|Dev: Omega Force|
|Pub: Tecmo Koei|
|Release: November 15, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Adam Dodd
If you've played anything from the Dynasty Warriors series, then you undoubtedly know what to expect from Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends. Do you get a feeling of satisfaction and/or accomplishment after you hack and slash your way through hundreds of enemies? Do you relish the idea of orphaning potentially hundreds or even thousands of children as you mercilessly slay their fathers on the battlefield? Do you fancy yourself some cheesy dialogue that's decidedly Japanese in flavor? If you answered yes to any of those questions, there's a very good chance you're going to find something in Xtreme Legends to enjoy. If none of that sounds very interesting, this might not be the game for you.
Personally, a few hours after booting it up I was still sort of enjoying squashing my enemies like they were little more than bugs, but it was already starting to get old.
Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy a little plot and character development in my video games. I'm not saying every game needs to be a BioShock or an Uncharted, but it's nice to have something that can carry the overall experience even after the actual gameplay starts to grow dull. After a few hours of Xtreme Legends, the game becomes more of an endurance test than anything else. The sense of power I was first overwhelmed with faded to a dim feeling of overconfidence as I ravaged horde after horde of enemies, pausing every so often to catch my breath and maybe take in some of the poorly written dialogue before jumping back into battle.
Xtreme Legends doesn't have much in the way of interesting characters or an engrossing story, and the dialogue felt like nothing more than a distraction. On top of that was the unintentionally goofy voice work and some iffy sound effects, which are backed by a surprisingly stale soundtrack. Now, since this is a Dynasty Warriors title, I wasn't expecting a strong cast of characters. I wasn't even all that disappointed when I found myself not caring about the name or back story of a single character in the game. However, the sub-par sound work is jarring. I wanted to feel like I was cutting my way through dozens of enemies with my massive double blades; instead, it felt like I was cutting through air while someone made sound effects off-screen while they hastily tried to keep up with the bedlam I was causing.
But the real point of this game is kicking tons of ass alone or with a friend without being bothered by pesky things like realistic characters or plot twists. You don't play a Dynasty Warriors game for those things; you play it to escape to the past where you're a general who has a seemingly insatiable appetite for causing pain. So it's a good thing that Xtreme Legends excels in the combat department.
The campaign is pretty much what you'd expect from a Dynasty Warriors game, and you can import your Dynasty Warriors 7 save file for use in the story to start off with an even stronger character. Add a handful of new weapons and generals and the game starts to get a little more enjoyable. Yet in a game where you're spending pretty much every minute fighting waves of enemies, I was expecting a meatier arsenal of weapons and equipment to choose from. While the equipment selection here isn't anything to scoff at, it's a little disappointing nonetheless. So it's a good thing there's some decent variety in the weapons, including bows, spears, swords, staffs, axes, clubs, and more.
Once you find the weapon that best suits your unique playstyle, you can take the Seals that are dropped by slain enemies to shops to upgrade your equipment and abilities, making you more efficient in combat. They can increase your attack speed or damage, and they'll eventually transform you into a veritable one-man army. Some of these weapons, like the Dragon Spear and the Podao, can only be unlocked by completing certain tasks such as beating a mission on a harder difficulty setting or killing a specific enemy. They aren't incredibly noteworthy, but having these smaller side goals does help to break up the monotony of the overall experience.