We look at the full Japanese version of this upcoming action game.
Dynasty Warriors 2 was released for the Sony PlayStation 2, and it chronicled the Wu, Wei and Shu kingdoms' epic battles in true 3D beat 'em up fashion. Dynasty Warriors 3 takes this same formula, and makes a number of slight tweaks and changes to offer a more complete product to fans of the genre. Each of the many skirmishes in Dynasty Warriors 3 pits your warrior against hundreds of foes, across a huge battlefield where allies and enemies are struggling to control chokepoints, supply lines, fortifications, and other key locations.
Dynasty Warriors 3's character models are one of its most distinctive features. Each warrior is drawn with a very stylistic flair, and they all wield a diverse array of powerful and unique weapons. Proceeding through a mission to get the maximum possible reward is more complicated than merely killing as many soldiers as possible. Your warrior may need to reach a certain skirmish within a brief time limit, defeat the enemies there, and then race on horseback to the next conflict. Opening barrels and crates along the way to gather power-ups may seem like an afterthought, but is necessary for finding the most possible hidden secrets. Proceeding through the waypoints as intended would treat you to attractive cinematic sequences that drive a story that closely follows the Romance of the Three Kingdoms saga.
The number of playable characters, once all is said and done, is most impressive. Forty-one heroes and villains of Romance of the Three Kingdoms fame are available, each with a distinct fighting style, alternate costumes, and four different weapons. Some of the more notable characters include great leaders like Liu Bei and Cao Cao, the Five Tiger Generals, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong and Ma Chao, the powerful Lu Bu, Pang Tong, known as the Fledgling Phoenix, and Meng Huo, of the Southern Barbarian tribes, powerfully armed with a pair of bestial head armaments. Unlocking all the characters, maxing out their stats, finding all of their fourth weapons, and earning all of the stages is a sizable task for anyone, and Dynasty Warriors 3 offers a prospective player hundreds of hours of entertainment.
One of the most significant changes to Dynasty Warriors 3 is the new attack and combo systems. The square and triangle buttons perform regular and strong attacks, respectively, and can be entered in different combinations for varied effects. For example, a normal-normal-strong attack may make one character spin his blade in a wide circle on the final attack, while a normal-strong-normal-strong combination may launch enemies into the air, where you can pound on them with successive normal attacks. The number of combinations available to each character is satisfyingly extensive, and allows for a number of strategies for instances where you may be battling large crowds, or especially strong "boss" characters. The musou, or special attack, has returned as well, in a number of varieties. Warriors charge their meters by taking or meting out damage, and can unleash their stored energy in a wide-range attack that deals considerable damage to all nearby enemies. When low on vitality, the musou attack may also do elemental damage, most often flaming fiercely, and accompanied by a stop-motion, camera panning Matrix effect.
- Release Date: Mar 22, 2002 (EU)
- Release Date: Sep 26, 2002 (JP)