQs reading to see what others are saying about each game in the franchise.

I will say, I really enjoyed Samurai Warriors 1. I have not played any of 2 or its addons, but SW1 just felt darker to me and totally embodied a japanese feel as opposed to the 3 kingdoms era DW games.

Some research we can start doing:

  • DW4 vs DW5
  • WO1 vs WO2
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Sat Apr 16, 2016 4:26 am
quote : #10
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Posts: 2737
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I am playing DW4, and of course... the first stage in my new save the "Yellow Turban Rebellion". The hoth of DW games.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
TheMytho
rank 38
Posted:
Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:47 pm
quote : #11
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Posts: 861
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lordnikon wrote:
I am playing DW4, and of course... the first stage in my new save the "Yellow Turban Rebellion". The hoth of DW games.

That is a very accurate analogy. I can't stop laughing. Laughing

I popped DW3 back in and played through a campaign as Xiahou Dun. The first two campaign stages went very well. I hunted nearly every officer and general I could. The squads of common soldiers roamed in small packs and died after a few hits. Once I reached the third stage, the training wheels came off.

Everything is turned up a notch mid-campaign. Officers and generals appear with more health. Enemies fight in larger packs and start charging after you. After dying several times, I started taking the fights slower, leaning on fellow officers for support and retreating if I was overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, this ties into one of my issues with the game: Defensive playing seems unreliable at times. You'll slap the L1 button in time to block an attacking general, yet you'll still somehow eat a combo. Due to the wonky nature of split second blocking, you'll need to approach an officer while holding L1, wait for them to attack while you block, then counter attack.

It also isn't very clear what countering does. The manual claims it creates space between you and your attacker. In my experience, unless it's used against one or two attackers, it seems very ineffective. You'll counter one soldier, but then several others jump right in to fill the gap created. Your options for taking on an officer flanked by soldiers is either A. Clear the soldiers out as much as possible or B. Retreat toward your forces and hope the enemy squad follows you.

And then we get to the archers. Man oh man will they fuck your shit up if you do not make them a priority. They tend to gather in packs of anywhere from 3 to 10 and stand on the outskirts of a fight. What makes clearing the archers out tough is if they disperse across the environment. You may encounter, for example, 4 on the ground, 2 in a guard tower and 2 to 3 running in to assist. Every playable character in the game is equipped with a bow, but you're a sitting duck while using it. Couple that with the draw distance and you can quickly grow frustrated hunting archers down as a general chases you.

For all of the minor gameplay gripes, Dynasty Warriors 3 still manages to draw you in. The music alone makes Dynasty Warriors 3 a must-play. The rock inspired tracks do a great job of pumping you up before and during a level. Music tracks also change in-game depending on the circumstances of the battle. If an catastrophic event harms your forces, the game will play a softer, more minimalistic track.

Another nice touch is that items carry over between characters. There are no restrictions when it comes to equipping items, meaning that you can take a rank 15 character and equip items that a rank 3 character found. Some of these items, such as the shell armor, can make the difference between victory or defeat. I'm not entirely sure if weapons carry over, as I haven't found enough weapons to test that.

Performance also is extremely solid. The game runs at a smooth 60fps, with just a few minor bits of slowdown depending on the stage. The most obvious technical glitch I noticed was the HUD disappearing during heavy Musou attacks. It only lasts for a second however. Perhaps the most disappointing technical limitation is the draw distance. Not only is it an issue when tackling archers, but you may find yourself being hit by a soldier the game has barely drawn on-screen during large battles. Given the context in which Dynasty Warriors 3 was released, it's a forgivable flaw in my eyes.

Despite its age, there is still a lot to like about Dynasty Warriors 3. From the fantastic score to the focus on 60fps gameplay, this game still retains a certain charm and fun factor. The AI is quick to punish you for advancing too quickly, as are enemy generals and officers. It may feel a little simplistic for those used to later installments, but I'd argue that works in DW3's favor.

As a side note, I'd like to caution against using Xtreme Legends when first playing DW3. Simply loading Xtreme Legends unlocks many of the characters hidden away in the base game. Start with DW3 first, build up your roster, level up several generals, and then play Xtreme Legends once you've conquered much of DW3.
  _________________
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lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:22 am
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TheMytho wrote:
Unfortunately, this ties into one of my issues with the game: Defensive playing seems unreliable at times. You'll slap the L1 button in time to block an attacking general, yet you'll still somehow eat a combo. Due to the wonky nature of split second blocking, you'll need to approach an officer while holding L1, wait for them to attack while you block, then counter attack.

