So, we’re back once more with the next entry in TheXboxHub’s ‘Looking back at’ series as we take a gander at another title celebrating an anniversary – Dynasty Warriors 6, which celebrates it’s 10-year birthday this week. It may not be the first entry in the series, but as a long-standing series that has had a longer lifespan than even Xbox itself, Dynasty Warriors 6 is certainly no bad place to start.
Around the time of Dynasty Warriors 6, things were rather quiet around the world. There were no major releases in gaming apart from JRPG epic Lost Odyssey that had arrived just a few days before, the music scene was relatively quiet, and even the news was rather typical other than political issues in the Far East.
For those who jumped into Dynasty Warriors 6 though, the experience brought about somewhat mixed opinions, with many finding issues with the lack of improvement over its predecessor, whilst others gave praise to the amount of content available through levelling up and mastering each of the character’s campaign adventures – all this despite finding further issue with the heavy repetition within each of the campaign’s available.
The game itself experienced something of a staggered release, with an early arrival in Japan on November 11th, 2007 seeing the game come bundled with the 40gb PS3. It wasn’t until Feb 19th 2008 that we saw it hit the West with a North American release, with an EU launch on March 7th, and Australia being left to wait later until March 13th. The game was made available on multiple platforms with Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and PC all receiving releases.
Whilst it was the sixth main entry in the series, Dynasty Warriors 6 was far from the sixth game that had arrived, with more than 15 titles on multiple platforms preceding it, with many more still coming together within the Warriors franchise.
Much like its predecessors, Dynasty Warriors 6 also received multiple re-releases with additional content in the form of Dynasty Warriors 6 Special, which arrived towards the end of 2008 for PS2 and early 2009 for PlayStation Portable, whilst a PC re-release – Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires – was released in 2009 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
But for those that don’t know of the game, Dynasty Warriors 6 is a hack and slash adventure set in Ancient China during a period known as the Three Kingdoms – around 200AD. Unfortunately, unless you went into Dynasty Warriors 6 with a firm knowledge of the backstory around the original tale and the story that had progressed on from that until this point, then you’d be finding yourself pretty lost. There was little information available to help bring newcomers up to speed, and even with the in-game encyclopedia offering up information on each character, there was still a knowledge of the series needed to truly appreciate any story value on offer.
One of the key changes for Dynasty Warriors 6 however was found in the Renbu system. This was the new way in which players could build and progress their attack combos within the game. Previous instalments saw combos affected by the quality of the weapons any particular character was wielding, with the more powerful weapons allowing for more elaborate combos and consecutive attacks. The introduction of the Renbu system changed this greatly by removing the need for specific powerful weaponry, instead utilising a gauge that gradually fills as you perform attacks. By dealing damage to enemies, the Renbu gauge fills and progresses to a new level or rank, whilst taking heavy damage without attacking would see the gauge drop. Even at Renbu Rank 1 however, characters were able to perform non-ending combos on the enemy.
Another big change we saw in Dynasty Warriors 6 was within the skill tree. Here players could earn higher Renbu Ranks for the characters, whilst also earning special abilities and improved attributes along the way. The most revered unlock was the Infinite Renbu which was the very last unlock on the tree.
Despite the new additions and changes though, Dynasty Warriors 6 was seen as a step down by many fans of the series for a number of reasons. One in particular was the drop in character numbers with the original release featuring a total of 41 playable characters, a disappointment when compared to the 48 playable in previous instalments. Another issue came about via the character stories. Although previous iterations saw Musou Mode bring all characters in to play with stories, Dynasty Warriors 6 brought only 17 of the playable characters in with their own stories, whilst the remaining roster was only available in Free Mode and Challenge Mode.
The main disappointment however came down to the largely reduced unique move sets within the game. As mentioned before, Dynasty Warriors 6 original release came complete with 41 playable characters, however it was only the 17 Musou Mode additions who received their own unique move sets this time around, with the remaining characters instead receiving cloned move sets based on the Musou Mode cast – with the exception of Xiao Qiao who retained her fan move set. Dynasty Warriors 6: Special however brought six new characters to Musou Mode along with new weapons and move sets unique to each character. This version only released on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, although all changes were kept for the Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires release which arrived on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 2009 and PlayStation portable in 2010.
Whilst hardcore fans of the series may have enjoyed Dynasty Warriors 6 purely due to it being another title in the series, there were many who felt it could and should have done much better. So where does the series sit now? Well just last week we saw the release of the highly anticipated Dynasty Warriors 9 bringing us an all-new type of experience in a completely open-world setting for the first time in the series – and with more than 80 characters available it’s fair to say the series doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
The big question however is did you enjoy Dynasty Warriors 6? Let us know in the comments below or via our usual social channels?
It’s mad to think it’s been a decade already!