I ended up spending most of the day today spending Dynasty Warriors 7. Despite the fact that I’ve totally played this game before, in Dynasty Warriors 2 & 4.
DW gets a bad rap for being repetitive, but it’s also interesting to see how the developers innovate each game. The games are strangely loyal to their source material, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so that means that every game features the same characters, the same battles, the same plotlines. It’s become a sort of joke about the series that we’ve fought the Yellow Turban Rebellion a few hundred times now.
It does mean that those small tweaks to gameplay and systems are significant. I think Dynasty Warriors 7 is kind of the pinnacle of the series – it looks good, plays well, has good story and cutscenes, and interesting extra modes.
The idea of doing frequent DW installments is kinda passe, anyway. Nowadays, it would make more sense as DLC – release one Dynasty Warriors game per console generation, then update it with characters, new maps, art packs, gameplay modes, weapons, and even new gameplay systems. There’s no reason for incremental improvements from year to year anymore. (I’m looking at you, too, Madden.)
Anyway, it was fun. Which says a lot about it, too. I know that Dynasty Warriors is meaningless, and I have better ways to spend my time. But watching that combo meter climb to 100, 500, 1000, and more just feels good somehow. I wade effortlessly through foes that were a challenge a few hours ago, and I know that I’m becoming stronger. I wish real life were like that – that I could clearly see the relationship between effort and results.
I think the usual curve for reality is a slow start (lots of effort, little result), then rapid gain (little effort, lots of result) followed by incremental improvement (lots of effort, little result). I wish I could get past more of the slow starts. It’d be nice to lose some weight.