I’ve never made any secret about my profound love for Koei’s Musou series, so it should come as no great surprise that I think Warriors Orochi 2 is brilliant. However, that’s not the full story. There’s still a few issues kicking around that sadly, it seems will never be resolved. As a fan service title, WO2 does exactly the same job but ups the ante somewhat with an apparent increase in battle size, a higher density of named officers and some spanky new abilities to add to your weapons. Now, the bigger battle stuff is brilliant, even with the slowdown (patched or unpatched) that occurs as a result. However, the new weapon abilities are pretty much a massive pain in the arse to implement, meaning you have to assign all sorts of shit stuff to your weapons instead of keeping the hyper-efficient effectors we’d all learnt from WO1. The new characters are kinda cool, though really they’re not that significant in the big line-up and certainly won’t displace any of my firmly established favourites. One of them’s really fucking hot, though. That said, I really haven’t levelled enough of them to have a genuinely professional opinion about them. Except the one that’s really hot.
WO2’s other big deal is DREAM MODE, which is pretty much a set of scenarios for selected teams of characters. As a nudge to level up people you’d normally never consider, it’s a fairly decent idea. However, they are just a static set of scenarios that take a bit too much to unlock for what appears to be very little benefit other than vanilla completism. There’s also a bizarre 1-on-1 fighting game mode, which is total shit. Seeing as it’s ultra-traditional side-on, empty the life bar template is also crowbarred into a vague stab at a Survival mode, it becomes a total fucking insult. Musou survival modes should only ever be about one thing: having to wade through an infinite, ever-more-badass crowd of fuckers. Not some ham-fisted, incredibly lame version of Soul Calibur.
Ultimately, WO2 does give me what I want and the character unlocking is nicely lenient in comparison to WO1, meaning you’ll get access to your fave badasses without having to run though a shitload of rings to get your hands on the fun guys. Obviously, WO2 is absolutely essential gaming for everyone in the universe. It’s just a shame that Koei haven’t quite grasped how fucking amazing it would be if you could customise every aspect of your characters. I’m talking costumes and items, vocal phrases tagged onto move executions, choices of R1 special and so on. I love the Musou games so much that really, none of this actually matters me that much. However, I once thought that about GTA and I can’t stand that BS POS now, so I’d like some super-crazy shit to go down in WO3, inside the NNN engine or something similar IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.