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Dynasty Warriors 2

真・三國無双

Developer: ω-Force Publisher: Koei
03 August 2000
Dynasty Warriors 2 [真・三國無双] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.63 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
48 Ratings /
#154 for 2000
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Releases 2
Filter by: All 2 PS2 2
2000 ω-Force Koei  
CD-ROM
XNA 0 40198 00108 3 SLUS-20079
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Title
In many ways, Dynasty Warriors 2 is a deeply flawed game. The gameplay is repetitive, the combat is extraordinarily basic, and there's practically no narrative aside from short interlude scenes that only serve to interrupt the flow of battle and ruin your combos. However, despite these issues, I still respect this title for two reasons: firstly, this game was a launch title for the PlayStation 2 in 2000, showcasing a new vision of what "modern" video games could be, and secondly, the structure of the gameplay (although repetitive) wholly minted a new sub-genre of gaming that still exists to this day.

These two praises should be sung in tandem, as they both serve to profess that Dynasty Warriors 2 was a pioneering experience. Contemporaneous reviews chose to compare the game to 2D beat 'em ups like River City Ransom or Streets of Rage taken into the next dimension. It's an odd comparison to a modern eye, but those were the closest parallels that could be drawn at the time. Dynasty Warriors 2 was seen as the obvious next step in the genre. Fully 3D environments were only just attaining ubiquity at the time and the sheer number of enemies on screen (although paltry by today's standards) was extraordinary to someone only familiar with the games of the previous generation. I cannot imagine how it must have felt in 2000 to see dozens of detailed character models all brawling at once in a 3D environment.

Yes, today the game is clearly basic, with many people referring to it more as a technical demonstration for much more fleshed out experiences in years to come. And yes, the game is extraordinarily grindy. I spent dozens of hours getting every character in the game to the highest rank and completing each character's "story" mode. This mode contains 8 stages total and each character proceeds through 5 of these stages to help their faction attain dominance. Each stage is a large environment filled with camps and outposts swarming with peons, and dotted generously with captains and generals who serve as mini-bosses. The ultimate goal of each stage is to take out the other faction's leader, which can be done slowly and tactfully by defeating each underling along the way to the ultimate boss, or you can barrel directly towards that final opponent and take them down before anybody else. Either way, once the target has been killed, the stage is complete and you move onto the next one.

One problem with the story mode is that it requires grinding to properly oppose the foes at hand. For instance, the first level in most story mode runs is the Yellow Turban Rebellion, which almost always goes down without a hitch. Each named enemy (i.e. commander or general) in this stage can easily be taken down by a brand new, unleveled character. However, most other stages require you to be much stronger to effectively take on the foes on offer. This necessitates run after run in "free mode" to level each character up to be able to take down the story mode opponents. In this way, the game feels akin to a traditional JRPG, where the halting of "story" progress and the repetition of beating down the same types of enemies over and over is just part of the experience.

This game took me a long time to complete, and the games to come will take even longer, no doubt. However, I enjoyed my time blasting through the stages, finding an almost meditative peace through the process of growing each character into a lawnmower for foot soldiers. These games are thought of as "brainless," and perhaps that's not such a bad thing. This first true "musou" entry undoubtedly stands as one of the most influential games that's really not worth playing. I must say that I do feel a sense of accomplishment having stuck through it, but I'd only recommend it to the most intensely hardcore of Warriors/Koei fans. Even then, it's a bit of a tough sell.

One last thing I must mention here is the music - MASA is the lead composer for the vast majority of all Dynasty Warriors titles (including this title and the one previous), and only recently retired from Koei in early 2022. His style merges elements from techno, pop, and primarily alternative rock. The guitar riffs in the OST have a uniquely post-grunge flavor that can certainly be off-putting, but ultimately endeared me. The synth arpeggios mixed in provide a great counterbalance and mesh well with the straight-ahead rock stylings so much better than could be expected. It's truly a shame that MASA hasn't been given his due like so many other video game composers well-known in the West.
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Were we so starved in the PS2's first year that we would eat anything up? Dynasty Warriors has its place, but this one is just rough, missing a lot of combat options, sound effects, and literally all dialogue, making the visceral concept completely lifeless.
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Lowlander2 2017-08-25T18:59:15Z
2017-08-25T18:59:15Z
2.0
1
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Catalog

mickilennial Dynasty Warriors 2 2024-01-25T21:21:35Z
PS2 • XNA
2024-01-25T21:21:35Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TALLINN 真・三國無双 2023-10-02T18:54:06Z
2023-10-02T18:54:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gabrieer 真・三國無双 2023-08-18T02:21:58Z
2023-08-18T02:21:58Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
necrolatria04 真・三國無双 2023-05-19T21:06:04Z
2023-05-19T21:06:04Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
st02219 真・三國無双 2023-05-15T17:32:52Z
PS2 • JP
2023-05-15T17:32:52Z
2.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ectopicsage 真・三國無双 2023-05-09T19:27:14Z
2023-05-09T19:27:14Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dymable 真・三國無双 2023-03-29T23:35:32Z
2023-03-29T23:35:32Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hugdeserver 真・三國無双 2023-03-18T23:32:43Z
2023-03-18T23:32:43Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AvantSnail 真・三國無双 2023-01-06T09:12:45Z
2023-01-06T09:12:45Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kukelennedy 真・三國無双 2023-01-05T00:23:26Z
2023-01-05T00:23:26Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CircoBondi Dynasty Warriors 2 2023-01-02T19:09:16Z
PS2 • XNA
2023-01-02T19:09:16Z
2.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ekoo_24 真・三國無双 2022-12-06T19:44:32Z
2022-12-06T19:44:32Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Also known as
  • Shin Sangokumusou
  • Dynasty Warriors 2
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  • Lazlo77 2019-06-28 11:56:51.613221+00
    Basically a tech demo disguised as a full game. That was pretty scummy from Koei.
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  • funkacademy 2021-02-12 05:40:55.869387+00
    Really feels like a beta version of Dynasty Warriors 3 [真・三國無双2]
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  • grizzlemaster 2022-06-30 14:21:55.473121+00
    it's grindy but it ain't that bad
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  • Teglement 2022-11-03 14:53:46.234511+00
    would be so much better if it weren't for the constantly healing bosses
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