Dynasty Warriors 2
Review of Dynasty Warriors 2
Dynasty Warriors 2 lets the player fight as one of nine characters drawn from ancient Chinese history. Each warrior has individual stats for life, attack and defense, each of which can be built up as you progress through the game. Control is fairly simple with a regular attack button, charge attack and a special Mosou Attack which can only be used when the meter below your life bar is full. Too much use of this attack will affect your final score, so its best to use it only when absolutely necessary. There is also a crossbow to use aimed through a first person perspective for distant targets, such as archers in the guard towers. Your arrows are limited, but more can be picked up as battle progresses.
Level information is plentiful before each battle starts, thanks to a large overhead map showing starting positions for both allied and enemy troops. Using the options on the right of this page, one can get background information on the battle, as well as the stats for all regiments on both sides. This will help make plotting a strategy a bit easier.
There is an overhead map in the upper right side of the screen. Using this helps to pinpoint where enemy positions are weakest in the midst of battle or where your allies are getting overwhelmed. This map is easily switched between complete level map and a zoomed-in map by using the R2 button. Also in the right hand corner is a morale bar-if this gets too heavily in favor of the enemies, the battle will be much harder to win. To aid in battle, items can be picked up to boost the life bar, as well as attack, defense and the Musou guage. These are gained through defeating some opponents, as well as hidden in crates and vases throughout the level. There is also the occasional save game icon to keep from losing your progress. Saves can also be made between levels.
One thing to be careful of is the fact that when attacking the character moves forward. The enemies troops have no qualms about attacking from behind…there are frequently (most!) times you face multiple enemies at once as well. Also at times the enemy generals would use an item to replenish their health, making it harder to defeat them. I did find it easy sometimes to get facing the wrong direction, but a quick press back on the stick solved that before taking too much battle damage. Finally, with the number of characters on screen it’s sometimes hard to see the enemies in the crowd when surrounded by allies (who seem to progress forward only after you have done the majority of the work). To make things easier, a quick press of the L1 button makes a small life bar appear over enemy troops for easy spotting.
The music in this game is mostly fast-paced electric guitar playing, which despite the time setting of the game, feels right and helps to accentuate the sometimes frenzied onscreen action. Game sounds seem authentic as well with the cries of the armies charging into battle and the clang of the weapons when blocked.
There is some voice acting in the CG cut scenes, and for the most part, are well done. On occasion it looked like the lip-synching of the speaking character was off a touch, similar to a dubbed martial arts movie. This is a minor quibble on my part, but doesnt affect the game in any way.
The graphics in this game show off some of the PS2s power with the detail of the costumes and the sheer number of characters onscreen at once. As mentioned up above, some scenes have over 30 combatants onscreen at once with no sign of slowdown. The textures of the scenery look quite good as well, with a fair bit of detail to the various buildings. The only bad thing that can be said is the extensive use of fogging to limit the view ahead. Still, there seems to be no popup…everything draws in smoothly when advancing further into the battle.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Dynasty Warriors 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Lyndon Macleod © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 Dynasty Warriors 2 in-game screenshot slideshow
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