(Wii U)

Game Review

Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Greg Giddens

Hyper fighting

It's great to see such a variety of titles hitting the Wii U during its launch window, and of the many ports it's a joy to see the best of the Warriors Orochi games make the transition in Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. For the uninitiated, the Warriors Orochi series is a crossover of the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games, where the characters from each series join forces to combat the demon hordes that threaten the world. Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper brings a few new additions, but for the most part offers the same action-heavy combat and strategy, against hundreds of on-screen hostiles, that the Warriors games have done for years.

The narrative starts with a demonic Hydra terrorising the land, having defeated all mankind's armies and leaving only three generals still alive. With all seemingly lost, the generals fight a last desperate battle, only for a mystic called Kagura to appear and offer a unique opportunity to turn the tide. The generals are offered the chance to go back in time and fight in the battles that led to this defeat, altering their outcomes and saving the other generals.

Keeping with series tradition, the story proves to be a great setup that completely ditches the historical accuracy of its progenitor series and enjoys the freedom and absurdity that comes with it. It even brings characters in from every corner of the Tecmo Koei family, with Ninja Gaiden's Ryu Hayabusa, Dead or Alive's Ayane and yet more obscure characters from Bladestorm (Joan of Arc), Warriors: Legends of Troy (Achilles) and Trinity: Souls of Zill O'll. It all comes together to create a weirdly compelling narrative, full to the brim with characters.

With over 130 recruitable characters to search out, there's plenty to do in Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. Each new level is a truly huge battle to get stuck into. You need to scan the mini map for targets, strategise regarding which ones to attack and in what order, then hang up your tactician's hat and get your hands dirty by joining the fight as a team of three interchangeable characters.

You build your team beforehand from your collection of saved generals; each packs different weapons and move-sets for you to learn and experiment with. With so many playable characters available the sheer number of combinations is staggering. Additionally, with a light coating of RPG-esque leveling and customisation thrown into the mix, you can modify and build on each of your character's skills and craft a team that truly suits your play style.

Once you're on the field of battle you're free to explore the area and massacre all that oppose you. Hundreds of enemies thirst for your blood with their own generals and commanders present and ready to challenge your combat skill. But with your superhuman strength and agility, you can fell dozens of enemies at once with a single swing, thrust or throw of your weapon. Saving the many generals and defeating each army of demon soldiers is hugely satisfying and a glorious spectacle - however, the Wii U version does struggle to show it all off.

The series has always found draw distances to be a challenge but here it's even more apparent. Groups of enemies appear out of thin air only meters away from your characters, and some of the larger boss encounters are comically but tragically incomplete as parts of them pop into view whilst others fade out. It's like playing with a migraine at times, with unseen threats appearing out of nowhere. Additionally, the frame rate struggles and the action occasionally grinds to a halt when things become too hectic.

It's also a shame that Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper makes such little use out of the Wii U's unique features. There’s neat local co-op action - where one player can use the GamePad while another plays on the TV using a Pro Controller - but the mini map is next to unreadable on the GamePad's screen, putting that player at a disadvantage. Beyond that, no other Wii U functions are utilised; in single player, the contents of the TV screen are simply cloned on the GamePad. However, the "Hyper" subtitle does introduce a few new characters that weren't in the original, as well as Duel Mode.

The Duel Mode turns Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper into a fighter, pitting teams of three against each other in a combat arena, similar to the Tekken Tag Tournament or Marvel vs. Capcom games. Cards gathered throughout the campaign can be activated with Battle Points you earn from dealing damage in the arena, which can increase your fighter's stats or decrease those of your opponent. It's a great addition; it lacks the nuances of a dedicated fighter, but the card collecting mechanic is a nice, compelling distraction from the large scale battles.

Conclusion

Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is an uninspired port of an excellent game. There are missed opportunities regarding the Wii U's unique features and the slow down, frame rate and draw distance issues make this version the least appealing on the market. It never breaks the experience completely though, and its bonkers narrative and absorbing hack ‘n’ slash action is so engaging that's it's easier than you might think to look past the limitations and enjoy the oodles of content.

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Game Trailer

User Comments (20)

LadyStarstorm

#1

LadyStarstorm said:

It's too bad third parties don't seem to have the knack for porting things to the Wii U yet... the at-launch ports have seemed really rushed. Here's hoping the next non-launch-window wave of third party titles they'll be making things with the Wii U in mind. I'd love to pick this up, as a Musou fan, to round out our Wii U collection with something single-player that is for me specifically, but I'm a little hesitant after reading this since pop-in drives me nuts. I'll cave eventually, I'm sure... Duel Mode is pretty tempting.

Banker-Style

#2

Banker-Style said:

I always wanted to try one of these mass murdering games,but I've never got round to picking one up.I thought this looked pretty good,but after a few meh reviews I think I;m going to leave it.

Sean_Aaron

#3

Sean_Aaron said:

I guess my reaction depends on how this compares to Samurai Warriors 3, which I quite enjoy despite enemy pop-in. Unless it's worse I'm still in, though I'm not inclined to drop the full rate of the retail download price until I've played through the story mode of Samurai Warriors 3.

vdallos

#4

vdallos said:

I'm in the same position. Enjoying samurai warriors 3 in spite of its flaws. And th 3ds samurai chronicles js a good game for the waiting time in airports or banks. fiance

ultraraichu

#5

ultraraichu said:

Not bad but you forgot to mention that you can play co-op and dual mode online as well and musou battlefield in which you can customize a stage you already beat and upload them online for others to download and rate and Vic versa.

