Warriors All Stars Review – A Gathering of Niche Heroes
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PlayStation 4*, PC (Steam), Playstation Vita (JP Only)
ESRB Rating: T
Release Date: August 29th, 2017
*The PS4 Pro Version was used to review this game
Thank you, Koei Tecmo for providing a review copy!
Warriors All Stars is a love letter from Koei Tecmo to the fans of their many franchises. From the darkest of stories to the happiest, Omega Force has compiled a large batch of characters to duke it out and save the world from an ancient evil. Does this game stand out in the large amount of recent Dynasty Warriors spinoffs or does it fall to the wayside as a failed fanservice present? Today we dive and and take a look for ourselves.
As with most crossover fanservice games, the story is nothing memorable. All of the characters found in the game have been teleported from their respective worlds to help save a planet full of anthropomorphic animals. Due to a slew of misunderstandings, they begin fighting each other so every battle has you duking it out with characters from a melting pot of Koei franchises. The dialogue between characters and side conversations are fantastic. They completely redeem any generic or sigh worthy story event in terms of overall writing.
Like most Dynasty Warriors spin-offs, the framerate is nothing to hold on a pedestal. The art style is quite refreshing, as it seems to show off each of the visually diverse franchises characters perfectly. Each of the characters has unique visual flairs and attacks from whatever world they come from which blend beautifully when combining attacks together. Seeing multiple franchises duking it out simultaneously is a treat for the eyes, but can also be quite hectic and confusing as well.
The soundtrack is an amazing blend of medleys and original game tracks. There are musical samplings from “Dynasty/Samurai Warriors“, “Atelier“, “Nioh“, “Ninja Gaiden“, among many others. A fantastic variety and range of tones, tempos, and emotion can be found in the compilation tracks. The original songs made for the game on the other hand are not as fantastic. While not necessarily bad, only a few stand out as memorable. As for sound design, Omega Force has done a wonderful job of using sound effects and queues from a plethora of Koei Tecmo franchises, making each character feel right at home for anyone who has played that character’s game.
-Sample of The Soundtrack-
If you have ever played a Dynasty Warriors game, you know exactly what to expect here. You’ll be beating up hundreds of goon with loud anime music blaring in the background as you get engrossed in over the top special attacks and cheer your character on. The battles are recreations of many set pieces and environments from Koei Tecmo universes. A nice addition this time is the introduction of the “Bravery” system. This system forces you to actually take on side quests during the battle to level up your character bravery skill so that you’ll be able to take on stronger enemies. Before this players could just run to the end of a level and one shot the boss on lower difficulties. This gives player’s incentive to run around the giant varied levels and help out with side character objectives. On top of that, each of the playable characters have moves and skills found in the respective games they hail from. This makes veterans of those series not have to sink a lot of play time in to obtain a high skill level for that character.
This game highlights replay value as its highlight, which it handles pretty well. The game has 15 total endings which at the time of this review I’ve earned 5 of them (4 hypothetical, and the true ending) of. The game has 3 story paths to choose from with a fourth becoming available after completing certain objectives. Once you complete an ending the path in which you took to obtain that ending becomes available as a visual aid so you know what battles to not participate in to earn a different ending. You are allowed to take your save data from the previous ending and import into your next playthrough so no levels or time are lost in your character progress. Most of the endings are rather disappointing “bad” endings but a few of them are comical. The game lacks any online play like most recent Musou games and also strangely lacks a free mode option. This is a very weird choice seeing as how there are a ton of situational battle only playable once in the story which require very precise story pathing choices. It is a complete and total drag that you have to play through potentially 15 hours of story just to replay that one battle you like. While the character roster isn’t as vast as the Warriors Orochi series, they decided to include less characters to put more of an emphasis on character interaction and dialogue which I fully appreciate.
Warriors All Stars is your typical Omega Force outing. While the game highlights the witty and humorous character dialogue of the smaller focused roster, newcomers would not find much here to be interested in. An energetic soundtrack, fast and visually striking combat, and a ton of replayability. While a lack of any Free Mode and some forced story repetition hold it back from its fullest potential, Series veterans and fans of Koei Tecmo games get a wonderful love letter wrapped in a 1000 K.O count birthday present of fun.