Review by aesdragoon
Oh yes, finally a break from the normal
Ok, time for some fun. If you liked ANY of the previous Dynasty Warrior games (of the main series... aka skipping tactics), get this. It is a break from the normal game, in that it's fairly fast paced. If you are a fan of the series, or hack/slash games in general, grab it.
The sound isn't too bad, though as with any game it CAN get tedious. Decent soundtrack, repetitive sound effects, it's what you should expect from a DW game.
Controls are easy. If you don't pay attention to your manual or this site, prepare to struggle just a tad though. O is no longer your musou, now its tri and O. Don't expect any recharge either, until you get an item to do so. Item usage is a little testy as well, as it requires THOUGHT. lol
Camera isn't too bad in it. You can control it, though as you play it doesn't matter. You use the analog stick to move, and so the d-pad is left to do camera work. L works just as well, as it centers the camera behind you, locks onto an enemy, strafes, AND blocks. Yeah, the PSP loves to pack multiple functions into one button. Overall on that though, they do well with the camera.
Actual game play is nice. Koei decided to implement dashing (pardon me if they did in 4/5, I figured 3 was enough of the same game over and over) and floating, as well as a LOT of aerial ability. You will find yourself on the ground battling a lot, but just as much in the air as the game progresses. And as a difference to old DW games, this game is FAST. Attacks are faster, and less complicated (as if you thought they couldn't get easier), and now we have weapon switching: fast acting weapon switching at that. Overall, this is the same game again, but now with more action in it, so it should keep your attention a lot easier.
Oh, don't expect TOO much out of character selection in this game. It gives the 3 kingdoms to work with, but as of yet there isn't much unlockable that I've seen aside from the classic beast we've all grown to love and hate. On that note, you aren't just fighting the same old soldiers anymore. Yeah, they are there and everything, but prepare to fight beasts 10x the size of you, including a giant Cerberus looking thing you fight relatively early on.
Now, onto what makes this game epic, aside from the fast paced nature. MULTIPLAYER. Kiss your body guards and morale good bye. It's all on YOU now. If you happen to have a friend tagging along, so be it, there's your army. Up to 4 people I believe. The game uses the PSPs Ad-Hoc mode to play with friends. This isn't like some of the PSP games you may have played where they can jump in at any second, it's, in fact, like most PSP games, where you decide what's going on before it does. There's a leveling system as always, though you don't really choose what levels up. You won't find any level up items in the game either, it's just straight up brutalizing for your exp. The big thing I like is that it seems the more you use a type of weapon, the more skill you gain with it. There's your leveling choice... Kinda. Everything is controlled by a town as well, so don't get weirded out just yet. There are multiple shops that offer various services, like giving you character abilities, such as jumping more that once, dashing more than once, etc. Your weapons are customizable as well, as I think they were before. You get orbs to add onto them, and that gives you your power. And of course, you should find out that enemies drop items now. Not just the old meatbuns, or power ups even. They don't drop power ups. They drop Meatbuns, those delicious little full everything jars, and crystals. The crystals are items you need to build new weapons, upgrade shops, or create anything really. Essentially, if someone made DW into an MMO, this is it, just a little toned down.
Be aware though, your best bet is to play with a friend, as the games grows old with just one player. This goes for some of the harder quests too, as you unlock QUESTS now, instead of just going through the story. Yeah, you need to do the story to progress, but the game always throws a few requests at you to attempt to keep things fresh. But there's one in particular that you get early, that really isn't doable until much later solo. With a friend, however, and good team tactics, this is just a pain in your left thump and right index finger.
All in all, if you liked DW games, try it. If you wished DW were faster, TRY IT. Even better, if you have a PSP, and possibly a friend who has one: get off of your computer, walk/drive/bike/ROLLER SKATE to your nearest game store or place that sells games, pick up a copy. I grew tired of the series back at DW3, but this gave me the love of the game back. If you want a fast, user friendly (mostly), possibly (hopefully) social experience that delivers the most ass kicking I've seen on a PSP thus far, this is your game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce (US, 04/28/09)
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