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PureSim Baseball 2004 [PC]





Dynasty Warriors 4 with the new Empires expansion features!

7.5

Great

Summary

Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is basically an expansion to Dynasty Warriors 4. It is the first game in the series to actually have the Empires features in it. Since it is basically an expansion pack to Dynasty Warriors 4, It is very much like the normal Dynasty Warriors 4.

The story in Dynasty Warriors games have always been mostly the same. A bunch of lords are fighting over China to rule it in a huge war. While it is mostly the same as always, I reccomend that you play the normal Dynasty Warriors 4 game first so that you understand about the battles that actually happened in real history, and to learn about the characters. The main mode of Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is the Empire Mode. In Empire Mode, you can either play the game based on real history, or just play the game fiction based. You start out by choosing a leader who has a single piece of land. You take over land by invading an enemies land and taking over the enemy bases or by defeating the enemy ruler. When attacking you have 30 minutes to defeat the enemy or you lose that battle. Before a battle you choose which officer you play as and who will go into battle with you. Once the battle is over, if you have any captured officers from the battle, you can choose who you hire to serve under your command and who you dismiss. This cost a bit of money though. By hiring officers, you have more characters to play as in battle and more of a choice of who fights with you. Every turn your officers will give you choices of what they are offering to do for you. Sometimes they will reccomend that you make an alliance with another ruler, to trade certain items, to train your officers, or regain troops. This will cost you money but you can decide to not do anything for a turn to gain more money.

Occassionally you may be attacked by an enemy army. So of course you ahve to defend your land. When defending your land you choose who you play as and who goes into battle with you just as if you were attacking. When defending you must defend your bases and survive for 15 minutes before you win the battle or by taking over all of the enemy bases, or defeating their ruler. When you are attacked the enemy can capture some of your officers and if the enemy wins the battle they get the piece of land they attacked.

You win the Empires mode by successfully taking over every piece of land. After that you get a funny ending! The ending is different depending on which officers you recruited throughout the game.

Their are also 4 types of VS modes which can be played against a friend or agaisn't the computer. You can chooseany of the characters that were in Dynasty Warriors 4. It is pretty cool that you can play agains't the computer in VS Mode because in the original Dynasty Warriors 4 you couldn't play VS Mode agains't the computer. Either way that you play these VS modes it is still pretty good.

The character creator is still here and it has been improved. While it still sin't great, it is better than before. This time you have 6 character models to choose from. You can choose their weapon, helmet, outift, outift color, and special abilities. The character you create can be played as in any of the modes. While the character creator isn't great, it is better than it was in the original Dynasty Warriors 4.

If you have saved data of the original Dynasty Warriors 4 on your memory card then when you create a file on Dyansty Warriors 4 Empires, you will start with extra content then you would if you had no saved data of the original Dynasty Warriors 4.

Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires should be enjoyable to fans of Dyansty Warriors especially now that it has the new Empires features added too it. It is a good game but I would reccomend playing the original Dynasty Warriors 4 first. While it is a little different then the orignal Dynasty Warriors 4, don't expect alot of differences in the actual combat. If you are a fan of Dyansty Warriors and you areone of those people who like strategy games then you should enjoy Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires.




While still a repetitive mess, Dynasty Warriors 4 gets some much-needed depth thanks to its Empires subtitle.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Guilty pleasure"

Summary

It's difficult to imagine two game series being less alike than Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Both draw inspiration from the classic Chinese novel that the latter takes as its namesake, which details events in China between 168 and 280 AD. But on one hand, Dynasty Warriors is an over-the-top, hack-and-slash action game that has you wading through armies of literally hundreds, while Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a slow (perhaps the slowest) and thoughtful strategy game. Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is an expansion, of sorts, to the original, combining the frenzied action of Dynasty Warriors with the strategic considerations of a Romance of the Three Kingdoms title. It's a strange pairing, and despite the game's many technical failings, makes for an addictively compelling experience. Truly, these two great tastes go great together.

