Warriors of Fate


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Dynasty Warriors ruined everything. The visceral thrills that series provides makes it hard to go back to Warriors of Fate. It's still a great beat-em-up in the Capcom vein, it just seems somewhat weak comparatively.

The thrill of hacking away at a meager ten sprites on screen has diminished a bit, even with three players fighting cooperatively. It's still an impressive technical feat considering the hardware, without a hint of slowdown or flicker. The backgrounds are a bit drab in comparison, though it's a fair trade off.

All that graphical muscle isn't going to mean a thing if the gameplay isn't right. Even though newer titles allow countless button combinations to destroy foes, there's just something indescribable about wailing away on them with a solid three hitter. Warriors of Fate provides a great feeling of power all the way through, each of the five selectable characters dealing out damage in their own unique way.

They head into the fight with a horse, a throwback to the games predecessor Dynasty Wars. The same cumbersome controls on horseback remain here, requiring a button press to turn. There are only a few times where riding is available, and even then, you don't have to get on. That's the best change that could have been made from the original.

Off the horse, even if your ancient Chinese warrior comes supplied with a weapon, there's still extra firepower available. Hammers, long swords, axes, and throwing knives are all available to get you out of those sticky moments. They usually connect with a squirt of blood, completing the illusion of a hit.

Even though barreling through a parade of enemies is fun, it ends up becoming tiring after eight levels or so. Warriors of Fate plods along well after its welcome, hitting the 10 stage mark. Worse, you may not even beat the game. If you fail to destroy the final boss in a set time limit (brutally short), he takes over the country. That's hardly rewarding.

At the very least, you have the soundtrack to fall back on. Each stage has its own theme, perfectly suited to the period. It has a nice orchestrated feel and stage six offers the best fighting music in game. Punches and sword slashes connect with either a brutal whack or a deep slice. It's satisfying enough to make the feelings of those hits complete.

Like most beat-em-ups, this game really needs to be played with all the available slots used. It's not particularly difficult and it's even easier with three players. Those ten stages will fly by if you're brawling in a group. It's not that the game fails to provide a decent one-player experience, it's just that with everyone slashing away, it gives it a fantastic epic feel. Convincing someone that this is better than Dynasty Warriors, well, that could be a problem.


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Last updated: Sunday, May 01, 2005 09:33 AM