Game Reviews for PC, PS2, X-Box, Playstation, CCGs, Pen and Paper Role Playing and Table Top Games, plus Movies, DVDs, and Anime!

     " I still contend that no game makes you feel more like a stone bad ass than this. "

      Title: Dynasty Warriors 3 by Koei

      Format: Beat 'em up for the PS2

      Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A

      The Hype: Sequel to the popular Dynasty Warriors 2, this console fighter promises more all around. With new multiplayer options and "even more bone-crunching moves". Choose your warrior and fight against the oncoming hordes of enemy soldiers. Laugh as they die at your blade…

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: The graphics for this game are quite nice and the 3D models work well. It's not much better than its predecessor is, but the graphics are still good enough to have some fun with. The fog of war is a little close in for my tastes, severely limiting the distance you can see. It gets even worse in multiplayer, but more on that later. The environments are nicely done, with trees, hills, and other terrain looking fine. There are a few clipping errors here and there, but nothing to get frazzled over. 3.75 out of 5

      Sound: Yet again we are treated to the beautiful dichotomy that is second century Chinese warfare and screaming electric guitars. The music fits an action game of this caliber; it just doesn't exactly fit the theme, if you get my meaning. The music is beautiful cheese just for the occasion. Don't get me wrong I loved the music…but I also like Spaceballs, so you know where I'm coming from. The real downer for the Sound category comes from the voice work. I think I would rather dip my testicles in meat juice and play "Bait the shark" than have to listen to half the characters in this game say "I beat an officer!" What's worse- they give you the option of Japanese dialog, and that's annoying too! Argh! Otherwise, everything else is fine, swords and axes crash and clash in good sounds. The roar of the crowd, the screams of the dying and wounded, all is well. Just please make them stop talking. 2.5 out of 5

      Game Play: You know all those things in Dynasty Warriors 2 that you thought were missing? Yup, here they are. At its core, this game is more of a Dynasty Warriors expansion pack than a new game, but it definitely delivers. The core game play is all still there, you select a warrior and proceed through historically inspired battles, one man or woman, against an army. As you hack your way through the oncoming hordes, you pick up bonuses to improve your character, for better ass kicking later on. Now however, characters are more versatile. They've included the option to which weapon and items you bring with you to the battlefield. The weapons are progressively better, allowing for better combos and more damage. There are four per character, with the fourth weapon hidden. Items do a variety of things, from increasing the strength of your bodyguards to increasing your own attack or defense power. Speaking of bodyguards, you may now change your guards to fit your needs. Need some cover fire while you wade deep? Give your guards bows and watch them pick enemies off from a distance. Need support while you take on bosses? Give your guards swords or pikes to get up close and personal. They've even added a new mount, the Elephant. Of course, it's only in one level, but it is fun to ride about on. The controls are all just as they were before, making it really simple to jump in and play. The game should feel really familiar to anyone who played the last one, and newbies shouldn't take too long to adapt. There is still an issue with camera control, as you'll often lose an opponent when the camera turns the wrong way. They've added a useful bit, though, which keeps the enemies' names on the screen at all times, making it easier to relocate them once they've gone off your screen. All in all, this game is a hoot. I still contend that no game makes you feel more like a stone bad ass than this. 4 out of 5

      Level and Environment Designs: The levels are all well designed. The flow is great and there are none so complex as to get lost in (with the exception of the game's one maze, which is still fairly navigable). The environments do a really great job of capturing the feel of the time. The battles that comprise the levels are all historically inspired, and are actually quite accurate (at least from what research this monkey has been able to put in). It's a fun filled romp through ancient China, and it looks pretty good for the trip. 4 out of 5

      Multiplayer: Finally, the one thing that DW2 was missing, multiplayer. Now two people can go head to head, or fight for a common goal. Two players can play through free or campaign mode on any battle, sharing the same goals for winning the mission. Or they can choose one of the versus maps. Each of the versus maps has its own goals, in addition to simply killing the other character. Those goals vary from killing more units, enemy units, to defeating their allies in a wave. This gives a variety to multiplayer that outlasts simple death matching. Especially since certain characters would have little trouble wailing on others in a proper death match. My main beef with multiplayer is the camera angle. The screen is split into two halves laterally. With the camera angle, you can barely see 20 feet in front of you. Of course, with the fog of war out about 15 feet, it's just that much more aggravating. If they had simply angled the camera up by about 20 or 30 degrees, it probably would have been fine. As it is, you find yourself almost frustratingly annoyed by the lack of vision in front of your character. Otherwise the multiplayer is great. It can actually be an incredibly useful tool in getting certain items, as you have one powerful character do the dirty work and one weaker get the actual item. A generally good job done. 4 out of 5

      Replayability: Well the game has around 40 characters, and you start off with only 12 or so. Add in about 25 items, and a unique fourth weapon for each character, and you end up with a lot of stuff to unlock. The game is more than enough fun to keep you going back in to build up your character and get cool stuff. Some of the unlockable characters are truly awesome. There are three basic sides and playing through story mode with each of them allows you to get cinematics for each of them (although with the bad voice acting in them, I don't know if you'd want to). After a few plays you can even edit the opening movie to feature the characters you like. There's plenty here to keep you coming back. 5 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: Returning to the historical roots that gave its predecessor such fame, we once more see the rich tapestry of the War of Three Kingdoms played out. And once more, it's almost entirely extraneous. If you pay attention, you may learn a thing or two, but all you really have to know is that the guys with names in red need to die. Kill 'em up good and move on. 3 out of 5

      Instructions and Learning Curve: If you played the last game then you're set. There are no changes in controls, and the extra combos are basically a few extra button presses away. If you haven't played 2, this game is still easily learned. All of the attacks are accessed through a few simple buttons. The instructions do a great job of explaining what everything does. Learning which combos are best used with which character is half the fun. 5 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: The load times are quick and painless, but beware of large armies. There is some major slowdown whenever the enemies get too numerous. Also enemies around you tend to disappear if the game can't handle that many at once. That wouldn't be that bad if they didn't reappear after you'd knocked away their companions. Not to mention you can sometimes lose a general in the disappearance. This gets even worse in multiplayer, where you'll frequently see enemies pop out of no where right next to you, only to disappear if you turn a certain angle. Perhaps the game is not best optimized for the PS2. 1 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       This is a damn fun game. It takes the great base of Dynasty Warriors 2 and goes beyond it. Dungapult will likely poo-poo me for being so easy on a game that basically reissues that same game with enhancements at the same price, but I feel there's enough new material in here to make it worthwhile. With new levels, new characters, new weapons, and new features, it's worth the purchase.

      The Good: Badass killing machines take on wave after wave of worthless chafe! Everything that was missing from DW2

      The Bad: Major slowdown at times, some fog of war and multiplayer clipping issues.

      The Overall Ugly: Keep your axe at your side and get ready to rumble.

      What it's Worth: Probably less than what they're selling it for.

Buy it direct from

Copyright © Game Monkey Press, Game Monkeys Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Game Monkeys(tm) 1999 Game Monkey Press