‘Dynasty’ loses its appeal

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By Johnathan Kroncke

By Johnathan Kroncke

Total slaughter is the name of the game.

Actually, its name is “Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires” for the XBOX 360. Total slaughter just sounds cooler.

Koei’s latest edition to the popular war game series set in feudal China is beautiful to look at but is nothing gamers have not seen before.

Like its predecessors, “Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires” is a game of strategy and conquest. Players choose the feudal lords and armies they want to control and then it’s off to the races to see who can conquer all of China and create their own empire.

There are time limits so don’t spend too much time playing around on your horse, trying to inflate your kill count. Each country must be conquered in less than 30 minutes and to do that, players must either take over the enemy’s main base or drive their sword through the enemy leader.

For those who have never had the pleasure, this is an interesting game. The graphics are well done, the music is inspiring and the overall theme of strategizing and building an empire from scratch is an appealing concept… for the first time.

Returning fans of the series will find that “Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires” offers nothing new in the realm of gameplay or storytelling. It is still a good game on its own, but it is simply just another in a string of look-a-likes that all offer little or no variation on the original game.

For “Dynasty Warriors 5,” the old moniker is true: You can’t fight what you can’t see. Poor camera angles and mechanics make for a frustrating time on the battlefield. Enemies often fly through the air when hit but too often land off screen, making it difficult to readjust the camera in order to finish them off.

The developers would have done better to utilize the now common method of controlling the character’s movements with the left analoge stick and the camera with the right analoge stick.

However, those two complaints aside, “Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires” is still a fun game and certainly more interesting than a game like “Black,” which is just another useless addition to an overcrowded market of first-person shooters.

“Dynasty Warriors 5” is the type of game that you can play for hours, trying to build your empire, or play off and on when you feel like taking out your frustration on a neighboring country. It has tons of replay value because it is such a vast landscape, with many countries to be conquered, and because running around a battlefield swinging a sword never gets old.

Unfortunately, sometimes a game developer needs to know when it’s time to hang up their controllers.The “Dynasty Warriors” franchise is in a rut and, unless some dramatic change comes along soon, there will be no point in creating “Dynasty Warriors 6.”

The latest installment for the XBOX 360 is a fun ride but for those who have been on it before, it’s more of the same.

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