Game Perceptions – Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Game Perceptions

Game Perceptions

Dynasty Warriors and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Series

Now don’t get us wrong both John and I love, love the Dynasty Warriors (DW) and Romance of the Three Kingdoms (RotTK) games. Even Bart has at least played DW and in all likelihood has heard of RotTK. Most average ’rounded’ gamers can say they have played one or the other or both. Some how DW is just a joke to many, many, many people. A rumor has existed that it is such a joke that the North American gaming industry (dependent upon game company) may make their interns play all of the previous Dynasty Warriors Titles to see if they will crack… True or not that is both horrible and hilarious!

Whatever your experience dealing with the DW or RotTK Games has been they mix action, strategy and history in a manner that can be heavily entertaining or… for a person who doesn’t like strategy and history it can be very, very boring… Now we know that you all want to stand up with your hands in the air jumping around like ‘you just don’t care’ and are some kind of mentally lost man/womanchild.

But B.T. & John/Drunken Procrastinators we don’t necessarily “think” history or strategy or action or even hack n’ slash games are bad or boring… No!!!!! Just the opposite most of us Sheeple like the same repetitive things over and over…

Such as every action-adventure game, most sequel games or even every side scroller ever…? Where you use the same buttons to attack over and over… against bad guys that are little more than palette swapped enemies.

Yes!! but THOSE games are MASTERPIECES like Heavenly Sword… or like the old school Metroid or Contra games… We’re okay with the same wash and repeat battle processes against palette swapped baddies in those games…

Because in those games unlike in the early DW series, they stop or break up the monotony of said pallete swapped baddies and repetitive button mashing slaughter with breaks in the play or with boss fights. And that makes them fun and have some semblance of replay value…. The earlier DW games left such a bad taste of wash and repeat mouthwash in many players mouths that many don’t give the newer games a chance BUT THAT’S A DISCUSSION FOR A LATER DATE…

You all aren’t here to read about that history lesson (Har har har… see what we did there….) You want to read our perceptions… our WTFs and observations on the DW and RotTK Series.

Perception # 1: The Three Kingdoms

When you play DW and even RotTK undoubtedly you play as one of the three main kingdoms:


Which immediately playing any of the history or story modes of these kingdoms you can see their individual underlying themes: Family(Wu)/Benevolence(Shu)/Ambition(Wei)


That’s all well and good except for the game literally beats you over the head with these themes…

Liu Bei, Lord of Shu: Blah blah blah blah benevolence… blah benevolence blah?
Zhuge Liang, Prime Minister of Shu: Blah blah blah blah benevolence.
Liu Bei: *nods his head* Benevolence.

Guan Yu & Zhang Fei: RAGE BENEVOLENCE!!!
Zhao Yun: BENEVOLENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile in the lands of Wei…

Cao Cao, Lord of Wei: My ambition is to create a land that’s under me to end this chaos….
Xiahou Dun: Cousin, what will unifying the land help us accomplish?
Cao Cao: It will help me fulfill my ambition, I must see my ambition completed before I die.
Xiahou Yuan (Cousin to Dun and Cao Cao): Cousins it seems we have a battle ahead of us within this chaos…
Cao Cao: Certainly… to defeat this chaos and end the violence we must make my ambition come true.


Sun Jian, Lord of Wu: My sons, you must take care of this land of Jing it was our families

Everyone: Sun Ce you must be strong for your land….
Sun Ce: No….I must stay strong for my family… you are all my family

Sun Quan: Father…. Brother…. my family… I’m not worthy, I can’t do this alone.
SSX: Your not alone you still have your family, and Father and Brother they are resting but they still watch over you as family


I kid you not…

While that goes on the kingdoms build up and inevitably they all go to war: Shu vs Wei, Wei vs Wu, Wei vs Shu, Wu vs Shu… and so on and so forth in minor skirmishes. A lot of them end in stalemates except when Wu allied at the time with Shu, attacks Shu and kills the General Guan Yu who was in a campaign against Wei… Guan Yu was the sworn brother (as in a brother from another mother) to Lord Liu Bei is killed and Lord Liu Bei the Benevolent hears that his sworn brother was killed by the immensely family affectionate kingdom of Wu… themes start to change… briefly…


Out of the Three Kingdoms Wu sticks with their ‘Family‘ theme, even going so far as to say that killing Guan Yu (which helps Wei more than anything) is to allow their Family to keep existing. Oh by the way Zhang Fei, Lord Liu Bei’s other Sworn Brother is killed by his men and they flee to Wu… Who accepts them without problem…  I am sorry but WTF if you’re all FAMILY IS IMPORTANT and then your former ally and friends “family” is murdered by his own officers why would you accept them in. Most people will point out…
Wait… but they did that because they would have more officers and that way be able to protect their family more…
Well yes, but no… as these officers never become anything they were “no names” (despite having names clearly they just had a generic officer model  in the games), and in history they were just lightly spoken off solely because they turned traitor and killed the mighty general Zhang Fei.
Shu understandably starts a war of vengeance which culminates quickly with Shu losing resources and soldiers and leaving Lord Liu Bei sick which he never recovers…
During this time Wei goes through a stage of ruthlessness only to revert to ambition as a theme when Cao Cao’s son takes over and Sima Yi is the Prime Minister of Wei. Bear with me we will return to the maps soon enough…

