A spin-off of the Romance of the Kings franchise, Dynasty Warriors was originally a PSOne title that involved Samurai Showdown-like fighting. It was a 3D fighter on a 2D plane, but the game didn't come out so hot. Its flaws overweighed the pros, and in the end the result was an 'okay-to-average' fighter. But with the release of Dynasty Warriors 2 things changed, and so did the game's gameplay. Now instead of being a fighting game, DW2 was almost like an action beat 'em up title, that didn't really require much skill, a little button mashing would do just fine. But aside from that, the game was quite addictive and offered fun, -well for as long as the game lasted. This time Koei did better, but another one of its titles (Kessen) overshadowed DW2, both here and in Japan. So it seemed that Koei struck out, but have not given up. Planning to release Kessen 2 by the end of the year, Koei is also at work on Dynasty Warriors 3. Keep reading for the full preview.
Visually Dynasty Warriors 2 was beautiful, but it sure as heck did feature some pretty eye-candy. The character models were pretty detailed, but didn't compare much to the ones we saw in Tekken Tag, SSX and Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore. In the third title it seems like not much has changed. While some obvious character detail refinement has been made, the characters in Dynasty Warriors 3 look rough, and hold nothing of their own compared to games like The Bouncer, Onimusha and Dark Cloud. I'm disappointed to see such minimal visual change between the sequel and the third, but hopefully there 7 current gameplay screenshots will not indicate the final visual result of the game. As for the game's atmosphere and environmental detail, I must admit that it is a pro for the game. The trees and other surroundings look pretty good, but a noticeable fog effect is incredibly close to the action, and this just shows to me that draw-in distance hasn't been worked much on, tsk, tsk, tsk.
Since my hands haven't been on this game just yet, I can't really say if any significant changes were made in the formula. If not then I'd suggest staying away Dynasty Warriors 3 because it would be considered an outdated product. Although judging by these screenshots (and info provided by Koei) you can now ride an elephant and whoop some ass on it as well. The combo feature will return, albeit it'll see an extension as a larger string can now be pulled off. Aside from gameplay improvements, an all new two-player mode has been added for longer replay value. Now remember DW3's focus is based on taking your army and leading it to the victor's spot. There are dozens and dozens of enemies for you to defeat, and hopefully your conquest for victory takes a healthy dose of gameplay hours. Hopefully Koei pulls it together and brings through an incredible, amusing, and hopefully not too repetitive action title.