GOTD – Dynasty Warriors 3

Dynasty Warriors 3 – Action/RPG(?) – PS2

So it’s cop-out time. I can’t get any screenshots of these on my own, so you’re going to have to search elsewhere to find ’em.
I have to confess. This game is the reason I got a PS2.

There weren’t any early PS2 games I particularly wanted, and after not especially liking FFVIII and IX, I didn’t particularly want to try X. At this point, I didn’t have any idea the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series was still going on (a nice surprise a few months later), but I had seen this game for rent in a few places.
Anyway, one of my friends had a PS2, and he brought it over to my place for a few days – and I rented this game. I was thrown aback – the game was polished, mostly smooth, and had some RPG and strategic elements. Co-op is quite possibly the best feature they could’ve come up with, and runs very well. There’s nothing quite like saying “I’ll take the left half, you take the right half – if one of us is in danger, fall back and the other will try and get them out of there.”
Basically, the plot is Three Kingdoms. You pick a character and play through their story mode – 5 “battles”, ranging in length and scope. If you win some characters’ story mode, you unlock more characters. If I remember right, there are more than 30 characters, most of which are unique.
The actual gameplay is the best part. It plays sort of like a brawler (River City Ransom etc) in 3-d, where you have allied soldiers and generals on your side. You are one general in a war, and you’re expected to turn the tide in your side’s favor and eventually win out. You have to make sure your commander doesn’t die, but beyond that you can go about it in any way you want – you can fight alongside your foot soldiers on the front lines, or you can plunge into the enemy ranks on your own, hoping to take the head of an enemy general.
Maps are generally pretty large – the time limit on most maps is more than an hour. The maps taking place later in the story are by far the largest.
This game has many sequels, and although DW5 is quite good, it is still missing some of the almost cartoony action style of this game (and doesn’t have the original Japanese VA’s, either).
Incidentally, this is also the game that got me to actually go out and get a copy of the book, because it was possible to have more plot in this game than in Koei’s usual strategy fare.

Leave a Comment