There’s always something special about the Dynasty Warriors series, whether it be its incredibly in-depth historical references or the corny English dubs that leave us laughing at times. It’s a game that deserves praise in various ways but also suffers in other areas, which can be boiled down to gameplay mechanics not always performing the way they should. Be that as it may, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition delivers on its promise to provide fans of the series with a plethora of content, that will ensure that hours are invested and rewards are given for completing the more challenging tasks. Anyone who’s new to the series will most certainly find enjoyment in the gameplay, especially since it’s all about hacking and slashing your way through hordes of enemies while developing an understanding about China’s powerful dynasties.
What to Expect
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is jam-packed with fresh content that players will enjoy, and with enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more. The game combines both the original Dynasty Warriors 8 along with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, following the most prominent historical figures as they fight for supreme control over the Three Kingdoms of China. There are a total of over 82 characters featured in the game, all of which are voiced to provide more realism and depth. All of the DLC to date has also been included here, which provides an all-inclusive package that gives you costumes, side-story scenarios and much more!
The original Dynasty Warriors 8 launched in 2013 for the PlayStation 3, so much of the visual presentation represents that period. It’s not as polished as we initially expected since it very much looks like a port and as such, it behaves just like one. Animations are still a bit wonky and stiff at times, which often result in the game looking a little outdated, but it still doesn’t take away from the overall fun factor the series is well known for. The menu screen is very organized, which is a plus as it allows for players to easily find what they’re looking for, and doesn’t overwhelm you with too many unnecessary fluff. Special effects during your Musou and Rage moments do look really dandy but sometimes suffer from a little framerate stutter, which ultimately affects the gameplay performance.
As much as the gameplay is the selling point of this popular series, many would be surprised to know that the soundtrack for the game is quite impressive. Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition has a ton of action, so it’s important to reflect that fast-paced thrill in music form. The game delivers in that area really well, which creates a more impactful experience especially during those very intense moments when you’re up against powerful forces or happen to run into strong generals, like Lu Bu. Voice acting is very impressive and, while the English dubbing can be incredibly amusing at times, you can opt for the Japanese dubbing via the options menu. Sadly, the game doesn’t provide Mandarin dubs as that would’ve certainly given the game a lot more authenticity. The game features music from Dynasty Warriors 3, 5, 6, and 7 as well!
The biggest selling point of Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition lies solely in its gameplay. The game comes fully stocked with an enormous amount of content, ranging from the rewarding Story Mode to Challenge Mode, and the new Ambition Mode. Free Mode is another additional mode that players can partake in, using their favorite officers to take down the opposition at their own free will. To dive deeper into Ambition Mode, this particular mode is interesting as it focuses on tasking the player to build social bases for peasants known as the Tongquetai Tower. The goal is to raise your status by taking part in Skirmishes which allow you to harvest materials necessary to maintain your tower, Raid battles which help to increase your fame, along with Large-Scale battles to help you recruit new partners. It’s an incredibly depth mode that we encourage players to dive into, as it administers a great feeling of reward once you complete it.
The other modes, such as Challenge Mode, supply players with challenging arcade-style gameplay, allowing you to get a feel for the game and rewarding you with customizable weapons along the way. Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition also includes fresh game mechanics such as the “Three-Point-System”, which gives every weapon 3 powerful affinities: Heaven, Earth, and Man. Much like a rock-paper-scissors style, these 3 affinities have their strengths and weaknesses, and so understanding what each can do can be to your advantage in the later portion of the game.
The new Rage Mode is similar to that of Dynasty Warriors 5 and its Musou Rage System, which supplies you with a nifty rage attack that can destroy just about anything so long as you use it properly. We’ve had our accidental moments where we pressed the Rage button unintentionally which ultimately wasted all of our meter, so be careful when you’re mashing buttons not to mash your way to death!
Other notable updates include weapon enhancements, weapon tempering, reforging, and fusion. Use these to your advantage to create some incredibly powerful tools that will only make your journey to control the Three Kingdoms of China that much easier.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
While we did mention earlier that framerate issues did interfere with the gameplay at times, it wasn’t as terrible as previous installments. Certainly, some improvements have been made to that area, and visual features like weather effects have also seen vast improvements. Overall, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is one game you’ll want to add to your Nintendo Switch catalog, as it not only provides you with a plethora of content but it’s a great way to dive into history and learn a little bit about the celebrated Three Kingdoms of China period.
The game is packed full of awesome content that’s fun for hours.
New gameplay features add a lot more depth to the experience.
Voice acting is really good both for EN and JP, but JP is still the better of the two.
Improved frame rate and lag.
Some visual stutters here and there but nothing game breaking.
It’s still very much a port and so as such, it’s not groundbreaking by any means.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Once you’ve cleared Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition, we highly recommend you to check out the brand new Dynasty Warriors 9 which has vastly improved visuals, along with more open world gameplay to experience. We have a written review on that one so be sure to check it out when you have the time! Until then, we hope you found this review to be insightful and provided you with enough information about what the game offers you.
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!