Pros: Multiplayer mode ROCKS! New characters, new combos, incredible!
Cons: A little repetitive, not for everyone.
Anyone who's played anything by KOEI knows that they are most famous for their strategy games. In particular, their Nobunaga's Amibition and Romance of the Three Kingdoms series.
But, after the release of Dynasty Warriors 2 it looked as if they were getting ready to tackle new ground, the large scale fighting genre.
Now Dynasty Warriors 3 takes the next step in the game's advance, and it is a thing o' beauty.
Dynasty Warriors 3 takes place in the same historical period as DW2 did. You'll play some of the same missions, and fight some of the same guys that beat you down in the first game. Some of the levels have been reworked a bit, and there are some new levels altogether.
There are also a lot of new characters that have some interesting weaponry choices. One of the barbarian leaders has what amounts to a flamthrower, one guy's got the Vega claws, and one girl's got a flute. She plays music, enemies die. Quite possibly related to Ricky Martin or Britney Spears, only this character was intentionally hurting people with her music.
One of the big differences in this game is that there is a whole new level of depth and replayability added to the game. In DW2 you fought and fought, and all you had to show at the end of it was a couple more followers and some higher stats from the generals you killed.
In Dynasty Warriors 3, every once in a while, you'll bust open a box, or a kill a general and instead of getting a defense up shield or attack up sword, you'll get a weapon or an item.
The weapons, although they carry the same base stats, will carry a lot of different bonuses. Sometimes you'll have a sword that does base 19 damage, but will increase your range by 5. Do you take that weapon over the one you just found that increases your Musou Power by 10? You only get to choose one weapon per weapon level.
There are 4 different levels of weaponry, and the 4th one is pretty hard to find.
The items are a different story. There are about 20 in total, and each increases a stat. You can equip up to 5 in battle, and you're constantly finding better ones. In a castle area? Do you want to increase your jumping ability to allow you over those high walls? Or do you need more hit points and attack power?
These little bits and the new characters were enough to get me hooked, but the feature that blew me away and blew all other games out of the water was the 2=player mode.
Dynasty Warriors 2 is fun, but people get tired of watching you if you're just killing mobs of people. Now you can get them involved. It's awesome. Me and my friend Nobby played this game for 4 days straight after I got back from Japan until we'd finished the game with our characters.
If you are both in close proximity (You appear on each others' screens) you can unload a dual Musou attack on the enemies. This works really awesome on bosses. If you time it properly, the screen will blur and show both of you unleashing hell. Your Musou attack will hit twice as many times, and leave a nifty electric charge around anything that happens to be on the opposite team.
If you do this in to a large group of enemies, you'll be left with a gaping hole in the crowd where they all used to be.
The only problem with 2 player mode is that there is a bit of slowdown involed, especially if one of you is hurt, and hence, doing a bunch of Musou moves. But you figure, when you split it up, there are probably like 150 people on the screen, and if enemy generals are involved, then there's a lot of special effects being fired off.
Everything in DW3 looks better than it did in DW2. The people are more detailed, there are more FMVs and they look better. The peon characters fight a lot more. (though still not enough in my opinion.) You can now set the type of bodyguard you want following you(sword, spear, fork, archer, crossbow) and whether or not you want them to take an offensive or defensive stance.
KOEI's come a long way from turn based battles, and they look like they may have a whole other dynasty on their hands with this impressive series. Pick this one up, or you'll be sorry.