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Game Perceptions: DW & RotTK part 2

Jon

Jon

B.T.

B.T.

Game Perceptions #4

Dynasty Warriors and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Series Part 2

Yes… part 2 we did mention that we’d return and ‘finish’ off the Dynasty Warriors & Romance of the Three Kingdoms until DW8 review is done… So let’s get into it so we can move on.

We’ll never move on… ._.     o_o     O_O

But seriously it’s time to put some of the nails in to the coffin to let this game series rest for awhile.

Perception # 1:  Historical Accuracy

Dynasty Warriors vs. Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Historically speaking the Koei games as a pair have always been based on the novelization of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which have been stated to always have been pro Shu (B.T.: :D). But that’s not truly historically accurate as it’s biased. While the DW series was happy to be biased in the beginning; they have in recent games become more historically unbiased. (Making the ultimate bias fall on the players.)

  Though compared to even the first iteration of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, DW is historically inaccurate. From the weapons to even events or people at battles or the characters themselves DW is the more ‘fun’ and campy of the two by far.

Winner: Romance of the Three Kingdoms (RotTK)

Perception # 2: Revision of Themes

We don’t recall if in the first Dynasty Warriors & Romance of the Three Kingdoms Game Perceptions if it was ever stated by us that even in the RotTK games that the underlying themes existed. While it’s true in the Dynasty Warriors games the themes are completely pressed into your face until you could take a spoon and eat a bowl of Benevolence-O’s or Ambition Charms.

An easy example in the RotTK series comes from one of the early games:

Benevolence!

On top of the basic themes a new revelation by our own scholar and gentleman Jon on the real theme of the Kingdom of Wu.

The Kingdom of Wu has a major problem and its problem happens to be its true theme and that is: procrastination. See you can point out that Wu knew that Cao Cao and his Wei forces were going to be a problem. If Shu was as benevolent in real life as they are in the games then the better choice would be to side with Shu and not side with Wei and hope that Wei and Wu can co-habitat.  Unfortunately everyone and their mother know now and knew then that Cao Cao and his ambition would be a reason to never side with him. However he was in the colder north separate by the Yangtze River and various mountainous and hill terrain whereas Shu was to Wu’s west side where the lands were more accessible to the edge of Wu. Wu was kept to the south and east and Shu was borrowing land (with seemingly no intent to return them).

Wu gets in bed with Wei to get out of their situation after having gone against Wei years before.  After the fighting that ensues Wu ceases for the most part as a key player despite remaining a large entity. Sun Quan dies and any ambition to try and sue for peace and or a real alliance between Shu and Wu have gone by the wayside. Wei and Shu both are destroyed and their remnants absorbed by the upstarts of the Jin. And Wu hope their navy and expanse will protect them from Jin. Wu still doesn’t attempt major actions against Jin up until it’s too late to do anything.

The Last King(emperor) of Wu, Sun Hao had procrastinated due to his higher tastes and hedonism he became an outright tyrant upon ascending the throne and when Jin finally came a calling Wu Collapsed..

Perception # 3: Costumes

Zhang Jiao

Zhang Jiao

Why does he have such strange hair? We get it he was an oracle, but that doesn’t mean he needs to look like a star, his more hermit look with long hair from games previous were far better…

Zhang Jiao’s costume isn’t the only bad one, and some are better in the newest game than they had been in the Dynasty Warriors past but more often than not most of the time got they have gotten worse every iteration. Most of the characters that were in the games since Dynasty Warriors 3 got worse and the best ones were in DW3.

Perception # 4: Army Unit Size

In both games unit size is never really reflected upon. In DW; they are just giant blobs on the minimap as they haven’t changed the engine to be able to be equivalent to today’s hardware and therefore seem to have no capabilities of having more than 30-50(plus or minus5) characters on the screen at one time. What this mean is that the map may say an enemy officer is there but you may have to run around for a few seconds in that spot for the army to magically appear out of thin air…

In RotTK the unit size is given a number but then it is not visibly shown on the map they are typically shown as just place holder icons such as blocks or a singular soldier so a player can see their location but not the individual parts (much like a war map depicting assumed and known location of enemy and friendly battle units.

2

Perception # 5: Difficulties of a Leader

In DW it’s not hard being a leader. In the main games of DW there’s no real difference than playing a random officer. On occasion it’s annoying but even then it’s real easy when you’re attentive to what’s going on in the battle.

However in RotTK… dear god, may he/she save your soul if you’re a leader.  Don’t do it! It’s not even worth the stress that it will cause. In RotTK there aren’t any visible tutorials and they hardly explain when you play how to be a good or decent leader. Upon the start your forces will be weaker than almost everybody else’s.

Getting soldiers, setting tasks, building your forces, invading upgrading and hiring officers are all not explained. The booklet that comes with the game explains a bit more than the game but the intricacies and the details therein are not.
Sure you can Google the answers or look at guides but; the game should do it on its own and not require outside help from a medium that wasn’t around as it is today. It’s just down right frustrating trying to figure it out and when you do it opens up another branch of things to understand and figure out.

