Summary : If Dynasty Warriors won't stop, at least it will continue an elevation of heroic stature via technology.
Eastern mysticism continues to sentimentalize China’s Three Kingdoms land conquering brutality. Dynasty Warriors creates K.O.’d enemy counts which rival numbers in middle class checking accounts, but generated through bloodless sword swipes or uppercuts. Xtreme Legends’ eye-rolling ’90s naming convention further catapults Lu Bu’s emanating prowess, a flighty historical figure rebalanced into a tyrannical overlord for this Dynasty Warriors 8 expansion.
Given a slim three-hour story, Lu Bu’s villainous, spear-flailing potency and pokey shoulder garb is Xtreme Legends’ DLC-driven highlight. Tecmo/Koei’s bountiful offerings of these melee-driven processions can befuddle fans with their alterations, now punched up with mighty resolution on PlayStation 4. Lu Bu’s embellished prowess is shared with the Vita’s version in addition to Ambition mode beefing, 82 selectable combatants, and terrifying “Ultimate” difficulty mode. It’s thin, but Xtreme Legends’ spellcheck-defying nomenclature references only DLC, now packaged in tandem with Dynasty Warriors 8 in its entirety.
Developers W-Force seem disorientated by Sony’s refreshed hardware, with illusion-demolishing voice dubbing shared between full size speakers and the DualShock 4’s tinny audio device, as if warriors of the early A.D.’s trotted into skirmishes with Bluetooth functionality. TouchPad use issues commands to bodyguards as if said purpose wasn’t already assigned to the d-pad.
As with the Xbox 360 launch pairing Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires, Xtreme Legends is transitional, W-Force spending its time poking around coding innards to extract richer textural qualities. Boxy animation inhabits what is practically a void in an exchange for clusters of spear-dueling momentum in any direction, and will continue to do so until development dedication spurs Dynasty Warriors on from its generational roots.
Cue up a deluge of spotty online choruses bemoaning dire innovation with Dynasty Warriors, but without said progress, W-Force would still be seated at the helm of the series’ progenitor, Dynasty Warriors 2. Instead, tactical revisions formulate strategic potential, requiring unique and adaptable battlefield aptitude. Base-capturing and General-defeating from the Yellow Turban rebellion forward have been decisively altered into pleasingly varied frameworks. Ambition mode’s recruiting and Challenge’s three-stage score frenzy are only devised from 14 years of forward motion – glacial as it may appear.
Then again, maybe Dynasty Warriors (in this Xtreme form or otherwise) is not for Westernized culture. As American developers exported World War II glorification into Asian territories, out East they were peering into a vintage, colorful backdrop of cultural rise. The U.S. market would gas out on interactive Saving Private Ryan duplications, instead lapping up modernized propaganda while this strain of Chinese-influenced enrichment barely shows age in its repetition.
AI drones are purposefully moronic, surrounding high-ranking commanders and staring in awe at their armor ornamentation. This is not representative of sour coding, but rather a clever means of elevating these archetypical warriors’ status. As with native martial arts cinema, which grants their brawlers powers of majestic flight through on-stage wire work, so does Dynasty Warriors with its ample steeds and enraged, charged Mosou attacks. Fireballs and wayward wizardry are inherent to the deity-esque allure. Hundreds of bodies perform an uncontrolled aerial float during farcical combo strings, and the sickly satisfaction towers above reality’s stipulations.
Americans want to see frontline warfare from an iron sight, be a part of it even if from the safety of LCD monitors. By comparison, Dynasty Warriors would take flailing nunchuks onto Omaha Beach to satisfy an absurdest craving. Tecmo/Koei’s series appeal is one of glorifying respect outside of statues or beautiful, flower-draped memorials. Instead, it is an interactive digital plaything with saturated magic and impractical battle methodology. If Dynasty Warriors won’t stop, at least it will continue an elevation of heroic stature via technology, even if it’s through this minuscule content dump for the sake of registering on new consoles.