Tecmo Koei keeps pushing the cart of Dynasty Warriors since 1997 without a stop. This franchise keeps reimaging Chinese history while the publishers take their game so seriously that it even had a crossover with the Gundam franchise. Just imagine giant mecha robots. This time it’s 8 Xtreme Legends is on the horizon.
When Omega Force’s game fell into my hands, I seriously feared that it will not be an exciting experience. Well… my fears became partially true. It did stop being exciting, but later than I thought. After a while it became boring to see how I kill hundreds – and this is no exaggaration, the amount of enemies are literally in the three digits – of bad guys. Rinse and repeat. And again.
Tutorial. I recommend it, because DW8XL (this name could be a decent cigarette brand in my opinion) isn’t as easy as I described it in the previous paragraph. So, the tutorial shows different buttons than what I was expecting. To be exact: instead, I got to see the drawing of the actual movement that I would do, if I pressed that button instead of the actual button on the controller. You can find out which button does what in the options. This is the same in the PC version too. It’s really fun, while the tutorial just doesn’t let you through, while you find the proper key to press.
So about the tutorial: I think this is the worst one I have seen in my twenty years of gaming. Mind you, I easily got the grip of the 2000 Vagrant Story on the PlayStation and the (maybe?) 1998 Z, which was a real-time strategy no less – and this was back when I was a kid… yet I was kinda suffering with this. Wow.
The game requires lots of learning in my opinion. The learning curve is going to be steep, and it might be one reason that could scare a „newcomer” away from DW8. But let’s say you get through the tutorial – you are now one step closer to the experience. The experience, which might be a little too much of a divider because of its classical past remembrance, fueled by being a neoromantic fingerdestroying pleasure at the same time.
Everyone’s here, who counts
The characters are serious. And no, I don’t really say it because of them being built upon Chinese history… and while I’m at it, I cannot forget to mention that this game was also built upon Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong. This historical novel is the essence, but obviously there wouldn’t be more games if they would have all just stuck to it.
Why’re the characters serious? Well, there’s 82 of them. No typo, actual eighty-two. A beat’em up game wouldn’t be real if it wasn’t built the way that the characters would have abnormal attacks. Omega Force has done it! The game updated in several ways, first off there’s a three point system. Basically it’s a rock-paper-scissors style with Heaven, Earth and Man. If you meet an enemy who has a disadvantage element, you can pull off a special attack. And if you’re the one with the disadvantage, you can counter to avoid getting hurt badly.
There’s also rage playing a big role. If you kill enough enemies (don’t worry, there’ll be hundreds of them), you can pull off a much more powerful mode by using its meters. And about the weapons: you can have only two with you on the battlefield, but you can swap between these at any time. One of them will have an EX attack attached to it as well. It might sound extremely difficult to comprehend, but you can get used to it. All it takes is just some practice and learning…
Is it worth buying?
Don’t forget that Xtreme Legends: Complete Edition is just an upgraded version, the original one was released last year for PS3 and X360.
Aside the story mode, the ambition mode is about building a team powerful enough that the emperor’s attention will be caught by us, in free mode pick any character and any chapter, and challenge is kinda obvious what it goes for. (Especially that the PS4 version has a higher level limit, so if you transfer over from PS3, you can keep buffing, if you’re patient enough.) Compared to the PS3 version, the PS4 one improved nicely in terms of graphics, because you can clearly see the difference.
The music is still a weirdly nice mix of traditional and metal – the tutorial music really caught my attention despite being short. (I’d listen to it right now if I wasn’t listening to classical music.) However, I think the voice acting is rather average. The gameplay might end up a little boring despite the story, the cutscenes and the battles. I was already asking myself during last year’s TGS presentation. How many people were killed. Eh. Worth a try for fans, if cheap. Somehow it got stuck in the past, and it’s hard to be learnt. Only in small doses.
+ Music is pretty good
+ Fun to see how many people we kill in short time
+ A pretty decent port from the PS3
– Requires a lot of learning; steep curve inbound
– Boring in the long run
– The voice acting doesn’t get close to the music’s quality
Publisher Koei Tecmo Games
Developer: Omega Force
Genres: 3D, Action, Beat-em up
Publication: 2014 May