As I’ve said [time and time again, ad nauseum], Koei is the reason I got into this job in the first place. My first Three Kingdoms game was RTKIV on the SNES. But when I first heard about the Dynasty Warriors franchise, I thought it was going to be a horrible idea. Why did I think that!? I have no honest idea. So I didn’t play any of them at first. The first one isn’t even a real Dynasty Warriors game though! It was a crap fighting game jacked from the Dynasty Warriors 2 dueling system, I believe. So the upcoming game in Japan is “Shin Sangoku Musou 8” and ours is Dynasty Warriors 9. So, my first Dynasty Warriors game was actually Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, over at a friends place. I had a PS2, but I didn’t have the game yet. For whatever reason, I did not buy in until 4:XL but it was something about it that hooked me. It was a historical fiction story, where you fought hundreds, thousands of soldiers. It took a few more titles to really build up those troop numbers, due to technical limitations of the machines it was played on but it was still phenomenal. It’s come quite a long way though. The first games were very boxed in; there were huge maps, but there wasn’t a lot of variety or change in setting. They all kind of felt the same, no matter what faction you were working with.
As the franchise developed, they even started pronouncing characters’ names correctly! That’s the big one that turned me off at first. I’m not the best at Chinese pronunciation, but these were professionals! They could have at least done some research, and figured out how to say names! They didn’t have Chinese dialogue for quite a while either. It was kind of jarring to watch epic Chinese battles with… Japanese voices. Something’s wrong with that. So there was some growth that needed to happen. But something was missing… And so time passed. Dynasty Warriors grew, added more battles, factions like the Jin Faction, more historic battles were added. One of the big drawbacks for people is “It always feels the same”, and always focuses on Hulao Guan, Chi Bi, Wuzhang Plains. These humongous, important battles, where admittedly the political landscape of the Late Han was forever altered! Sure, these are important battles, but you know what? There are more than three great battles in the Three Kingdoms Era. So, as the games grew, the cast grew, more of these battles became possible. With technology, this style of game became better and better.
And now, we’re at Dynasty Warriors 9 [Shin Sangoku Musou 8]. The more I’ve seen about this, the more I’ve fallen in love all over again. Dynasty Warriors 9’s huge draw isn’t Cheng Pu, though I’m glad he’s there. It’s that it’s going to be open world. Yes! An open world Dynasty Warriors title, where it will be approached with a more historic lean. From what I understand, the goal is to show the world like we’ve never seen it. An open map of China, with day/night/weather, where all of those things shall matter. This will be the most immersive, the most in-depth Three Kingdoms game we’ve probably ever seen. It won’t be 100% historic though, because we’ll still be playing as one character, smashing thousands of regular troops into ground beef! It’s still going to be the Musou style that you’ve grown to love, but presented in a way we have yet to experience. I cannot possibly tell you how excited I am for this. After all, the closest we’ve come was… Dynasty Warriors Online. We don’t talk about that around here. I feel like this is going to take the fullest advantage of modern technology, and not be held back by the games that also get ported to PS3. I love the PS3 and all, but when a game goes to both PS3 and PS4, I know it’s going to be a bit of a letdown visually and mechanically. I don’t know much about DW9 just yet, but I am excited. I can’t help but wonder if you’ll be able to change characters and experience the story from different perspectives, and how frequently you will be able to do this. Will I need a different file for each faction? We’ll just have to see! I’d love to see some manner of Online PVP though, where we can come across other players who serve other factions and do battle with them. That would be incredible! As more becomes available, rest assured I will have it here! But kudos to them for trying something new and interesting! Something to challenge the way we look at the franchise! And 83 characters will be playable, with possibly [hopefully] more after that.
I’m incredibly excited. How do you guys feel about the series, from then til now?