Perception # 6: Jin

Jin was added in Dynasty Warriors 7 and is an offshoot of Wei. Once the Sima clan takes full control and becomes Jin (where historians mark the end of Wei) players tend to finish off the story mode of Dynasty Warriors. (Jin is always the last Kingdom to play out, just like history where Jin crushes Wei, Shu and then finally Wu).

Like the other kingdoms Jin has a prevalent theme. Jin’s theme however is less than friendly benevolence or realistic like that of ambition. Theirs is just pulling out a bag and calling everyone fools, imbeciles, morons and every other derogatory word regarding the language pointing at them and then laughing at the audacity in which they claim right to rule.

Jin's Perceptions

Jin’s Perceptions

Perception# 7: Red Hare

Red Hare

Red Hare

Red Hare is the fastest horse in the game and also according to written tales, legends, and accounts. Red Hare seemingly can charge headlong into battle go through large quantities of soldiers and continue on galloping (until DW8) at full speed.

However even before DW8 where the rider comes to a full stop two ‘rows’ in to a blob mass of soldiers there had been a mortal enemy to a rushing Red Hare, seemingly the only defense that could stop Red Hare on the mostly open field battlefield.

Red Hare Defense

Red Hare Defense

Stopping ‘Red Hare’s since circa 4000 B.C.E

Perception # 8: Voice Actors

 This one is more concerning of DW than RotTK since RotTK dont have voice actors (least not the ones released in America. Most of the American/English versions of the Dynasty Warriors game series are fine. Many of them are real voice actors and can be pointed at from other things:

Beau Billingslea; Voice Actor from Cowboy bebop, several other Animes and Barret Wallace from FF7 Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. He started in Dynasty Warriors as Dian Wei’s and Cao Ren’s Voice Actor and continues today.

Tony Oliver; Voice Actor from numerous Anime shows and even from the Power Rangers kids show (live action), He is Hibiki Tokai the main character of Vandred, as well as the main character Rick Hunter from the critical acclaimed anime; Robotech: The Macross Saga. Tony started off in dynasty warriors in Dynasty Warriors 4 as the voice actor for Ma Chao, he would be replaced in the subsequent games but would return in Dynasty Warriors 6 to become the Voice actor for Xiahou Yuan and Lu Meng and has been since that game.

Carrie Savage; Voice Actress from many, many shows of which many are of recent memory for me (B.T). She is a favorite of mine and I guarantee if you have watched anime in the last 10 years you have heard her voice act.  Carrie was the voice behind Solty Revant, main character of Solty Rei. She has been in many animes such as; Romeo X Juliet, Ikki Tousen, Darker than Black, Negima!?, Claymore, Vampire Knight, Casserin Sins, Sekirei the list just goes on… Carrie got her start in Dynasty Warriors 5 as the voice actress of Diao Chan and Xing Cai; she would later be replaced for Xing Cai but remained Diao Chan’s voice actress and would become Xiao Qiao a year later. She has been Diao’s and Xiao’s voice actress since.

But for all the good Voice Actors there are the hated. Now we’re not going to say they are “bad” voice actors becuase well Dynasty Warriors/Koei does a very good job and gets good Voice Actors/Actresses. So they are talented to be sure but the message their voices project just don’t sit well for us when compared to characters. (B.T.: greatest example from me outside of this game is in the anime Naruto… I dislike the American version of the show as the voice actors just dont give me the emotions like the Japanese voice actors/actresses do.)(Jon: Example from me would be the Japanese voices for Dragonball Z. The American voice acting just ‘feels’ so much better.)

Quinton Flynn; Quinton is the voice actor for Zhong Hui. A prime example of a good voice actor just picked for the wrong role. Zhong Hui’s voice is annoying and I understand that the developers wanted to make a prissy annoying asshole and chose him but the voice for him just irks both B.T. and I. He has done decent work in the past in games such as: World of Warcraft; Crisis Core, Kingdom Hearts 2, Metal Gear Solid 4. So he can be a good voice actor; hell better example he is the voice actor of Guo Jia in this game series; and I love Guo Jia.

For me (B.T.)
Darrel Guilbeau; is a man i embody to hate. I hate him as Jiang Wei’s voice and Jon probably agrees. Now he didn’t start until Dynasty Warriors 7 but these last two games have been horrid. That doesn’t mean Darrel is a bad voice actor though while his catalog is shorter than the other examples on this list just for me his voice pokes at a nerve over and over until I see red. I dread playing as Jiang Wei these days as in years prior I would play as him over and over. Bad voice actors or actresses can ruin great characters…


That’s it for this Game Perceptions and we will continue on to talk about different games both old and new in the coming days!
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Just like a tutorial...

Just like a tutorial…

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