You’ve heard of it. You’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve even played, or scoffed at it. I’m referring to the hugely popular, and yet hugely criticized, Dynasty Warrior series. But to those who may not know, Dynasty Warriors is a series developed by Tecmo Koei that depicts famous Chinese Generals in a glorified, modern style brawler. It’s based on a novel called Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but through the lens of a crazy anime. While it does an admirable job depicting these heroes, make no mistake, this is an over-the-top, goofy action game.
The series is up to it’s 8th installation now, which released in Japan last month on February 28. This alone is a great feat considering the series debuted on the original PlayStation on, funnily enough, February 28, 1997. That’s 16 years and counting! Not only that, but the series has seen many spin-offs in including Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, One Piece: Pirate Warriors, and many others. In Japan these games collectively are known as Musou games, which means “the only one”, or “without equal.” Be it historical fiction, or anime inspired, most of these games play the same.
So how do they play? Easy. Choose a map, choose a character, and then kill the crap out of literally thousands of enemies. It’s repetitive sure, but throughout the series there is always a change in strategy, characters, rebalancing, and so forth. It’s marred with issues that, if you played alone, perhaps it wouldn’t be as fun. But add a friend to the mix and these Musou games become even more amazing. Cheesy dialogue and brawl-tastic action is more than enough to fuel you’re gaming needs. The one true shining gem in most of these games is their large roster of characters, skills, and moves that could rival most fighting games and far outclasses other co-op action games.
So what’s wrong with a little mindless, over-the-top action and goofy one-liners every now and again? Sure they’re not all hits, but I definitely recommend the normal, or Xtreme version of Dynasty Warriors 7, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3, and Warriors Orochi 3 to start off with. These are some of the best games in the Musou series, or at least my favorites. So grab a partner, grab a Musou game, maybe a few drinks, and prepare to have a blast.