Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper Review
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On 12/28/2012 at 10:00 AM by Jesse Miller
This should have been a simple port, but something went awfully wrong along the way.
Only for Warriors fans with no other means of playing the original version.
The Warriors series caters to a very particular type of gamer. It’s the gamer that enjoys the most simple of things when it comes to their hobby. The level of entry needs to highly accessible – mechanics relegated to a few basics that can be picked up with ease, even if mastering them takes some practice. The gamer needs to feel powerful – the ability to take on huge swathes of enemies at a time with little effort. There should be collectables of the low hanging fruit variety, with the larger goal of “completion” nestled at the end, just out of reach, but completely attainable.
The Warriors series is all these things, which is why the third game is quite popular among its many fans and why it is such a no-brainer that it would be the first of the series to land on Nintendo’s new hardware, the Wii U. Unfortunately this new, “enhanced” version dubbed Warriors Orochi 3: Hyper saw little polish in the porting process and the result is pop-up extravaganza that mars any enjoyment you may have drawn from previous installments.
For the uninitiated, Warriors Orochi 3: Hyper places you in command of three field generals who have seen their forces lane to waste by an impressively large Hydra. It quickly becomes apparent that the beast is much too powerful to be defeated by such a small force. The solution to this multi-headed and oft-times fire breathing issue?
Time travel, of course.
With your three original characters in toe, you’ll jump to various points in history to save other characters that would have otherwise perished in battle. The crux of it all is quite familiar – by changing history, perhaps you can change the future.
Fundamentally speaking, WO3:H is the same game you may have already played on the PlayStation 3. You can switch between your three warriors at any point during battle, with a simple press of button, enabling you to change your battle tactics as necessary to deal with the seemingly endless hordes. As you move through the story mode, you collect other warriors who will join your cause and become playable as well. There are over 100 said playable characters (including Ninja Gaiden’s Ryu Hayabusa and Rachel – an odd addition that somehow fits and will undoubtedly be a huge hit amongst fans), though you’ll likely stick with a select few through the entirety of game.
Combat works. There isn’t much else to say about that, but I should note that it’s the game’s strong suit to be sure. Attacks land with a certain amount of weight that is usually missing from these types of games, and between the immense roster and expandable move sets, there’s enough variety to sate the combo driven veterans and the move spamming newbies alike.
If you were to only consider those aspects, plus the ability to play the entire game on the GamePad, you’d think that this would be the definitive version of the game. Unfortunately, whether through issues displaying the game on both the GamePad and the TV or through sheer ineptitude in programming, the game suffers from some serious bugs, particularly in regards to pop-up.
To be fair, the pop-up issue made some battles quite interesting. I’d be running towards a group of enemies and they in turn would be running towards me and *POOF* they’d be gone, never to return. Where’d they go? I have no idea, but I’d like to think that my sheer awesomeness was too much for them to handle and they were sent to another plane of existence, where things are a little less awesome, but completely bearable – like Applebee’s.
At other points, enemies would appear out of nowhere, usually behind me – perhaps having grown tired of Applebee’s – and any allied troops would just blip in and out of existence at an alarmingly regular rate.
Magical, plane-travelling, computer-controlled characters may have kept me on my toes for much of my playtime – who really knows where the next enemies may come from – but more often than not it was an annoyance, especially when the frame rate would plummet, as it often did, even when there weren’t that many cloned baddies on screen at the same time.
The inconsistency of technical issues is what is particularly frustrating. It’s one thing for the game to go all Cybil on you when there’s an orgy of enemies on screen; it’s another when this happens with four or five.
And then there is Duel Mode.
Duel Mode is the one feature that really sets this version apart from the others, and may actually sway some to pick this version up over the technically superior PS3 version. Two players compile a three member team and fight it out until the other is dead. It’s hectic fun, and likely the best feature in the entire game – as well as the only feature that really takes advantage of the GamePad as one player play on the TV while the other stares at their controller.
But Duel Mode isn’t enough to sway my feelings towards this poor port. The real unfortunate thing is that there’s a good game in there somewhere, it’s just too bad the developers were too lazy to pull it out.