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Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Review

From recent discussions with colleagues, friends, and gaming aficionados, I know many people will inevitably overlook the most recent addition to Omega Force’s Dynasty Warriors franchise. By doing this, they’ll be missing some of the most substantial changes to the series since its 1997 inception.  While some will argue that the game’s fundamental components are still in place- from unswerving fights with myriads of encroaching foes to the title’s dependable setting during the turbulent ‘Three Kingdom’ period of ancient China, they’d be failing to see the new direction Strikeforce takes.

While recent series entries have implemented ways to level grind the game’s cast of characters, none have approached the depth of Strikeforce. From harvesting materials to power up your preferred protagonist, augmenting your weapon, amplifying your Musuo attack, to purchasing crucial provisions, the title often creates a sense of determination not seen outside of loot-based diversions such as Diablo or Borderlands.

Before players embark on one of the game’s 200+ quests, they find themselves in a miniaturized municipality that serves as the title’s hub.  In this settlement, NPCs offer a truly staggering array of options to supplement your stats; players can strengthen their vitality, movement ability, resistance, as well as attack, defense and fury powers. Weapons are broken down into six categories- from swords, bows, to cudgels, each boosted by orbs, materials, and even the player’s own experience with the particular armament. With so many avenues of advancement, Strikeforce’s splendor lay in its complexity; players can spend unhealthy durations assessing the ideal loadout. The city is also the launching point for the game’s most remarkable feature- its cooperative missions.

Like the game’s PSP predecessor, Strikeforce allows roving bands of crowd-control agents to sweep the landscape free of foes. Unlike its portable brethren, this version doesn’t require players to be in the same vicinity, allowing four gamers to dispatch adversaries via Xbox Live or the Playstation Network. While this allows the franchise to transcend its solitary seclusion, its execution isn’t faultless- many of the flaws of the single player game become woefully amplified with each additional participant. Those who prefer to annihilate armies of aggressors in isolation can use up to three A.I. controlled officers to assist in their efforts.

One of the other improvements to Strikeforce may not be immediately noticeable- stages have been converted from large, sprawling areas, to smaller, focused zones. As such, players will not take to trek through large vacant spaces; each region has a microcosm of activity which maintains the title’s sense of momentum. While combat has been improved and augmented with aerial skirmishes, clashes still lack the finesse associated with top-tier action titles. From enemies which attack from just beyond the camera’s perspective to the sporadic barrage of unblockable strikes, Strikeforce’s warfare can be unruly, but rarely does it ever make the title wholly frustrating.

At times, Strikeforce can be an attractive title, with its delicately textured landscapes and well-drawn characters. Unfortunately, both environmental objects and combatants are reused with troubling frequency, diminishing the potency of the title’s graphical impact. Slowdown can be a problem in certain stages (especially when fire is depicted), and this drawback is multiplied with each additional on-line associate.

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce presents players with a welcome amount of alterations to the series. Fans of the franchise will surely be jubilant, as it seems Omega Force has finally implemented the requests that have dogged the game since its jump onto current gen consoles. While Strikeforce isn’t flawless, it’s salvo of compelling mechanics deserves an extended look from action game fans.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

36 comments

  1. I always like the Samurai Warriors setting a bit more, but I might have to get this.

  2. Good review. I’m glad you didn’t bash it.

  3. I never liked the series, but it sounds like I should give it a try.

  4. How many characters are in it? is Ryu in the 360 version?

  5. Good review, I’ll probably rent it.

  6. I still like the DW games. Once this goes to $30, I’ll be getting it.

  7. PS3 Only.

  8. Glad to hear there’s co-op.

  9. I already own the PSP version. Is there really any need for me to get this?

  10. Thanks for the review.

  11. good review. I might have to grab it.

  12. Is this out yet?

  13. Whats the level cap on characters?

  14. I’ve been hearing very mixed things about this one.

  15. You guys talk about how big DE is a lot. How big is he?

    SeanNOLA with the popcorn kernal save. I didn’t even hear him eat during the podcast.

  16. Is there still splitscreen?

  17. I believe Deagle is 6’4″, which is a good 4″ taller than me and roughly 4′ taller than TideGear.

    I tried very hard to eat silently, because I know that irritates people…but I was hungry.

  18. Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce for PSP is a frenetic beat ’em all is once again directing the main hero of the story of the Three Kingdoms. Read more from the whole guide of “Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce Walkhthrough, Tips & Cheats” at:
    http://www.techarena.in/guide/30781-dynasty-warriors-strikeforce-walkhthrough-tips-cheats.htm

  19. Hmm, a B- for the game? Seems like an improved DW game should be getting a D+/C- at most.

  20. Oops reading this when listing to the podcast, so wrong thread.

    You guys need to take a family portrait. Go to Sears and make it real cheesy!

  21. My favorite Network tip was turning the WLAN switch to ‘ON’.

  22. Good review. I bought the game and love it, flaws and all. Thanks for not bashing it like so many other sites.

  23. Good review. You got me interested for it.

  24. Deagle, how many DW games have you played? Great job BTW I have to agree with everything in the review.

  25. Sounds pretty cool. I liked DW5!

  26. I’ll wait until the $20 mark for this one.

  27. No interest in this or Monster Hunter. Sorry dudes!

  28. Whats the price of this one? Since it’s a PSP port it should be cheaper.

  29. I don’t get these games.

  30. I heard the graphics were supposed to be crappy. Unless those pics aren’t from the game, they look good to me.

  31. On my buy list, as soon as I get some money together.

  32. I wonder how long this series can go on? Is it the longest running VG series?

  33. The franchise needs to be retired, and anyone who gives it a B- needs to be too.

  34. Now, that’s being a bit dramatic.

  35. This must have guns, otherwise I don’t know what Desert likes it so much.

  36. I’ll be getting this tomorrow or Sunday.