10 years ago
"Dynasty Warriors: ago, replaced them with clones of other characters. Bad KOEI, bad! No clones! But, they fixed that mistake with Dynasty does them all well.
Take the tried and true Dynasty Warriors formula and crank it up to 11.
The game-play in Strikeforce is similar enough for old fans to recognize, but different enough to attract new fans, or win over harsh critics. It's your basic DW formula of "Go here, beat these guys up, then go beat up that main guy over there". But what sets Strikeforce apart from the others is the addition of "Fury Mode" which is basically a Super Saiyan style transformation for your character. Fill up your Musou bar and press the B button and all of a sudden you go from slow combat to dashing all of the place. Yes you read that right. DASHING. Another new feature in Strikeforce is the ability to dash with the push of the Right Bumper. You can even dash multiple times with the right Chi Skill equipped. Not only can you dash, but you can jump multiple times too, again, provided you have the right Chi Skill equipped. But it should be mentioned that even without those Chi Skills, in Fury Mode you will have one extra dash and jump added to whatever you current total is at. So if you do happen to have those Chi Skills, you'll be moving all over the place.
Aside from Fury Mode, dashing and the extra jumping you can do, there are no longer weapon restrictions like in other DW games. What I mean is, Zhao Yun doesn't have to use his spear if you don't want him to. If you wanted, you could have him use Zhang He's claws, which are back, or Sun Shang Xiang's bow. Any character can use ANY weapon provided you've made it and have a high enough weapon skill for that weapon type (Sword, Spear, Staff, Pike, Bow and Tech).
To go back to something mentioned earlier, another addition to Strikeforce that sets it apart is the addition of "Chi Skills". These can be equipped on either you right or left leg, or right or left arm, so you have a total of four slots available for Chi Skills. Certain Skills can only be equipped to certain slots, such as the Skill that increases your jump total going to only your right or left leg, but that's the only restriction you have when it comes to Chi. Any Skill can be equipped, provided you've made it and have a high enough level.
Another feature is the addition of Orbs. These are basically items you add to your weapon to give it extra stats like Fire Damage or Increased Range. They don't stack though. The game only counts the highest stat for a weapon. So if you have Fire Damage 14 on your weapon by default, adding a Fire Damage 10 Orb won't make it 24. You'll just be wasting a slot if you do that.
Orbs, Chi Skills and Weapons have to be made, not found like in older games. Making these is simple, though tedious at times. Look up what you want to make, go find the materials necessary and then make what you want. To get the higher quality weapons, Orbs and Chi Skills, you'll have to level up that respective shop. To level up a shop, add Officer Cards to your city for whichever shop you want to make better, then do a mission. Once that mission ends, you'll get experience for the shop, or shops, that had Officer Cards related to them.
Officer Cards are simply that. Cards given to you by Officers that appear in your city. AT RANDOM. And even if you have that particular Officer's Card, he can, and most likely will, show up again sometime in the future. Each Officer Card comes with it's own Element, Shop and Shop Experience amount. Using Officer Cards in a mission allows you to create Tactics. Tactics add special bonuses like "Weaken Enemy Attack" or "Casts 'Engulf' (fire damage)" to that area and last for a certain amount of time.
Stages have been...changed, would be a nice way of saying it. What I mean is, it's no longer the large battlefield with both sides charging at each other. It's now you, and only you, against the enemy, should you choose to go it alone. More on that later. Stages are broken up into Areas, with as little as 1 per Stage to as many as 10 or more. Though this doesn't take away from the overall game-play, it can be seen as a step back for the series. Especially since more often than not, the majority of Areas in any given Stage are pointless to the overall objective of that Stage.
What I meant by the "should you choose to go it alone" remark is the addition of AI controlled teammates in the form of other Officers you unlock through each Force's Story Mode. OR, and this is something many fans have been crying for, ON-LINE CO-OP. Yes, KOEI has finally added in on-line co-op to a series that could only benefit from it. Now you and THREE other people can go into battle together. And KOEI thought this one through. The more people you have with you, AI controlled or not, the harder the game gets.
Now enough about the new features. On to the combat. The main part of every DW game. Combat is the same as it's always been. Walk up to enemy, mash X and sometimes Y, walk to next enemy, repeat. Only the addition of Chi Skills, Orbs, Fury Mode and being able to use any weapon you want change things up nicely. For a while I had my Zhao Yun using Cao Pi's sword. So now if you want, you can use a character ONLY because you like him or her or their design (some people think looks are important) and give them whatever weapon you want them to use. With the addition of dashing, you have new attacks available to you as well. And each weapon has special attacks unique to that weapon type. And the more you level up a weapon type, the more attacks you can do and the more weapons available to make for that type.
Overall, there's enough of the same game-play to satisfy old gamers, and enough new content to attract new ones. 10/10
Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. While there's plenty of new content in the game as far as game-play is concerned, the story is, as always, lacking. You can only watch your favorite Force rise to power in Ancient China so many times before you know it like the back of your hand. A plus for Strikeforce's Story though is in the Crossover and Gaiden Stages. For Crossover, you get to interact with characters from Warriors Orochi, another Warriors series from KOEI for the 360 version and you even get the weapons of three of the characters. Gaiden Stages are basically extra stages, with different Forces involved, with some unique ones thrown in like a battle against all the couples in the series (Cao Pi and Zhen Ji plus Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao for example). These stages, while not needed to complete the main story for each Force, offer plenty to do after, and during, your quest to bring your Force to power. But, even then, both Crossover and Gaiden Stages soon become another quick way to get materials and experience.
While it's nice to see the Three Kingdoms
yes: I recommend this product