Tecmo Koei is bold to release a game like Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper during the high-profile launch line-up of the Wii U. Although the Warriors Orochi games have developed quite the following over the years, I don’t think it’s entirely unfair to say most people aren’t looking directly at it when they pick up their new toy this week.
And those that do? Well they might be disappointed that the game doesn’t show off as much about the system as they probably hoped.
First and foremost, as with our other Wii U reviews that are re-releases of games that have already released for other consoles, this review will focus on the differences between the Wii U version and the other versions that have been released for months. With that, I encourage you all to take a quick glance at our initial Warriors Orochi 3 review in order to get the details of the game.
I must say, however, that I don’t share the same excitement that our original review carries. I reviewed Dynasty Warriors NEXT for the Vita several months ago and was pleasantly surprised, however my time with many of Koei’s hack ‘n’ slash games is somewhat limited. The reason for that becomes very apparent once again with Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper.
Much of what I said for that Dynasty Warriors review, and what most people will tell you about the game, applies here. The game is awfully repetitive. It’s cool to tromp across battlefields slaughtering literally thousands of soldiers as you make your way to your goal. Warriors Orochi brings it a step further by throwing in ridiculous over-the-top magical attacks, something that other games of this nature don’t have as much of.
Even the story has a bit of supernatural to it. Instead of the boring old plots taking heavily from Chinese or Japanese history, we’re facing against an eight-headed hydra that’s destroying the land. Your characters must go back in time in order to defeat this problem before it starts.
It’s not going to win any awards for narrative achievement, but it’s better than your typical Warriors plotline.
The Wii U version of the game features four new characters that weren’t in the previous version of the game, as well as an all-new Duel Mode that allows players to face each other with fighters of their choice, splitting the controls between the GamePad and a controller if desired. The Wii U also exclusively features lower draw distances and fewer enemies on-screen at any given time.
The amount of differences between the Wii U version and any other version of the game can be summed up in a sentence, and that’s incredibly disappointing to anyone that was looking for anything new and exciting. Sure, the graphics have gotten a slight bump, but the fewer enemies and frequent pop-in will make you forget that the game looks a bit better.
When you play the game, the only thing that appears on the GamePad is exactly what’s happening on the screen. This is actually borderline distracting in itself, but the sound has a slight lag to it, which will prompt players to quickly reach for the volume controls. There’s no option to put anything special on the bottom screen that would help gameplay. The first thing that came to mind before I even booted up the game would be to move the map from the screen to the GamePad so it’s not A) taking up a massive part of the screen and B) actually readable, considering there’s a nasty habit of trying to fit the entire map into a tiny corner on the screen, making map details hard to read unless you’re planting your face on your TV screen.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is still well-built, and I’d probably recommend it to anyone curious in the genre, but you can find the same game minus the Hyper designation on both Xbox 360 and PS3 for half the price. There’s nothing here driving players to get the Wii U version unless you happen to only own the Wii U console.
You could do much worse than Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper as a Wii U launch title. But you could also do better. There are a solid 5-6 games that the average gamer probably looks at before even thinking about anything else that’s offered for the console right now. That’s not to say that Warriors Orochi is bad, it’s just that gamers want something that will show off their shiny new baby, and Warriors Orochi doesn’t show everything the Wii U has to offer. It’s great to see how well a game previously released on 360 and PS3 holds up on the new console, but if you wanted to use any of the standout features of Nintendo’s newest bundle of joy, you should look elsewhere.
This review is based on a Wii U copy of the game provided to us for review purposes.