I’m a long-term fan of the Dynasty Warriors series, though I fell off the track with mainline games for a short while. Getting back into the swing of things with the huge Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition on Switch was an absolute delight!
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is both a terrific entry in the main series and fantastic companion to Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors on Switch. With all the additions of Xtreme Legends and a whole bunch of the DLC included as well, it really lives up to its name as a definitive edition. It’s only missing the lovely Xun Yu from Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires really.
A terrific entry in the main series and fantastic companion to Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors on Switch.
I’ve always had a bit of an issue with games like this that hold back on the cast size (Berserk, Arslan, I’m looking at you) but that’s in no way a problem in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends. The playable cast is huge and varied, both in terms of fighting style and character, with some truly gorgeous designs. There’s someone for everyone! Unless you’re me, in which case there’s at least 10.
Changes to weapons feel good and help mix things up. Dynasty Warriors has always had a flair for novelty weapons, and Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends is no exception, with things such as Huang Gai’s suspiciously boat-like ‘armblade’ providing an interesting new take on mowing down hordes of enemies. The option to equip characters with multiple weapons is a good thing too though, especially for if you want a more familiar, nostalgic Dynasty Warriors experience. It took me a while to get used to Gan Ning not using a sword, but I’m pleased a lot of his moves have been transferred over to his new fighting style surprisingly decently and in tact.
Story Mode focuses on characters as part of their relevant faction rather than individually, but it’s still vast in content. It’s just the expanded and more intricate retelling of exciting battles I’d expect from a recent entry in the Dynasty Warriors series and taking on familiar level setups with plenty of character options is as thrilling as ever. The use of hypothetical conditions to take battles down a route that differs from history is a great way to add even more scenarios and give extra time to characters who aren’t usually so long-lived or don’t get as much time centre stage.
Story Mode really has a huge amount to offer.
Having missed out on Dynasty Warriors 7, this was actually my first time playing with Jin as a whole separate faction and they are excellent. With Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends throwing in a few new characters for the other kingdoms and boosting the Other faction in terms of extra story chapters too, Story Mode really has a huge amount to offer.
The five courses of Challenge Mode are great fun and a nice change of pace from the longer levels. The variety in challenges gives everyone a chance to shine, as some focus more on speed or fighting strategy rather than pain ol’ strength. Finding the best matches for each type of challenge and clawing your way up the scoreboards is very satisfying.
Ambition Mode is an interesting new game mode with a focus on constructing a Tongquetai palace and building up a base by finding materials and recruiting officers through battles. It’s like its very own non-Empires mode where you aim to expand your territory and unify China. It may not have as much appeal as Story Mode or Challenge Mode, but it’s pretty good all the same.
The game controls nicely and intuitively on Switch as much as on other consoles and plays well both in docked and in handheld mode. I always rave about the Switch’s simple, inherent capability for multiplayer and that’s just as true here as ever. Couch co-op hack ‘n’ slash is always a joy! Being able to go co-op for Story Mode is a great feature too.
In addition to the usual galleries and theatre modes, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition even includes a freaking glossary. This is on top of expansive bios for all officers (even non-playable ones!) making the amount of background reading available a real delight if you’re a bit of a Three Kingdoms nut as I am.
A shining example of why the Warriors games are so good.
While I sing the praises of external IP spin-off games like Fire Emblem Warriors, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is a shining example of why the Warriors games are so good in the first place. All the changes present in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends are worthwhile ones to have made and only help further refine and streamline an already excellent game. There’s really little to fault with it, and it’s nifty design and cathartic gameplay make it a great title to have on your Switch both at home and on the go.
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