Saturday, April 2, 2011

Goddamn, Dynasty Warriors 7 is Good.

I really hate to do a post like this just about one specific moment of the game, but, honestly, I have to.  At the very least (even though I wanted, and still do, to cover the Three Kingdoms era in a series of posts) I can offer a little history behind the whole set-up so that you guys can also know the badassery that took place today.

I will preface this with the fact that I don't even like Shu.  In the novel (which most people take as the actual history despite being made in the 14th century, and what DW takes it's basing off of), Shu is way, way overplayed.  I'll get more into it when I actually get around to describing the events of the era, but suffice to say that, yeah, Shu wasn't nearly as great as Luo Guanzhong wants you to believe.  (Nor were the other kingdoms, honestly.)

But anyways, of the famous battles of the time/novel, the Battle at Chang Ban is fairly known of, where Liu Bei, who would eventually become the leader of the Kingdom of Shu, his followers and peasants that have banded to his cause are fleeing from Cao Cao, who would eventually become the leader of the Kingdom of Wei, and his army.  Because of all the peasants, Liu Bei's army was slowed and Cao Cao's was able to catch up to him at Chang Ban, where Liu Bei's forces stood to hold them off so they would be able to resume their retreat.

This is Zhao Yun in Dynasty Warriors 7.  Not pictured:  His Spear.
 Here's where a bit of the story overtakes the history, where Liu Bei's son, Liu Chan/Shan (depends on who translated) was left in one of the camps.  One of Liu Bei's retainers, Zhao Yun, took it upon himself to go retrieve the baby before Cao Cao's men found him, because, well, who knows what would have happened.  It's a really awesome little tale that's recounted as the first part of the battle of Chang Ban in DW7, where you control Zhao Yun as he searches the bases for the child, eventually finding him and then heading back to the rendezvous site, slaying dudes and generals alike on the way back.

That's not the badass part.  The badass part is what happened after, which, again, is mostly novelized 'editorializing'.  Zhang Fei, one of Liu Bei's two Oath Brothers, waited at the Chang Ban bridge, knowing that Cao Cao's army would pursue Liu Bei by it.  According to the novel, when Cao Cao's army arrived at the bridge, Zhang Fei stood there alone and let out a mighty roar, proclaiming who he was, and daring any to come challenge him.  So mighty was the roar, that everybody went, "Y'know what, screw this" and left.  In the novel, somebody was literally scared to death.

This is Zhang Fei in Dynasty Warriors 7.  Not Pictured:  His Twin Spear.
But, and more preferably, in the Dynasty Warriors series, Zhang Fei has always fought off any who got close to the bridge, whether you were playing as Wei or Shu.  And, of course, if you were playing as Zhang Fei, it was up to you.  The second part of Chang Ban starts by putting you in the shoes of Zhang Fei as he starts the scene described above, which is admittedly pretty impressive.  And when the actual gameplay starts, the Chang Ban bridge erupts in flame (which, Zhang Fei destroyed the bridge after his stand, so this isn't completely bad) and Cao Cao's army approaches.  There is, basically, nothing you can, or should want, to do but face them.

And by God, is it satsifying.  The sheer amount of enemies in this is astounding.  The game usually announces your kills by the hundreds, saying, "(character) has defeated (#00) enemies!", and it's usually prioritized, so it happens basically right after you've done it.  I'm telling you this to let you know just how awesome the moment I had was.  At one point, during the slaughter, I looked down at my kill count.  It was something in the 800s.  The message that came up when I happened to look?

"Zhang Fei has defeated 300 enemies!"

So, between all the chatter that could have put off this announcement, which, there's not all that much, and the point I looked, I killed 500 people.  And it wasn't even a surprise, honestly.  Since it is basically you and one other general versus what is literally meant to be an army, and not little groups of people with a specific general (even if it is a generic one) leading them.

I have never, ever felt so good while playing as Shu.  And I don't think any interpretation of the Chang Ban bridge could top that.

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