Review: Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate (PlayStation Vita)

Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate: Official GBAtemp Review

PlayStation Vita 3,385 views 2 likes 7 comments
Reviewed by Brandon Boui, posted Sep 2, 2014
Sep 2, 2014
  • Release Date (NA): September 2, 2014
  • Release Date (EU): September 5, 2014
  • Release Date (JP): September 26, 2013
  • Publisher: Tecmo Koei
  • Developer: Tecmo Koei
  • Genres: Action
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Also For: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is a sequel to the game Warriors Orochi 3, released on the Playstation Vita, PS3, PS4 & Xbox One. The game follows the typical Warriors franchise formula of one man armies and expands upon an already solid story with more background information.
Brandon Boui

Review of: Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate (NA) for Playstion Vita

I've been a huge Warriors fan since I was quite young. These games have always been guilty pleasures; I always took an interest in having that feeling of one man vs. the whole world, and mindless slaughter. I purchased the original Warriors Orochi 3 back when it was released for the XBOX 360, and I loved it - with this rerelease, however, it feels less like a rerelease and more of a true sequel given what the game now has to offer. An already great game became that much better.

For those of you unaware, Warriors Orochi centers around several different franchises, mainly Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, colliding and meeting up, allied against the demon armies of Orochi. The Orochi franchise is interesting because you're getting the series' most popular characters in the same game, and they're being updated as the series progresses. The mechanics change as the series goes forward, and the number of playable officers increases. The Warriors franchise used to have a lot of generic officers - a lot of those previously generic officers have now become uniquely playable characters. The playable cast of characters has now swelled in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate - more than 100 playable characters exist from both the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchise, with additional characters from the Tecmo Koei universe, such as super ninja Ryu Hayabusa, Ayane from Dead or Alive, Kasumi, Achilles, Sophitia from Soul Calibur, among many others. It's virtually impossible to not be able to find a character to not like as there's so many options now.

Warriors Orochi 3's gameplay was already very solid, with plenty of things to do. There were story scenarios that one could play through on varying difficulties, raising and recruiting officers, and finding the characters' unique weapons. Disappointingly, there was a lack of a decent multiplayer minigame, something the series had been lacking since Dynasty Warriors 4 on Playstation 2. Ultimate builds on this and offers a lot more online playable methods. There's additional story scenarios that detail the rise of how Orochi came about his villainous ways, and a scenario about what happens after the events of Ultimate. There's more ways to level up characters, and more characters to unlock. This is only scratching the surface as the game brought in several different gameplay modes. I'll talk about that next.

Ultimate was such a big change from the original title, and most of the changes were for the better. The graphics were more enhanced, and the lighting changed to make environments look that much better. The visuals looked stunning on the Playstation Vita. Level caps had increased, and this title allowed character levels to be reset, with the character receiving permanent stat bonuses. Gameplay mechanics were revised or added in, that allowed greater combo leeway on both the ground and in the air. Officers are now able to equip more items to enhance gameplay diversity, and new unique weapons were added into the game. The story had been expanded upon, as I mentioned above, with additional scenarios focusing on the aftermath of the game, and a prequel to the franchise. They're definitely welcome additions to the franchise that provided more background on how the main antagonist became so malevolent. Side note - Orochi is definitely an interesting character. In addition to that, story scenarios were now playable from the viewpoint of the enemy army, providing insight as to why the battles played out the way they were. In addition to all of that, the game introduced a new mode of play called Gauntlet Mode, with a five man team being assembled to clear multi-floor dungeons. Subsequent floors had increased difficulty - it's definitely a fun challenge that just adds replay factor as there's a lot of different team combinations that the player can assemble. A feature called Musou Battlefields was introduced - this allows the player to create a unique map with whatever they so chose. These maps could be distributed and downloaded by other game players. As the copy I received was a review copy from Tecmo Koei, the available map downloads were rather empty for understandable reasons.

Visuals were definitely very well done for the title - the graphics were enhanced from the original title, and looked very sharp on the Playstation Vita screen. The environments were bright, and didn't have that dead appearance to them. They varied pretty frequently too - one moment you could be in a Chinese castle, the next you could be stomping through a Japanese field or climbing the steps in modern day Japan. The many environments were varied in appearance because of the characters who participated in those environments were brought along for the ride. Players familiar with the different franchises in this title will notice environments that belonged to Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden, Dynasty Warriors, and Samurai Warriors. Cutscenes were relatively smooth with minor slowdowns in intense moments.

