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School of Game Development

 PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 2
HACK, SLASH, YAWN

very time I review a Dynasty Warriors title, I have to think of new ways to say that it hasn’t changed at all since the last game. If Koei spent as much time dreaming up concepts for this series as I spend thinking up new ways to say "stagnant, familiar gameplay," then this series would be changing significantly with every release.

To be fair, there are a few improvements in Dynasty Warriors 5. As always, some new characters have been added, and each one has a unique story. There are also some tweaks to the weapons, bodyguards, and the like. But most importantly, Dynasty Warriors 5 has a better framerate, vastly-improved draw distance, and can display twice as many characters onscreen as the previous entries, thanks to a new engine. These are certainly nice improvements, but don’t do anything to switch up the stale gameplay, which just flat out refuses to evolve. Sure, you can now hack through larger groups of foes at once, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s exactly the same hacking and slashing as before. The Dynasty Warriors games are brain-dead fun, but each new title is no more or less fun that the one that came before or the 30 that will come after.

  


MATTHEW KATO   6.5

Like the slow insanity of Chinese water torture, this series relentlessly continues with no end in sight. DW 5 adds some weapon-specific attacks, bodyguard tandem combos, and pre-mission inventory options, but it’s just a shuffling of the same deck that’s used for the other DW titles. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you love hitting the square button this much, then you must be crazy.

7
CONCEPT:
I had a dream that Dynasty Warriors 5 was an online-enabled pie-baking simulator. In reality, it’s just the same old thing
GRAPHICS:
The draw distance and fogging are much improved, but everything else is pretty much unchanged
SOUND:
Throw on your favorite CD while you play, because you won’t miss anything
PLAYABILITY:
If you can mash buttons, you can handle this
ENTERTAINMENT:
The pleasure you derive from this title is directly tied to how much you enjoy mindless, repetitive violence
REPLAY:
Moderate
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