 Perception # 2: Generic Messaging in Game

           In DW its typical to hear or read across the screen somewhere at the bottom or so a message either solely text or text and audio. Often times (if you have stuck to the games far enough for these to be so annoying that you know what they will say when they say it…you deserve an achievement) you will hear the generic banter multiple times in a battle that you start to quip at it or completely ignore it. And in cases of ignoring sometimes you forget to read the messages you need to read such as “Lead Officer needs assistance at once/ is close to Death”  
         Soon as you get that message and if you are on the other side of most maps and you dont have red hare… your fu*ked… its essentially GAME OVER and it happens quite often if they get trapped by enemies or caught by enemies. And when your not near your leading general, and generally you never are they have an enemy officer or even some units of regular soldiers he/she is just sitting by and letting the enemies just take pot shots that whittle their health with impressive speed.
        Lets say that its not the “COME HELP ME I’M HELPLESS AND MY AI MAKES IT SO I’M WORTHLESS…” message and instead its something just as annoying or vague…

 Great! The guards within the STANDARD BASE are in High Spirits!

 B.T.: I have played every itteration of DynastyWarriors and at least one of each of their off shoots like DW: Xtreme Legends, DW: Empires6/7, Samurai Warriors 2, Warriors Orochi 1&2, DW: Gundam/2/3 YEAH… and that may explain my own insanity BUT WAIT I still don’t know what the hell HIGH SPIRITS does… it does nothing… As far as I’m concerned i mean they suck… The soldiers suck I’ve seen a blob of enemy soldiers that (means like 5 soldiers per circle on the non detailed mini map) attack one of my bases and capture it with out the help of an Officer…       If the message isn’t vague or annoying out right it’s probably a message that needn’t be stated…

Hulao Gate Has been destroyed!

Oh? Hu Lao Gate was destroyed? I didn’t know it got destroyed despite it was only I who could have caused it to be destroyed and I just did whatever was required to destroy it… Even just watched a cut scene of it being destroyed…

        They only other message it could be… is a message after you defeat an officer… a generic MESSAGE… “Retreating now is not a defeat…” Funny it just sent a message all over the battlefield that I just DEFEATED YOU. I love this one… “This defeat is apart of my strategy” I seriously doubt that…


Perception # 3: Character Portraits and Create-A-Character Models

          While this is pretty self explanatory some of the create-a-character models that you could create were severely awkward or just there’s no way a person could be that big or wear that much or that little armor. Though that’s a major theme/problem with a lot of Create-A-Characters for a lot of games. But no one is ready for this Create-An-Officer Portrait in Romance of the Three Kingdoms 7 for the PS2….    


BAM! and you’re as shocked and confused as this guy and now probably laughing at this point at this possible Portrait… That’s right folks you can make an officer in RotTK7 with this handsome charming Face…

Perception # 4: Soldiers

          Now in DW you expected soldiers and they were certainly there, and this is where DW gets a lot flak. The games the same when it comes to the soldiers especially now in the later part of the ongoing series. In the earlier games they had ranks, weapons, skills, even different armor per region. But now the soldiers are all ‘soldiers’  they dont have ranks or anything that differs them and they dont have as many weapons for the most part they have swords/spears/swords & shields/bows.  But wait what about Cavalry!? Well now the cavalry units, the horses die when you kill the rider so instead of having like say maybe 10 horses standing around they aren’t there. Now they streamlined it down to be able to up grade their graphics and the engine itself.

         In the earlier days of DW you “knew” thousands of soldiers were at the battlefield yet you might only see like 5 soldiers and sometimes you’d be all WTF as you’re runing around a spot the map says an officer and enemy soldiers are there and you see only trees and grass… yeah okay poor engine <_<…
         Though the newer games fixed this, when you download the DLC that has refurbished maps they kept in the poor I’m here…. no I’m not BSing…

 Perception # 5: The Officers

           The earlier games were bad compared to the new iterations but what was never properly explained was the officers in the former games. When you fought them in say DW3 and defeated them they would run off in the same manner and say something generic. If when you ‘kill’ soldiers they hit the ground and disappear… and are considered knocked out (which everyone we ever knew considered them to be killed) then why do the officers get up and run off in a cut scene? 
           Again DW early on when the officers died they just never showed up again… then again sometimes they kept showing up like when you already knew historically Cao Cao had died yet he was at the Wu Zhang Plains…? Yeah.
             Later on the DW were more historical as far as story goes and when an officer was suppose to die there was a scene or event,  and then they wouldn’t show up again story mode wise. Typically after defeating an officer yet it wasn’t historically their time to go, they didn’t get a cut scene of them running away instead its just a pop up image scroll with text saying typically something generic like “When I return you’re the first head I’ll seek…”

Perception #6: Sima Yi’s Obsession of Zhuge Liang

 Yes we said it… Sima Yi refers in game to Zhuge Liang, especially in the earlier games as if they are long lost lovers. It’s down right creepy. Enough said…

Reader has defeated Game Perceptions I!
Game Perceptions: I shall return! Remember that! For yours is the first head I shall seek!

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