You have to fight tooth and nail sometimes to finish the level, a tenacity the other titles usually lack...
Dynasty Warriors: Next was the 10th most downloaded Vita game on the PSN last month. The title puts the hardware to the test and ends up performing on par with the PS3. The Vita’s screen makes everything brighter and really lets some of those character models pop. Dynasty Warriors: Next is packed with content making for hours of replay value in numerous modes.
This title utilizes a lot of Dynasty Warriors 7/Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends assets. They look and sound on par with the PS3, if not better because of the Vita’s screen. This game is the one that I pull out to show off the power of the hardware to my friends. It’s pretty surprising just how many characters they can pack on the screen. The only time you’re going to experience some minor chugs is when fire breathing tiger cannons crowd the area with too many other characters. Yeah, fire breathing tiger cannons. You’ll hear familiar tunes as well, and they all do an excellent way of setting the tone for the ridiculous battles you’ll undertake.
Story mode takes an abbreviated way of telling many of the main tales from the lore of The Three Kingdoms. You’ll battle province by province, some of which being randomly generated setups of a pool of generic maps. These bookend important battles that usually get their own map and larger piece of the story. Minor events (like Cao Cao’s escape and Zhang Fei’s defense of the bridge) now take place as mini games. This title uses the Vita’s motion and touch controls to shake things up. I liked drawing calligraphy to call forth the winds and stopping surprise ambushes using the six axis tilt like it was augmented reality. Some fall flatter like when you just have to touch the screen to take out charging guys for 2 minutes. The biggest use of the touch controls comes with a battle at the end of each level which is a one on one duel. It is sort of a rock paper scissors kind of gameplay which starts out dull but eventually gets really challenging towards the end of the game. It took a ton of practice but now I like the feature.
Besides the combat many are accustomed to, this iteration of the series brings back the base mechanic from Dynasty Warriors 5 or Dynasty Warriors 6. By capturing bases you weaken the main base at the end. There are numerous types of bases which each buff different aspects of your army. Some give you 2x attack buffs, others launch arrow attacks, and my favorite; they spawn Battle Pandas. You’ll also find that bases respawn enemy officers… and usually quickly. I feel like you have to fight tooth and nail sometimes to finish the level, something that other titles usually lack. Your AI officers aren’t completely useless either, as they will capture bases for you which are welcome surprises. Back to touch controls briefly. Throughout the level you can charge up a special attack that allows you to instantly capture a base. It certainly adds an extra element of strategy to help advance your forces. There is also a touch “Musou” allowing for a much more devastating attack that helps charge up your special attack bar.
There is a passive online setting that allows for surprise duels, buffs, and character cards when enabled. You can also give away prizes to your friends using Near functionality which is a neat add on. There is also an ad hoc multi player called Coalition mode, and an interesting edit mode that lets you make your own officers. Coalition mode has you playing against 1 or more computer controlled regions as you take turns battling to take territories. As I’ve said, this game is packed with content, and I’m still working at unlocking Lu Bu. It lasts longer than anything else out there right now and it’s no surprise it’s on the list for most downloaded Vita Title.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Vita version of the game.
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