Review: Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper (Wii U)
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper hacks its way onto Nintendo Wii U and combines the huge roster of characters from the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series.
The Wii U version which comes with the designation Hyper promises enhanced features for the new console and, and a piece of trivia for those following along at home, is the first Warriors game to launch internationally before Japan.
So how is Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper? Glad you asked, because you’re about to find out!
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper starts off with a bang — the story throws players into the final boss battle first: an epic war against a giant, eight-headed serpent. Needless to say, your noobness gets the better of you and you lose the battle. As the characters are wallowing in sadness, a mysterious girl named Kaguya appears and offers them the ability to travel back in time (why not?) to get ready for the battle they just lost.
From there, you must take your armies to battles previously lost by the characters in the lead up to the end battle, save those who have fallen and amass a stronger war team.
Battles are selected by an ever-growing menu with various victory conditions and difficulty levels. The game’s story can be manipulated based on how you progress through your ever-changing battles with the “Bond System”. As you unlock abilities, you can create bonds with other characters which can mean the difference between that army being your ally or enemy. A neat inclusion.
Battles themselves are glorious hack-and-slash fests with literally thousands of enemies to mow through, tonnes of abilities and attacks and thousands of weapons at your disposal. Enemies look a little bland and samey — a curse for games of this type — but there is no frame rate drop at all, even when the battles get really intense. Destroying thousands of unwitting enemies feels great but it comes at a bit of a technical cost: while the game’s “draw distance” is impressive for the actual levels, enemies will magically appear right in front of your eyes, rather than running towards you from a distance. This is being referred to by people who pretend they know technical descriptions as “pop-in”.
Not that this matters – it’s a small price to pay for thousands of enemies on each battlefield and you’ll find you’re so caught up in paying attention to the characters in-game conversations and the sheer fun of hacking your way through massive maps that you don’t notice any technical glitches that might arise here and there.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is about characters. Lots of characters. There are over 130 playable characters in the game and Tecmo Koei have included some famous faces including Ryu Hayabusha, Achilles, Jeanne d’Arc, Nemea and Ayane which will bring a smile to all Tecmo Koei fans’ faces.
Wii U is also the home to the new Duel Mode. Duel Mode is a mix between Player vs Player (PVP) and card battles which can be played either against the computer-controlled player, or online over Nintendo Network. This mode requires strategic thinking and can be quite frantic.
Also noteworthy is Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper‘s use of Wii U’s unique GamePad. The game can be played completely on the GamePad without worrying about the TV if you wish, but it can also be used as a second TV for split-screen gaming against a friend. Tecmo Koei have also included the ability to turn off GamePad features to conserve battery life. Traditionalists will be pleased to know they can use the Wii U Pro Controller if they wish, and both control options feel great.
Presentation is an area a lot of games need to improve in these days, and Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is no exception. The in-game menus reflect design standards of the GameCube/PlayStation 2 era and some of the setup options can be confusing with no help from the in-game manual. Still, players can unlock various wallpapers to be used on loading screens (which aren’t on screen for very long) and there are tonnes to unlock including characters, weapons and costumes. Sound is fantastic over PCM 5.1ch, though there are rare times when the background music will vanish completely for some reason mid-battle.
Overall, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is a fantastic “popcorn” title that will satisfy your need to hack-and-slash (read: button mash) at the best of times though also has enough to become engrossed in for the most hardcore players.
Fans of the series will get the most out of the game, but if anyone wants a fun title they can pick up and play at any moment of the day, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is well worth a look.