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I have a very solid rule when it comes to game titles, and that is games with the word “Xtreme” in it should be avoided at all costs – especially when it is spelled in that manner. You are just better off leaving that game on the shelf. Lucky for Tecmo Koei, I was assigned to review their latest and greatest edition in their Dynasty Warriors, uh, dynasty called┬áDynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition. This game was a much better experience than I was expecting, and really fun to play. With this edition, you get everything that was in Dynasty Warriors 8 and in the expansion Xtreme Legends, hence the “Complete Edition” title. This is literally everything you need in one package if you want to play Dynasty Warriors 8 on the PC.

Story

The story for Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition (this is going to get old, fast) is broken into six parts, following each faction: Wei, Wu, Shu, Jin, The Others, and Lu Bu. The story for each faction is different for each group, from fighting down a eunuch rebellion, to gathering allies. Each faction has their own heroes to choose from, and the story is told through cut scenes, text boxes, and in game voice overs between characters. There isn’t a single narrative through Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition, you really get six.

I think that was always my issue with the Dynasty Warriors franchise, really. I hadn’t played one of these games since Dynasty Warriors 2 or 3, and remember always feeling like the story was just disjointed and never made sense to me. That feeling still persists through Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition, I never really feel that there is an over arching narrative, and the characters are just not interesting enough for me to care about. I think the other issue with characterization, is that there are literally sixteen characters per faction for the first four factions, then a less amount after that. This must be what a newbie feels like when they first pick up an Xmen comic book anymore, there are just way too many people to keep track of.

Game Play

Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition plays just like I remember it, with some extras thrown in. Game modes are plenty here, with Story Mode, Free Mode, Challenge Mode, and a new Ambition Mode. Ambition Mode allows you to fight for allies, resources, and weapons to build up y our own town to win the eye of the Emperor. It’s deep, interesting, and a great way to continue to play this game, even after you have finished the Story Mode.

Game play for a Dynasty Warriors game hasn’t really changed over the years, though they do through in some new moves and weapon upgrades in this one. The main idea is that you as the character of your choosing, will fight against hundreds and hundreds of enemies in trying to reach your goal. Your goal will change depending on the mission, but the game play is still the same. Charge in, fight hundreds of enemies, and finish your objective.

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You kill your enemies by using combinations of weak and strong attacks, and can switch between two weapons, each with different stats, characteristics, and upgrade potential. You will also have special attacks and EX attacks, that can help speed up the slaughter. As you kill your enemies, you will find drops in the shape of money, health, armor, and weapons. These can be used to upgrade your character in between battles to help strengthen and customize your warrior.

My only issue with Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is that, if you are playing on the PC, you absolutely need a game pad. This game controls like a dead elephant if you are using a keyboard, and you can’t remap any of your keys. The game as a bad habit of asking you to do something, like mount a horse, and not even tell you which key that is. Very frustrating, but with a game pad, all those issues will disappear.

Aesthetics

Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition looks good, not overly fantastic. I enjoy the different costumes that the characters can wear, and the colors of the clothes make the heroes stand out against the enemy, but each stage always feels pretty much the same to me. Canyons, towns, fortresses, or forests, the landscape feels more like a design afterthought then a concentrated effort to give the player something to look at. Your character is obviously the main focus of all the visual design elements.

The game is fully voice acted, and that is somewhat of a negative for me. Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition reminds me of a bad 1970’s Kung Fu movie that is dubbed in English. Sure, the dialogue makes sense, but the energy that is put into simple lines of script feels either way over the top, or just not enough. It can be easily overlooked, but for people that are paying attention to the quality of the voice acting, it will be distracting the more you play.

Final Thoughts

Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is a good game, and is the best version to pick up if you are looking for a good Dynasty Warriors game for the PC. The game play is solid Dynasty Warriors, there are more then enough story lines, factions, and characters to keep you busy for quite a while. Even when you’ve gone through all that, you can try your hand at the Challenge, Ambition, or Free modes. The biggest problem with Dynasty Warriors as a whole, is that it is really for a niche audience. Either you will love it, and therefore already own it, or it isn’t for you and nothing I will say will convince you otherwise. If you have never played a Dynasty Warriors game and are interested in checking it out, this is the version for you. If you loved the games of the past, then you already have this game. For me, it was a good and solid game, worth recommending to someone who is open minded about battling swarms of Chinese peasants. Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition is available now on Steam.

[easyreview title=”Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Complete Edition Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”3″ ]
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Judgeman

John "Judgeman" Dugan is a long time contributor and Gaming Shogun's resident fighting game expert. Judgeman has appeared on G4's Arena, including season 1's Tournament of Champions, and was a regular in the early days of Street Fighter 2 tournaments.