Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Zen of Musou: Why I love Warriors games
There have been many games and series in the franchise, some based on anime and some that aren't. Most people know it for it's core series Dynasty Warriors but some games aren't so easily identified. Believe it or not Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and One Piece: Pirate Warriors are part of the Warriors franchise... actually you may already know that.
Gameplay of the series is infamous for being repetitive, too simplistic, uninspired, never innovates, it's the same game each time, it's shallow, mindlessly boring, etc. I laugh because the same can be said for every popular video game, especially military shooters. While I can't argue being a mindless fan of many franchises, I can say we all have a habit of jumping on the hate bandwagon without playing the games in question(like all the people who hate JRPGs just for existing).
Before I go into why I personally love the Warriors series, I'll suggest you go watch the Jimquisition episode "Dynasty Warriors is the Citizen Kane of Gaming" first for a start and then finish reading this further. Jim Sterling's opinions on the series are also on par with my own but I feel I may have some different ones as well.
The Warriors series is one I've loved since I played Dynasty Warriors 3 way back when. I actually fell in love with the gameplay and was fascinated by the story from day one. I've found as I've grown older that the series can be both enjoyable and cathartic as well as spark an interest in their source material. Another thing I love is that the series doesn't demand you keep buying each new game, you can just jump in on the newest game without feeling like you missed out.
I've always found the gameplay relaxing. The games have such simple, pick up and play controls and having an hour or more to swat hundreds and thousands of drones can really help de-stress from a tough day or chill out if you need a break from reality. The A.I of the cannon fodder units is... dumb, but the kinda make up for that with shear numbers while the generals(mainly playable characters) are more aggressive and a lot more "intelligent". Now I've rarely found the enemies too challenging or stressful and that's part of the reason why I enjoy the game. It can also be cathartic killing thousands of soldiers and feel like a conqueror when you're feeling stressed or when you feel insignificant.
The stories of the games have peeked my interest(except Warriors Orochi games). The stories of the games seem to come from various source materials and each one has been interesting to research(although the anime ones were easier to indulge in). Personally I've found the non anime based games overall more interesting, but the anime ones have been more enjoyable with their cross media appeal. Admittedly most people won't care about the source material of the non anime games, but to each their own I suppose.
One of the things I enjoy the most is the multiplayer... couch multiplayer. Warriors games are a lot more fun with a friend or family member(which is why the portable ones don't last too long in my playing now pile). I mainly play them with my mother, but I have enjoyed them with my brother and my best mate too. Whether it's working together to clear the missions or competing to see who can KO 9999 enemies before the mission is over. Playing with others makes it a lot more fun doing the things you can do on your own. There's usually a VS mode in the games but I honestly don't care for it.
I really love the soundtrack of the games... for the most part. A lot of the music in the Warriors games are high energy rock and metal tracks that really get the adrenaline pumping. I've found that the core series(both Dynasty and Samurai Warriors) usually have the best music in the series. I do find it kinda sucky that the anime ones never feature music from the shows and they always seem to be screaming for it too! I'd love to see a Dynasty Warriors Gundam with those awesome TM Revolution tracks from Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny.
I kinda realise this is almost a general review for the series, but I'm just trying to express what I love about the Warriors games. I find them just so relaxing to play and I just lose myself to the gameplay. I can fall into a Zen like state playing these games where my mind empties and there's nothing but me and the rising KO count. Some people who play MMORPGs and JRPGs can relate when level grinding(believe it or not some of us don't find grinding completely boring) and the groove you can get into can be just as relaxing as swatting 5000 soldiers in Dynasty Warriors 8. So why not give a Warriors game a go(One Piece or Gundam may appeal to you more) and see if the Zen of Musou is for you.