"Back into the Fray"
Dynasty Warriors has its fans. After seven console games, a few "xtreme" additions, and Gundam iterations, if you're not tired of going back to the formulaic hack n' slash, bashing your way through mobs of enemies on the battlefield, then Koei has a new release for you: Dynasty Warriors Next, the newest of the series now available for the PS Vita.
If you've played any Dynasty Warriors games in the past, then you'll know what you're getting into. The series' major structure hasn't changed much in the years, with only updates and tweaks to make each game a little better. The Vita introduces the Dynasty Warriors series to a whole new concept however: touch controls.
As most of you know, Dynasty Warriors is a hack n' slash game where mobs and mobs of enemies will come at you from every direction, and you'll swing away while attaining as many combos as possible to destroy them all. Dynasty Warriors Next is no different. However, the addition of touch controls are an interesting new concept in this new Vita release. Different finger movements will execute different weapon attacks. The touch controls seems to be fairly fitting and integrated well across battle. However, gamers can completely forgo them for the use of the analog sticks and buttons. The touch controls seems like they would work extremely great when challenging bosses to duels, but they frequently get tiring, and more often than not, there seems to be something off between touch response and in-game execution during these one-on-one duels, which make them seem like a bad version of Infinity Blade. While being ambushed in battle, a series of enemies will leap at you, and using the axis control you'll be able to look around at them, tapping each foe to attack, doing this all while knocking arrows out of your way. You will either find these ambush sections really neat or really annoying. I found them pretty cool at first, but they do wear out fairly quickly.
While Dynasty Warriors games for console systems are usually fast-paced, nicely flowing, action-packed games, Dynasty Warriors Next almost follows suite perfectly until you are forced to play mini-game stages. These mini games can be fun, but more often than not stop the flow of the overall game and force you to use gimmicky touch controls and motion controls for very weak and basic gameplay mechanics. While these mini-games are available to play without working through a campaign, you probably won't be visiting them too often. Speaking of campaign mode, during this mode you will be able to play through the story using different generals while unraveling a classic Dynasty Warriors story (all rooted in history, of course) which keeps the constant destroying and conquering interesting. If conquering is more your thing, the conquer mode lends itself to less story but focuses more on taking over territory on the map. An ad-hoc mode lets up to 4 players play cooperatively, so if you have some other friends who are Dynasty Warriors fans, this is a real treat.
Graphically, Dynasty Warriors Next looks great. There is hardly a missing beat between the console versions and the Vita game. Framerate issues are nonexistent, and everything is bright and smooth. Particle effects and animations prove to be beautiful, and those who have played Dynasty Warriors 7 will find the Vita version almost as amazing in the visuals department. Music and sound are typical Dynasty Warrior fare and will simply wash over you in a completely forgettable way.
Long gone are the days of shoddy console ports to portable systems, and Dynasty Warriors proves it. However, gamers be warned: this Dynasty Warriors is not much different than any of its predecessors. For huge fans of the series, it will be nice to take Dynasty Warriors wherever you go, at the same time; if you're a hardcore fan, you're going to probably just want to be at your home console playing Dynasty Warriors 7, as the overall experience of Next is a bit watered down, with a few gimmicky touch elements thrown in to sticky things up. However, newcomers to the series will find Next completely accessible. With hours and hours of gameplay and the ability to unlock new things as you conquer, Dynasty Warriors Next is quite long, so your pennies won't go to waste if this is the type of game you're seeking.
GameDynamo's Score for Dynasty Warriors Next (PS Vita)
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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