I agree with you about defensive strategies. Its like you have to be blocking way in advance, or it doesn't work at all. When surrounded, forget it.

TheMytho wrote:
Perhaps the most disappointing technical limitation is the draw distance. Not only is it an issue when tackling archers, but you may find yourself being hit by a soldier the game has barely drawn on-screen during large battles. Given the context in which Dynasty Warriors 3 was released, it's a forgivable flaw in my eyes.

I felt the developers had guts to do this. They held 60fps as their standard and were willing to sacrifice on screen elements in order to achieve that. Without this mindset, we might not have had a series on the PS2 of which 90% of the titles run at 60fps.

---

Other comments:

I always got the sense that there were more enemies in DW3, and when I moved over to 4, the game had them neatly packed in sets of around 5. So DW4 came off as slightly predictable to me in early stages (though later on it gets crazy). Maybe it was the fact that the enemies floated in an out of view in DW3? So it seemed like you were battling more than you really were?

The special effects in DW3 coupled with the attack sound effects always struck me as really cool. They have a really nice feel and you can tell they were a technology stepping stone towards 4 and 5.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:37 am
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So I finished my campaign in DW4. The game lives up to its reputation as one of the greats in the franchise. The very next day I booted up DW5. As a note, I have played through an entire game of DW5 using Cao Pi, however that was quite a while ago, and I had never spent enough time with DW4 in the past to differentiate them.

Some immediate observations were made when making the leap from DW4 to DW5:

The graphics in Dynasty Warriors 5 are noticeably impressive, and polished. Its really amazing how good the game looks, and everything is fine tuned. Especially the sound effects when attacking an enemy. This has changed many times from game to game, but in DW5 it seems they really got it down "just right" ... (not that I don't like how enemy attacks sound in any of the previous games).

I get the sense that the chars are ever so slightly smaller, in order to fit more polygons on the screen. It seems if you took DW2 and compared it to DW4, and then compared that to DW5 you would see a subtle shrinkage of characters over time. I probobly need to compare some screenshots.

The game very much feels like it and Warriors Orochi are in the same lineage as far as game engines are concerned.

The most striking difference I noticed, was the difficulty and enemy dispersement. The troops close in and circle around you much more than they do in previous DW games. They spread out more, and the feeling of "batches" of soldiers coming at you is lessened. When I started fighting the soldiers I was shocked. They were not attacking me at all. Mind you, this was just the first stage in the new campaign I started. Even primary officers would take some serious poking to get them to come attack me. The strange part is, when they finally did attack me, the damage they inflicted on me was a lot.

I was doing some reading, and apparently DW4 is considered one of the more difficult games in the series, if not the most difficult. I can attest to this as the soldiers were very challenging, and the officers would attack with a balanced level of ferocity as you progressed through the stages. The challenge of DW4 is something I loved, and... as I continue to replay other games in the series, this might make DW4 one of my favs overall for this alone.

I am wondering if DW5 and other later games had to temper this difficulty due to the increased number of enemies on the screen, and they had trouble balancing it out.

The one game I am wondering about right now is Dynasty Warriors 4 Empires. Would that game's engine be improved at all over DW4/DW4XL ? Since those two games have to be compatible as XL is an expansion disc to be used as swappable content, Empires is a standalone game, and created far later than DW4. I need to maybe start a campaign in DW4 Empires to get a feel for how that game plays.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Fri May 06, 2016 10:46 am
quote : #14
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Posts: 2737
Type: NTSC-U/C
I have been playing Dynasty Warriors 4 Empires. I will have lots to say about this game soon, but last night...

I was playing and I accidently pressed select + start. This of course resets to the game to the start menu. I lost about 2 hours of progress. Mad The lame part is, the whole game happens on a sort of in-moment randomization. So if I start up my PS2 again its impossible to try and re-enact the same scenarios/actions that took place last night. A new series of events will be set into motion instead.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
lordnikon
rank 58
Posted:
Wed May 11, 2016 9:59 pm
quote : #15
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Posts: 2737
Type: NTSC-U/C
I just beat Dynasty Warriors 4 Empires. It was awesome.
  _________________
The most effective, in this war?
The Bydo have it... and they control it.
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