Nowadays if it’s a gaming system, Dynasty Warriors is sure to appear. Making its roots on the PlayStation 2, the Dynasty Warriors series redefined the hack and slash genre as players engage in a battle against huge armies of enemies. Perhaps criticized for being a mindless button masher, many such as myself has found enjoyment in these games. With the PlayStation Vita, we have ourselves a new entry into the series with Dynasty Warriors NEXT. While this is Dynasty Warriors in its core, the required need to force players into boring mini-games using the Vita’s functions just ruins the experience.
Much like any Dynasty Warriors game, you’re essentially a one man army. As always, the setting takes place during the Three Kingdoms period. If you have kept up with the series, you will notice that each iteration features new details that simply weren’t touched on before. Dynasty Warriors NEXT attempts to bring all the stories into one campaign and not separating them like in previous titles and sometimes forces players to play a specific character. While it helps with sake of story presentation and removing the redundant stages, this sucks for those who enjoy specific characters introduced later in the era.Those who have enjoyed Dynasty Warriors before will have characters that they would to play right from the get go and I’m sure there are many disappointed Zhou Tai fans. I feel you all, brothers.
Dynasty Warriors NEXT borrows from the Empires sub-series in that your goal is to take over bases during battles and territories around China. There are Stratagems and bonuses from bases that you can use to change the tides of battle. On top of enhancements given from equipment, the bonuses can easily stack up and turn you into a god in the battlefield. You won’t find yourself managing the people and taxing everyone but at least there will be no delays going into the meat of the game.
For those coming in from Dynasty Warriors 5, you’ll feel right home as most of the major changes introduced later in the series has not been implemented into NEXT. Those coming in from the most recent entry with Dynasty Warriors 7 might feel a bit put off by this. Every character only has one weapon and there are no air Musous or EX attacks. A level of combat finesse exchanged for character uniqueness. I feel that the trade-off diminishes the overall fun.
As a launch title to the Vita, expect a huge flood of off-putting moments which uses motion and touch controls. You still have access to your standard Musou attack but now you can do a “Speed Musou” which uses the Vita’s functions. I enjoy this because these are fun to do and are extremely overpowered that it makes the normal Musou completely obsolete. The amazing feeling of mass murdering so many virtual lives is simply fantastic and this interaction enhances this. However, there are moments where you encounter mini-games that ruins the pacing. They are dry mini-games where you must flick or poke at enemies that are trying to slowly ambush you. There’s one that requires you to race down a path with a horse while using the gyros to steer and to hopelessly try to get around enemies. There are these duel moments that try to mimic Infinity Blade on the iOS and are just slow and boring to play. These moments are too frequent and they simply don’t belong in a game like Dynasty Warriors where the focus is to put the player into constant action.
It’s still a Dynasty Warriors game that you can sit down and enjoy even while on the go. Dynasty Warriors NEXT suffers from these mini-games that should not even exist. You won’t have your breath taken away with the graphics or be amazed by any of the Vita innovations. Dynasty Warriors NEXT is still a button mashing game as well and can easily turn off people who are looking for something more. However, if the sound of being a one man army slaying thousands appeals to you then you’re either already a Dynasty Warriors fan or one in the making.