New to the game is the titular Empires mode, which adds an additional layer of strategy to the standard Dynasty Warriors formula. You begin the game by selecting one of over forty playable characters. Should you dislike the entirety of this massive roster, you can instead opt to create custom characters from scratch, customizing their appearance, weapon, and fighting style. From here, you get to work reuniting China under your rule, choosing a starting location within the fractured nation. Like a Romance of the Three Kingdoms title, the strategy portion of the game is turn-based. Rather than directly act upon your empire, you instead pick from randomly selected proposals offered up by your generals at the beginning of every turn. These range from opening trade with neighboring provinces and forging alliances to hiring temporary combat units and recruiting wandering lieutenants. Every action costs gold, which you earn based on the size of your empire; you're more than welcome to impose additional taxes on your citizens, but just be prepared for any consequences. While this strategy element isn't particularly deep, and is an insignificant nothing compared to the tremendous (and often overwhelming) depth found in a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game, it's a welcome addition just the same. In fact, without this additional layer of empire building, there wouldn't be much to the game at all.

As the title suggests, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires falls more on the Dynasty Warriors end of the spectrum. Once per turn you can choose to invade a neighboring province, taking three of your generals and three of your lieutenants, along with their armies, with you into combat. These levels are virtually identical to those found in Dynasty Warriors 4 and other Dynasty Warrior titles, as you once again repetitively button mash your way through entire armies of soldiers. Enemies and allies alike are completely brain-dead, with no real AI to speak of, as groups of soldiers spend most of the battle standing face-to-face with one another and only rarely swing their weapons. As such, it falls to you to single-handedly take out the opposing forces, but thankfully, their near-vegetable status makes this exceedingly easy. The only real challenge comes from opposing generals, but even they succumb to the same single-button combos eventually. Sadly, the game's camera offers up more challenge than any of its enemies, and on the rare occasions when you do take a beating, it's the camera's insistency to narrowly focus on you rather than the action that's to blame.

There isn't much more to the combat than repeating the same four-move combo ad nauseum. Despite some light strategic elements, combat is still very repetitive and very shallow. Your goal as you plow through the zombie armies of Chinese soldiers is to capture bases and eventually capture your enemy's stronghold or defeat their leader. Though you have no direct control over their actions, coordinating with your lieutenants and generals as they run about the battlefield makes this go much more smoothly, as they tend to gang up on enemy commanders with extreme prejudice. Still, you can just as easily ignore your allies' cries for help and bypass both armies entirely to capture the final stronghold or quickly defeat the enemy leader by yourself. Sure, it's a much riskier tactic, but it'll also cut the time you spend in battle to a tiny fraction of what it would take otherwise.

After a battle ends, you have the option to hire any defeated commanders. Those you set loose, however, join the free market and are likely to get picked up by another industrious warlord. Following a successful invasion, the annexed territory is appended to your own. Control all of China and you win the game. Unfortunately, as you grow larger, you become more and more susceptible to attack as your borders extend to touch more opposing clans. Because you can only participate in a single battle in a turn, being forced to defend a territory from invasion prevents you from expanding your empire. It's not uncommon to spend several turns in a row defending the same province from attack later in the game. The game is repetitive enough without having to fight the same armies on the same map three times in a row.

Graphically, Dynasty Warriors does little that impresses. While the textures are surprisingly crisp and detailed, character models themselves sport few polygons. Additionally, the draw distance is extremely short and, when coupled with the game's limited scope of the action thanks to the too-tight camera, it's not uncommon to watch enemies appear out of the ether just a few feet in front of you. The substandard visuals are to be expected, of course, given the vast number of characters moving around on screen at any given time. But despite the low visual fidelity, the game suffers from crippling slowdown during the heaviest combat and occasionally it gets so bad that the GUI itself flickers on and off the screen. The maps also tend to blend together, differing little in geometry or visual design. It quickly becomes difficult to tell one mountainous, jungled fortress from the next.

