Rehash game with classy new PSP style
Issue date: 4/21/06 Section: Entertainment
Initially, Samurai Warriors: State of War gives off the same vibe as its predecessor, Dynasty Warriors, if one just picks a character with a cool weapon and wreaks havoc all throughout the map. The map is set up in sections, like spaces on a game board, that players must clear to advance and achieve the mission's final goal. Along the way, there are gimmicks and walls that block the player from getting past. In such situations, the player must find an alternate path to the area, or use charms that might be found after defeating an officer. There are all sorts of neat little charms that poison, paralyze or otherwise hinder opponents.
Something that stood out to me, though, was the diversity of available weapons. It's hard to decide which ones to keep, since you only have enough inventory space to hold three at a time. Each one you come across will have different attributes. There might be a sword that has +4 Musou (special attack) and +8 Attack with an Ice attribute or one with +6 Defense and +6 Attack with a Fire attribute, and it becomes difficult to pick which one to take.
It's also interesting because each elemental attribute also yields different attacks, which you need to discover by finding different scrolls with the combinations on them. The elemental attacks and other awesome attacks are generally not done simply by hitting the strong attack buttons, but rather by performing combos.
Another thing is the assortment of characters. Though not as vast as its Playstation 2 counterpart, it is still pretty wide, with about 20 characters that can be chosen, each with his or her own storyline, weapon, attack style, combos and officers (did I mention that you choose your officers before you go into battle?). The officers are a key component to how your missions go because each one has his own strengths and weaknesses and later into the game, it is key that the player has strong officers in order to succeed. The officer goes down the path that the player does not and will sometimes even be the character to fight the general, so usually you'd want someone that could win in such a situation.
For some reason, I am still surprised by the graphical power of the PSP and with games like this I just always seem to be more and more surprised. The opening video is just seamless in its full rendered form and beauty and the in-game graphics are just as attractive as almost any other game on the PS2. The sounds get repetitive, as there are only generic soldier sounds for the hundreds of men you slay along the way to the primary goal, and only a couple of different sounds for each of the generals and some of the officers.
What the game lacks in sound is quite generously made up for in visuals and gameplay. The replay value of this game lies in the different characters that you need to unlock and leveling your favorite character. Though this game has all these great features, it is still a sort of port of a previous game Grade: B.