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Dynasty Warriors 4
Xbox One
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Dynasty Warriors 4
Published by: Jeff McCloy on 2004-05-22
Page Views: 6167
Rating: 5/10

The three kingdoms of China have decided it is time to unify the country. The Kingdom of Wei, Led by Cao Cao, have let their desire to rule all of China drive them to fulfill the ultimate conquest through glorious battles. The Kingdom of Wu, led by Sun Jian and his sons, will attack from the southeast. The Kingdom of Wu uses veteran skills and experience to become victorious in their crucial battles. The Kingdom of Shu desires the return on the Han Dynasty. From the mountainous regions of the West, the Kingdom of Shu is Liu Bei in their steadfast quest for the return of the Han glory.

Dynasty Warriors 4 holds true to the theme of its predecessor's style and energy, which means you better make sure your thumbs are in good shape. While there are several combos, weapons upgrades and special attacks, the main focus of the game is pressing the X button as quickly as possible while eliminates hundreds and hundreds of enemies. The beauty of the game is that this limited playing style is a whole lot of fun. There are some strategy elements to the game, and you have to take the proper course of action in order to defeat the enemy officers, but along the way you will be strengthening your thumb muscles to unbelievable proportions.

There are 50 stages in Dynasty Warriors 4 that cover 17 unique maps. Each map features its own terrain and there are specific nuances you have to deal with. Overall, the depth of the game is just about perfect. KOIE has also produced a new one-on-one fighting feature. Player can now engage in one-on-one duels with enemy officers. These mini-battles offer a different fighting style than the dash and slash of the overall game, and they are a nice change of pace.

Character specific attacks are incorporated into the game by giving each character a set of special attacks that can be used in combat. You can also increase your ass-whooping ability by gaining weapon experience. Weapon Experience increases your characters weapon level. What the hell does that mean? When you gain an increase in weapon level, it raises your attack level and possible combos. Still wondering what it means? You'll be able to hurt people better. You will be a killing machine, stacking body upon body on the battlefield until you can no longer see the horizon because your view is obstructed by the piles of enemies you have obliterated. Or something like that. Another way to increase your power is to collect orbs. Orbs add special elemental abilities to the characters attacks. If an orb is equipped and the Musou Charge bar is full, a charge attack becomes a special attack, which will inflict more damage and look really cool.

Another added element for Dynasty Warriors 4 is the Siege Engines. The Siege engines include catapults, battering rams, bridge layers and flame throwing tiger tanks. These weapons can be used to overtake an enemy's fortified defense position. Again, these add a nice change up from the dash and slash pace of the rest of the game.

Dynasty Warriors 4 also has a new Edit Mode, which allows a user to create your very own officer. After customizing and creating your officer, you then get to create some bodyguards for him/her. Soon you can have an entourage that rivals that of P Diddy, only P Diddy's guys probably have more weapons than your guys. This is the first time customization has been offered in the Dynasty Warriors franchise.

There are several different modes of play in Dynasty Warriors 4, which add depth and replay value that is sometimes overlooked in the franchise. The different modes are as follows:

Musou Mode - Wei, Wu and Shu each have their own Musou Mode. If you choose to use Kingdom Play, you can select a different general for each Musou Mode stage. Musou Mode also includes a pretty cool two player coop.
Free Mode - Free Mode allows you to jump into the middle of any battle. You choose from 50 different scenarios, pick one of the 17 maps, and jump into the middle of the battle. Versus Mode - Versus mode includes all of the two player battles. You can choose one of four different situations.
— Showdown - One on One combat.
— Encounter - A Seek and Destroy game where you hunt your opponent in the dark.
— Influence -Use your clout and the Imperial Seal to gain allies to help you win the battle.
— Escort - You army must defend a carriage you are escorting while trying to destroy the enemy carriage.
Challenge Mode - The object of Challenge Mode is to complete the various tasks/challenges within the set parameters.
— Endurance - Defeat as many enemy soldiers as you can before being killed
— Time Attack - Defeat 100 enemies as fast as possible
— Bridge Melee - Standing on a bridge, you must knock off as many approaching enemies as possible. The game is over when you are knocked off the bridge.
— Demolition - Destroy as much stuff as possible in a set amount of time.
— Encyclopedia - This is a summary of all of your possessions (weapons, etc.) as well as the story of the Three Kingdoms and the Generals who appear in the game.
— Edit Mode - Here is where you create your own officer. You can select different body types, gender, motion sequences and name.

The graphics in Dynasty Warriors 4 are very nice, but the most impressive aspect of the visuals is the sheer volume of renders happening simultaneously. When you can see literally hundreds of enemies on the screen at the same time, each wielding a weapon of some sort, you can't help but be impresses. There is the occasional slow down due to the machine being overwhelmed with instructions, but these are few and far between. Overall, Dynasty Warriors 4 is probably the best in the business at creating epic battle scenes while keeping complete and total user interaction in the scene.

The one Xbox enhancement for Dynasty Warriors 4 is the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. This game begs to be played with the surround sound cranked up. Hearing the battle raging on around you adds an element of realism to the game that you won't find on any other system.

The repetitive nature of the game just seems to work in Dynasty Warriors 4. It is so fun and intense that you don't really notice and/or care that all you have been doing for the past 10 minutes is pressing the X button. There is enough depth in the game to keep you playing for quite a while. The inclusion of the one on one battles, and the player editor add to the overall experience in a positive way. The energy of the game is excellent, and the fun-factor is high.

Dynasty Warriors 4 is a classic arcade style game that is a pleasure to play sitting at home. The action is intense and happens at a furious pace, allowing you to immediately feel that you are part of the game. There is not much time to wonder aimlessly around the maps. If you find yourself trotting off on your trusty steed to see what is happening over by the bridge, chances are your troops will get obliterated before you get back. The Morale factor is still present in the game, and you must fight hard to get your troops to fight hard.


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Dynasty Warriors 4
published by Jeff McCloy on 2004-05-22
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