The music is quite upbeat and remixes a lot of the themes of the franchise. I didn't mind the music so much, others find it a bit dull and repetitive, but there's a few tracks that are truly worthy of listening to, mainly the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive pieces. It's upbeat, and adds a nice note to the chaotic mess of the battlefield. Most of the music is identical to the original Warriors Orochi 3.

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Gamplay hasn't changed too much from the original. It's still going to be an uneven one man vs. a hundred (in reality, many many more). There's still weapons to find, and faceless officers to kill. The overall formula hasn't changed, but there's definitely modifications that come about with the newer titles in the franchise. Team combinations now exist, and allows for more freedom in both air and ground fighting. Big and flashy Musou sequences still exist, and they're absolutely amazing to look at on the Vita screen. The gameplay brought back its RPG elements, in that you'll be leveling officers with growth points which can be freely distributed amongst all recruited officers. Ultimate goes deeper by allowing officers to reset upon hitting level 100, called Promotion, which resets the level but gives permanent stat boosts. The new gameplay modes as I mentioned above add a bit more depth to what could be seen by some as a bland title or franchise.

Now, with every good thing comes a bad thing, and this game is no exception. Some minor gripes I had with this are mostly related to controls. The analog stick is required for movement, whereas I prefer using the directional pad. The touchscreen and touch pads are also minor nuisances. As a battle team consists of three officers, switching between them could have been a lot more streamlined, but in the Vita version it felt clunky. If the option was set to use the touch screen, touching anywhere on the screen would result in a switch, which could happen at inconvenient times. If the touch pad system was set up, a minor flick of the touch pad would switch officers. For those with big hands, it could be problematic. Another minor problem that I faced was with the map being a bit tiny on the screen. The environments are often vast, and the map was just a bit large to locate objectives of interest at times. The game also has a culling problem. A stretch of land could often appear empty, when in reality there's dozens of enemy soldiers lurking there - I don't notice them until I've flat out ran into them, and it could be problematic if I'm leveling a lower level officer.

Some fun notes about the game - Ryu Hayabusa is absolutely ridiculous to play with, in a good way. Definitely my hands down favorite from Warriors Orochi 3, and he gets an awesome soundtrack that goes back from the Ninja Gaiden games from a long time ago! Most of the extra characters that don't belong in the main franchises are all pretty fun to play, and don't feel out of place. I was definintely surprised with the addition of characters from Soul Calibur.

At the end of the day, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is the best title in the franchise thus far. It added a lot of additional mechanics that the original didn't have, and the insanely large ensemble of characters makes this game easy for anyone to pick up to play and adapt to. The story is actually decent in comparison to the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors titles, with additional content to expand the already solid story. The chaotic battling is matched with stunning visuals that look crisp and run smoothly on the Playstation Vita, and it's backed with a phenomenal soundtrack that keeps things going. I would definitely recommend this title for any action fan, or for veterans of the franchise. For the newcomers, there's a large number of characters - pick one and explore! Huge shout out to Tecmo Koei for providing GBAtemp with a review copy of the title!

 

Verdict
Pros
+ Ridiculously large ensemble of characters to choose from
+ Adds a ton of extra content
+ Solid visuals and soundtrack
Cons
- Controls were a bit clunky
- Small map doesn't translate well for a vast battlefield
9 Presentation
There's so much to do and it's presented in a remarkably simple way. It's not a confusing game to play. Combining multiple different franchises worked quite well here, and the story is strong for games in this franchise.
8 Gameplay
Lots of killing and mindless slaughter, may be dull to some. Lots of different game modes to explore, lots of different battlefields to create that are limited by your imagination. RPG elements make it more intimate for characters you want to raise.
9 Lasting Appeal
Lots of killing and mindless slaughter, may be dull to some. Lots of different game modes to explore, lots of different battlefields to create that are limited by your imagination. RPG elements make it more intimate for characters you want to raise. For a completionist, there's an ubiquitous number of officers to level up and work with, and many different weapons to collect. Game will provide many hours of fun.
8.6
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is the best title in the franchise thus far. It added a lot of additional mechanics that the original didn't have, and the insanely large ensemble of characters makes this game easy for anyone to pick up to play and adapt to. The story is actually decent in comparison to the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors titles, with additional content to expand the already solid story. The chaotic battling is matched with stunning visuals that look crisp and run smoothly on the Playstation Vita, and it's backed with a phenomenal soundtrack that keeps things going. I would definitely recommend this title for any action fan, or for veterans of the franchise
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