Who would have guessed? What could Koei be coming out with next? You probably guessed right, it’s the latest installment in the Dynasty Warriors series. Now sure I was poking a bit of fun at the series, but in all honesty there is a reason the series has been around for so long, and that is there is definitely a big market for action hack and slash style games set in the ancient China. So today we are checking out the second Dynasty Warriors game to come out to Sony’s Playstation Portable, trying to take another slice out of the market. So how does Koei do with its second try? Read our full review to find out!
For those who haven’t been around the video game industry for all that long, you may not know this but the Dynasty Warriors series has been one of the most frequent fixture on the consoles and handhelds. Koei Games has managed to continuously ship out new games for the series, adding new characters, maps, and modes. The series prides itself on simple yet addicting hack and slash gameplay that doesn’t require an extreme amount of skill, but rather just an extreme amount of button mashing. For whatever you think of the series, Koei has made a profitable series that they hope to continue with Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 for the PSP.
Similar to what we saw in the last Dynasty Warriors game, the developers were forced to separate the portions of the map to smaller areas in order to fully keep the game running smoothly. So you will find a grid like style to the maps, which is basically accommodating this game to the PSP. This right away does take something significantly away from the console version, which is noted for being able to run around huge environments laying waste on your enemies as you go.
The combat, which of course is a huge part of any Dynasty Warriors game, actually feels a lot better in Vol. 2 than it had in the first PSP game. The action seems to flow a bit better than before and still relies heavily on just mere button mashing. Not many changes have been made to the combat system, other than a huge lineup of characters to take into battle with you. The gameplay is pretty standard Dynasty Warriors style game that doesn’t stray too far away from anything we have already seen.
One of the big selling points to Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 is the multiplayer, which hasn’t been for previous Koei Games on the PSP. The multiplayer can be found on this version of the game, which is a good thing, however it still isn’t as deep as some fans of the series would probably want. There are a few different games in which you get to participate are simple and really pretty uneventful. I would love to see more to the multiplayer, but maybe we will find that in the next game in the series.
In the end, Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 plays like you would expect the next Dynast Warriors game for the PSP to play. As much as this game is a lot of the same, it does improve upon a lot of areas that do help Vol. 2 move in the right direction. This game isn’t a huge step forward, but it definitely has more content, deeper gameplay, and just a clearer purpose then we saw in last year’s game. It’s just too bad that didn’t amount to anything more.
Visually you can see that the developers are still working on bringing a clean looking game to the PSP, as this game still struggles with a lot of the same problems as the original. One of the major issues is the frame rate, which has trouble keeping up with the action in the game. This definitely detracts from the gameplay, and something many PSP games have had problems with. Another problem is that the Dynasty Warriors franchise has been known for massive battles, which not only are scaled back for the PSP but just don’t look near as impressive as they have in the console games.
This is still your Dynasty Warriors experience that you have seen several times in years past. And yet it still has that enjoyable hack and slash nature that any action fan whether you like mindless action or not still can appreciate. The developers have taken several strides to make this a great portable experience, but to me when I am playing this game I just feel like it is one that hasn’t found a good way to make it feel portable. I felt throughout playing this game that it has a lot of great elements, a lot of which didn’t translate well to the PSP.
Once again although there have been some great improvements to this game, it is unfortunate to once again get an experience that still needs work to make it to be a worthwhile purchase. Although fans of the series have probably already gone out and purchased the game, for those who haven’t always loved the series, Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 isn’t going to help change your mind.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.