Reviews

Warriors Orochi 2

A relic of a bygone age, and we're not just talking about the characters...

Warriors Orochi 2 is like a temptingly tasty ice cream that you really want to eat. Unfortunately, when you reach out to grab it, you discover that your hand only moves at three frames a second. And before you even get close, someone else has snatched away all the frosty goodness.

The franchise's satisfying combos and charismatic heroes are usually enough to slice through its technical limitations. Unfortunately, the slowdown in this sequel is absolutely unforgivable. We've played the PS2 version and it doesn't stutter anywhere near as much. It's painfully obvious that this HD port has had very little optimisation.

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We're starting to wonder if even creator Omega Force is growing bored of these games. Why else would it include a two-player horse racing mode? This should be just bizarre enough to be fun; but there's nothing quirky or amusing about scenery that pops into view just three feet ahead.

Hopefully this will be the swansong for this particular game engine. It certainly could be considered a 'greatest hits'. All 92 playable characters from the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series appear, as do over 60 remixed missions. The most notable of the new new characters is Sun Wukong, better known as 'Monkey' from the story Journey to the West. Zipping around on his magical cloud is heaps of fun.

It's also satisfying to be play as the serpent king Orochi, who is now playable right from the start. Despite having the most laughable voice acting in the game - which is really saying something, believe us - he's an insanely powerful character who can soak up whatever punishment the game throws your way.

With so many characters, it's understandable that there's a disparity in their attack power. This actually adds replay value to story mode, encouraging you to experiment with a variety of three man teams. It does cause problems in the two-player versus modes, where there's little incentive to choose anyone outside the top tier. There's not enough balance.

Versus mode is set up like a traditional one on one fighting game, which is how the series first began. It plays like a simplified version of Soul Calibur and is reasonably fun, just as long as both players agree not to pick Orochi.

Warriors Orochi 2 isn't short on content, but it's unlikely that many will want to persevere past the staggeringly poor frame rate and distinctly old-gen graphical flaws.

The verdict

A dismal port of a game that should have been worth getting

  • A huge selection of characters and missions
  • Monkey magic
  • Plenty of replay value
  • Terrible frame rate
  • Poorly executed two-player modes
5
Format
Xbox 360
Developer
KOEI
Publisher
KOEI
Genre
Action, Beat 'em Up, Sim / Strategy

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