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E3 2010: The Art Of War With Tecmo Koei America

June 22, 2010
- I was given the opportunity to test out 3 Tecmo Koei games and they all had one striking thing in common: The Omega Force Engine in full force. Itís nice to see them getting so much mileage out of an engine that has essentially remained unchanged for an entire decade, but I think itís time for some change! I donít think the games were bad by any means, but they felt awfully familiar.

Samurai Warriors 3 is Samurai Warriors 2 with a few new characters and some new features. I didnít actually see any new features aside from downgraded Wii graphics, but fans of the series will not be disappointed. I have long considered myself a fan of the Musou games and people have tried to convince me they are wastes of time. Achievements and Trophies have helped convince me otherwise, but with Samurai Warriors 3 being a Wii exclusiveÖ

TRINITY is a relatively interesting idea: classic Dynasty Warriors game play put to a hack ní slash style action game with RPG elements. The game has you control 1 of 3 different warriors that you can (and must) switch between frequently. Each have their own unique skills and puzzle solving abilities. I had the opportunity to play the game right in front of the producer and unlike my awkward Capcom incident, his translator never abandoned us. For now the game only had 1 full playable stage, but in the future there will be a world map that leads to various stages (including indoor dungeon types) and DLC downloadable side quests and alternate outfits.

I enjoyed playing the game, but I was sorely disappointed by the lack of cooperative multiplayer and found the Omega Force Engine a little inappropriate for the game type. I would like to see a lot more of this title before I make too many judgments, as I was also unable to see any of the character leveling mechanics in the brief demo.

The final game was an absolute blast. Fist of the North Star: Kenís Rage makes excellent use of the classic Dynasty Warriors game play but with a brilliantly designed cyber punk brutal 1980s classic manga setting. As it is true to the manga, and not an ancient Chinese epic with literally thousands of names to pluck at random, the game offers much fewer characters than your average Musou affair- just 5-8 depending on whether you are in the main story mode or Dream mode. Thankfully, the game offers co-operative split screen game play and shortly after the release there will be some DLC offering alternate costumes- including the notoriously sexy oneÖ donít act like you werenít hoping for itÖ

In the way of new mechanics the game has a beefed up special system and you can switch between MANY different super moves using the D-pad. The game also offers battle damaged clothing so hard bodied males and scantily clad female(s) are just a punch and a kick away! On a down note, the game has implemented some infuriating QTE sequences, and at the worst possible time. When you have finally beaten a boss who nearly creamed you, you have to quickly enter in a sequence of buttons to ensure he stays down for the count. If you fail at this, be prepared to watch his health skyrocket back up and pray there is some food lying around to heal your own wounds! On a positive note, after entering the correct QTE sequence, you are treated to a brutally fun body bursting cinematic and you feel a deep sense of satisfaction and relief!

When asked about their future plans to Musou up other classic anime/manga titles, the producer of F.o.N suddenly grew shy and embarrassed. I could see under the surface he was excited about something, but just couldnít let it slip quite yet. Maybe someday we will all be marveling at the glory that is ďDynasty Warriors Sailor Moon: Rated M.Ē

Written By: Anthony Cara

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