I still love it (my most played Wii U game) but they could of use the GamePad features more. A full map on the GamePad screen like Samurai Chronicles or at least a touch menu to make selection easier.

Xilef

#6

Xilef said:

Was thinking of getting this, but with the frame rate and slow down problems i think i'll at least wait for it to become cheaper.

Jellitoe

#7

Jellitoe said:

When its comes to games, aside of Mario, this Wii U launch is beginning to look like "FAIL"

Einherjar

#8

Einherjar said:

The thing that bothers me is: The Next Gen port of Orochi 2 was WAY WAY worse then this port. Yes, hords of enemys pop in and out of the field of vision. You see a bunch of enemys in the distance and slowly, their numbers grow as more models pop in while you hack away at the enemys that where previously visibale. You can only kill so much, these pop up "issues" do in no way affect the gameplay. Yes, there is occasional slow down when there are loads of enemys and / or loads of SFX and / or a bunch of huge enemys on screen. And even this does not affect gameplay, because its AT MOST a period of 1 to 2 seconds, and this is most of the time not a "twitch reaction" heavy game.
These issues may not be on the other versions of the game, but its really no reason to call this game so much infirior to the others.
Its really solid and a lot of fun, but not technically perfect.
Dont get me wrong, this isnt supposed to be a "fanboy rant" in defence of this game. Its just the fact, that so much negative news are spread about the WiiU at the moment, that people totally overact and think that the games are totally garbage when they only hear things like "framerate issues" and something like that.
Yes, these "issues" exist, but they are nowhere near as bad as some of the reviews make them out to be.

krunchykhaos

#9

krunchykhaos said:

@Jellitoe
I disagree. Considering that the WiiU has different hardware that developers are new to on consoles it's been nice. AC3 seems to be the best port. That being said what's been done as far as indie games have shown vast potential in all directions for the system. Maybe the launch, aside from sales, wasn't what everyone desired but the future looks exciting for Nintendo. For me the biggest surprises have come from aspects of their software. If anything, Nintendo pulled out a very nice interface. There's still a lot to be discovered about this system and that is something to be happy about.

krunchykhaos

#10

krunchykhaos said:

@Einherjar
There needs to be an "FYI" post about framerate because it seems that people's memory is terrible. Remember the launch for the 360? Yeah, perfect example. This is less a problem of capability and more developer motivation. What Nintendo really needs to do is make a BEAST of a first party title to show it's horsepower and third party guys will rethink themselves. Kind of like how Valve talked poo about the PS3 yet in the end apologized for being wrong.

Sean_Aaron

#11

Sean_Aaron said:

Cool based on the comments this sounds like one I'll pick up and enjoy. Now I just need the dosh!

Hopefully come November I'll see some of you online. One thing that disappointed about Samurai Warriors 3 was the lack of community, but thanks to Miiverse that's not a problem. I'd happily take an HD Samurai Warriors 3 as well!

gojiguy

#13

gojiguy said:

I'd give it a higher score than that. It's probably the best Musou game ever made!

RR529

#14

RR529 said:

Eh, if I ever get a Wii U, I'll still probably pick this up.

Samurai Warriors: Chronicles got pretty averge reviews as well, from what I can remember, but it ended up being my favorite launch title.

SheldonRandoms

#15

SheldonRandoms said:

I enjoyed Samurai Warriors 3, so I'll still get this, though it's a shame samurai Link, a.k.a Takamaru (people I know keep calling him that) isn't in this game :(

Hyrule

#16

Hyrule said:

Too many games, not enough cash. I think I might pick this up with a pro controller

Slionr

#17

Slionr said:

for a person who really enjoyed Sengoku Basara, even how silly easy it could be, will this satisfy?

Pahvi

#18

Pahvi said:

I looked through the screenshots in this review and the trailer. Are the HP bars in the battles in the final version moved over to the gamepad or why aren't they visible in any of the screenshots? Sorry, but just by looking at the screenshots it's too easy to get the impression that the screenshots don't show the actual gameplay, just in-game engine cutscenes or comparable.

Kolzig

#19

Kolzig said:

This could have been great, shame it was a weak port for the launch.
They even made another version of this later to PS3 and Vita.

What makes me really wonder is that why did they do such a rushed port that they didn't even fix the texture problems and bugs.

The developers could easily fix the bugs and slowdowns with an update, but over a year after release I doubt it.

vio

#20

vio said:

@Kolzig
Yeah, it's funny that numerous games get updates on the Wii U to fix bugs and/or add features, but this one doesn't despite clearly needing it so badly...

It's especially odd to considering how close Tecmo and Nintendo are now, developing Hyrule Warriors. You would think Tecmo would want to patch this game up.. Oh well, it's still a fun game and you can pick up a copy on Amazon for cheap now as well.

I say go buy it and show 3rd parties we want their games on Wii U!

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