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Dynasty Warriors 7 Review - The Parent's Guide to Video Games

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Dynasty Warriors 7 Review

Kid Safe: High                     Game Quality: Low

Genre: Hack and Slash
-          This game is characterized by a heavy focus on generally running around and swinging a weapon of some variety at generally anything and everything that moves and doesn't vary much from that premise.

Internet Requirements: Low
-          Dynasty Warriors 7 features a low amount of internet requirements. While the game does feature an option for online multiplayer, it is restricted to a cooperative mode that allows only two players to fight through the "Conquest", i.e. free-roaming, option of this game.

Story Summary: In Dynasty Warriors 7, you do not actually follow a single story, but rather several. As
you play through any of the five different available storylines, you will experience the viewpoints of different Dynasties that are all vying for power in the crumpling political structure of the Three Kingdoms. As you fight through the alternate storylines, you will actually experience a number of major battles and engagements from different sides; allowing you to see and understand the tactics and emotions behind each group.


Kid Safe: High
-          Foul Language: Very Low
o   Dynasty Warriors 7 contains a very low amount of foul language. Generally, characters retain an amiable vocabulary, however once in a very rare while the words "h*ll" and "d*mn" are spoken in dialogue.

-          Violence and Gore: Moderate
o   Dynasty Warriors 7 contains a moderate amount of violence and very low amounts of gore. As the genre implies, the gameplay is made up of "hack and slash" where players literally cuts their way through thousands of enemy soldiers (We're really not kidding, I K'O'd 1237 people my very first engagement). Player control any number of different warriors from a mock-feudal Japan time period and are armed with an assortment of weapons. Some of these weapons include, but are not limited to, swords, daggers, spears, glaives, bows, crossbows, tonfas, staves, axes, battle hammers, maces, morning stars, ballistas, nunchuku, artificial claws, and more. These weapons are only used against enemy soldiers, although some civilians are threatened with them.

o   However, much to my shock and as mentioned earlier, this title has a very low depiction of gore. Enemies that are hit will show an impact flash and fall backwards, but do not appear visibly injured. Indeed, against some of the more powerful enemies, I wailed on them for a solid minute and he looked just as fine as when I first started fighting him. Likewise, when an enemy is defeated, they are "Knocked Out" or "K'O'd" rather than killed. The more powerful enemies are the same way, when defeated they retreat rather than die.

o   While this is the norm, there are several scenes that depict a more overt amount of violence. Some individuals are captured, secured, and tried to be executed before being drug off; while their deaths are not shown, it is implied. Likewise, there are several cutscenes in which soldiers are struck with arrows or slashed with swords, demonstrating very real pain and injury comparative to the normal gameplay.
             
-          Sexually-Related Content: Low
o   Dynasty Warriors 7 contains a low amount of sexual content, primarily in the form of several women that are clad in revealing attire that demonstrates an ample amount of cleavage and/or buttocks.

-          Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Very Low
o   Dynasty Warriors 7 contains a very low amount of use of drugs and alcohol, which appears solely through several references to an individual having consumed wine.

             
Game Quality: Low
-          Graphics / Visuals: Moderate
o   Dynasty Warriors 7's graphics are just a mixed bag that suffers from a desperate need for polish. To start off with the good, the battlefields that you fight on are fully realized and deserve some pretty worthy praise. As you fight and explore the land, you will find yourself fighting across open sprawling fields, tree packed forests, through villages and dells, and inside of cramped castle walls. You can tell that significant work was put into thinking about the layout of all of these areas that you are experiencing.

o   And now the bad. While the layout and basic concept for the lands and battlefields is impressive, that's where is stops. The overall texture and believability of what you are looking at is generally of low quality and really fails to impress in today's market, looking more like a game from an older generation game console. Likewise, while you can tell that the layout for all of these battlefields was thought out, they were never fully implemented. More than once I would see a battle taking place on the other side of two buildings and, making a fool's mistake, would try and run through the massive open gap between said buildings. NOPE! Can't go that way. We didn't plan for you to try and run in that alleyway so, despite being able to see through it clear as day, you're going to have to run around those buildings.

o   Now, let us not forget the very human element of these stories. However, once again we are greeted with the overall graphical capabilities of an older generation system and not the powerhouse of equipment available with the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 (of which this game is exclusive to, I might add). Our characters look and feel more like mannequins, mouths bobbing up and down, arms moving this way and that, and overall posture just acting more like a doll that is being controlled in a mockery of real interaction.
   
-          Audio: Low
o   If Dynasty Warriors 7's graphics and visuals were mixed, the audio qualities are just bad. I have to say that the only redeeming quality is the music that plays as you run around fighting everyone. While the overture is not overly varied in instrumentation, the beats are good and go along well with the battles.

o   However, the major problem with the music will be hearing it over the endless, repetitive drone of any number of different characters as they read off, poorly I might add, the same lines over and over and over. Most all of the voice actors are mediocre at best, atrocious at worst, and generally sound like they are either struggling with the English language or just really couldn't care about emoting much at all; simply reading off line with a quick, rough attempt at emphasizing whatever comes off as important. Likewise, while every player character tends to have a unique voice and personality of their own, both the player characters and the enemy characters tend to recycle the same lines endlessly. Out of my own personal amusement (and boredom), I started counting how many times I heard the lines "Remember this, for yours is the first head I will seek" or "I will crush you like all of the others". I gave up after 4 dozen each. I wish I was joking.

-          Gameplay / Playability: Low
o   Dynasty Warriors 7 has a moderate level of gameplay and playability. To the game's credit and discredit, it's about as simple as you can get. Gameplay literally consists of run around and hit people. The concept is basic enough that just about anyone could understand it.

o   And herein lies the overarching problem. The gameplay is ridiculously simple and repetitive to the point of being just mind numbingly boring. You are going to run around and hit people. There are people with red over their heads. Run over THERE and hit people. Oh wait, now there are people with red over their heads back where I can from. Let's run BACK and hit more people. Oh no, now I have run into a character that I have to hit a lot more than the others so he will go down; he's not really a threat, I just have to hit him with my stick a lot more. Now I want you to imagine doing this over and over and over, every single mission, for the entire game.

o   I will give the developers points for attempting to change it up a little by occasionally facing you against unique challenges like trying to bring down enemy ballistas or strategically waiting for a gate to open; but it's not enough. What those missions then translate into is just going up to the ballistas and hitting THEM alot or fighting a bunch of enemies in a given area while you wait for said gate to open. Likewise, players have the ability to unlock a wide variety of power-increases and new weapons, but that simply translates to running around and hitting enemies a little faster and a little harder than previously.
          
-          Dollar-Value: Low
o   For the average player, Dynasty Warriors 7 is going to have a relatively low dollar-value. While I cannot deny that the game has countless hours of gameplay available in both the regular story missions and the free-roam Conquest missions, most players will never experience it all. Unless yours is one of the few players that truly enjoy this style gameplay, the average gamer will quickly toss Dynasty Warriors 7 aside for something a bit more exciting than the mind-numbing and repetitive gameplay that this title has to offer. If you are thinking of getting it, we HIGHLY recommend renting the title to try it out first before possibly losing money to a game most players will lose interest in within an hour or two.


Recommendations
-          While Dynasty Warriors 7 is certainly kid-friendly enough to not cause a problem, we would recommend some more exciting titles. Sadly, the majority of good hack and slash titles are all M-rated. However, if you are not bothered by adult content, the Devil May Cry series or the God of War series are both excellent choices. Ninja Gaiden, while difficult, also deserves special mention.
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