Empires also features Dynasty Warriors' standard so-bad-its-good voice acting. A handful of distinctly American voice actors voice all of the game's characters and blatantly mispronounce the Chinese names of characters and locations. The game's ridiculous, over-the-top rock soundtrack heavy with electric guitar seems strangely out of place, but provides a uniquely old school, video gamey appeal. There's something particularly entertaining about bashing a few hundred skulls while an electric guitar wails loudly in the background, even if it differs little from the gameplay the game was offering a few hours ago. Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires seems to revel in its ridiculousness, strangely matching Chinese history with 80s rock and distinctly non-Chinese voice actors.

Despite the sheer repetition of the combat, the poor graphics, and the questionable audio selections, however, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is still an addicting game. While the combat itself isn't inherently interesting, the overarching strategy elements add just enough depth to keep the game from failing. Just as you've grown bored of mindlessly slaughtering another few hundred mentally disabled soldiers, you're kicked back to the world map and the next turn begins. Before you know it, you're selecting proposals and preparing for another invasion. You're always just one more turn from saving your game and finding a more productive way to spend your time, but that last turn always seems to move further and further out of your reach. Though it may not be a great game, or even a good one, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires is an addictive game that'll leave you satisfied, if slightly numbed after hours of button mashing.




A much needed break from the usual story.

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Mixed reactions"

Summary

Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires.... is actually almost the same as every other DWU game, except that its the first of its kind to break from the tradional storymode. In this game you can make yourself a commander and rule China.

Same graphics, same sound. However, the gameplay has changed to fit in with the new empire mode. This time you choose any character (or make your own) and start campaigning around the country. However, when you get on the battlefield it looks very much the same. There is the addition of strongholds but it doesn't differ that much from the hack and slash that fans have come to know and love. Also there are hint of the RTS genre as you do diplomacy with your enemies and your people. The story mode is completely omitted.

The bonuses are quite cool but don't spice the game up to whole new heights. Koei seem to keep repeating the process but at least they added new flavour to this game.

If you have other DWU games, then there is no point of buying this one, but if you are interested, might as well.




I really do love Dynasty warriors but did not enjoy empires at all

6.5

Fair
Difficulty:
Very Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Been there, done that"

Summary

Although it is different from the normal dynasty warriors tittles I didn't much enjoy this game at all. Their was still that feeling of been there done that.For me I really only enjoy the original Dynasty warriors tittles and hate Empires and Xtreme Lengends.It also lacked multiplayer which I really enjoyed in the Dynasty warriors games. I also really can't wait till Dynasty warriors 6 comes out. I really don't understand why people would like this game and I would say it was a mistake for me to buy it. The characters in this one didn't look amazing but I liked the fact that you could play LU BU right away. My Favorite Dynasty warriors game was Dynasty warriors 3 because of the battle at Hu Lao Gate it was so fun how challenging it was unlike Dynasty warriors 4 Empires which is straight forward easy.




Could have been great.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

The Dynasty Warriors franchise has clearly been using the same type of game: just updating graphics and adding a few more characters. With the additions of spin-off games like Extreme Legends and Strike Force, they are just pumping a little bit of life into the same idea. I feel that the Empires series is off on the right foot. It adds a bit of strategy to the otherwise bland game play. Although, the dynasty warriors series is great in its own right. I love to play the games to sit down and have a great mind-numbing experience. Say, my girlfriend dumps me. I'll pop in some DW, play for 6 or 7 hours, and then leave the experience feeling nothing at all. And it's awesome. With this particular game, Dynasty Warriors really steps out of it's shell. I feel that the addition of territories was much needed. It's a great game and there is so much potential in it. Although, I only gave the game a 7.5 because it gives the vibe that they developers really skimped on the game. I feel that this game could have been a truly great game if they only spent more time working on more customization options. It's great being able to recruit officers. But you can only have 10 while everyone else gets 65 or 70. I want to see some overpowering battles. If I own 8 territories and I choose to attack a force that only has 1 territory, I want to be able to send in 20 generals against his 5. And vice versa. Everything is just played down in this game. I feel that it had so much potential, but deadlines and lack of vision make for a mediocre game. But it's great for hours of vegetation.
7.8

Great
7.8