Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's Talk About the New Characters in Dynasty Warriors 8 - Wei Edition

Tonight, we resume our history lesson/rant by speaking on the Wei side of the Dynasty Warriors 8 character additions.  Of the three main kingdoms, Shu (the kingdom that's had more officers for several iterations) was the only one to receive three new characters (of course) with Wei and Wu only seeing the addition of two new characters per faction with the remaining three showing up in Jin's roster.  Would you be surprised if I stated that Wu and Wei are the two factions of the three that actually need the characters because they actually have them in history?  No?  Yeah, I didn't figure as much.  Because you guys are smart, and I yell about it enough that it's fairly obvious.  Regardless, the two Wei picks were good ones, if nothing else.

The first character introduced was Li Dian which was a fine, fine choice, given that he was actually a character who had some bearing and impact on the era in a big way.  In fact, a -lot- of Wei officers would fall into this category, meaning there are still plenty of misrepresentation issues to be addressed, but this shows that they're at least working on it, as did two....one of the characters they added for DW7: Xtreme Legends (as well as the one they re-added).  Li Dian wasn't much of a warrior to start off with, doing more studying than anything, but that proved to be his benefit later in life when that insight gave him some particular observational skills.  Like being able to see a blatant ambush attempt by the Shu army even when his fellows couldn't and then riding in to the rescue when an ambush (surprise!) happened.  Unfortunately, KOEI seems to lose the plot in their portrayal of him, as he's being painted as an easygoing, flippant guy when he was historically known to be very duty-first and respectful as well as smart.  Their portrayal is kind of further exaggerated by his weapon, called a Wheeled Halberd which is....a thing.  Two steps forward, one step back, I suppose.

The second introduction is long, long overdue in Yue Jin who is one of the more famous generals in the whole of Wei's history.  Like Li Dian, Yue Jin is one of the people who were basically with Cao Cao from the beginning (which oddly contrasts with KOEI's vision of the long-game as mentioned, but they're overdue as stated, so eh), but unlike Li Dian, Yue Jin was one of the Five Elite Generals of Wei which is....kind of a big deal and kind of makes it all the more strange that, here we are, eight mainline titles in and he's only now being made a unique character.  What makes characters that were actually relevant interesting, however, is that you actually can figure on just what battles they'll be prominent in, especially considering their new-ness which naturally means they'll be the focus of those battles.  The historic Battle of Guandu will definitely see a heavy bit of time go to Yue Jin now that he's unique and likely some for the Hefei Campaign (which will be one or two missions simply titled "The Battle of Hefei" of course).  With the latter, considering Li Dian is a unique as well, I expect a take on Hefei that hasn't been taken yet, in what is described here:
Before Cao Cao left to attack Zhang Lu, he left his representative Xue Ti with a letter that read "Open when the enemy arrives" on the envelope. As Sun Quan's army was already advancing towards Hefei, the defending generals then opened the letter as instructed. It stated, "When Sun Quan arrives, generals Zhang (Liao) and Li (Dian) will engage him; General Yue (Jin) will remain behind to defend and not go to battle." The generals were puzzled by the instructions. It was well known that Li Dian and Zhang Liao had a personal feud, and Yue Jin lacked experience on defending a fortress, even though he was renowned to be the best vanguard in Cao Cao's forces. As the three of them did not get along well with each other, Zhang Liao feared that they might disobey orders. He said, "Our lord is away at war. By the time his reinforcements reach here, we're already done for. So he is actually instructing us to take advantage of the situation, when the enemy has just arrived and not fully gathered yet, to attack them and devastate their morale so as to calm our men and strengthen our defences. Victory or defeat, it all depends on this battle. Why are the two of you still hesitating?" Li Dian was moved and he said, "This is a national crisis. We'll see how your strategy works out. How can I allow my personal affairs take precedence over my official duties?" Zhang Liao then selected 800 "die-hard" soldiers overnight in preparation for the upcoming battle, and threw a banquet for his men.
Which was previously just handled by a beefed up Zhang Liao sort of appearing near Sun Quan's main camp and assaulting the shit out of it.  Of course, if you were a Wu officer, that meant get your ass to the main camp, but if you were a Wei officer it generally meant you had to set it up beforehand and then Zhang Liao would eventually retreat since nobody but you could usually rout the enemy commander.  He could take out anyone else who was in the main camp (and often did.  Near-automatically) but never the Commander.  This new spin on it, however, could place a more personal angle on it (as well as give Li Dian and Yue Jin legitimate characterization) and make the mission all the more badass if it's honestly just you and the two others against the entire Wu army at that point.  I will take it.

Li Dian and Yue Jin are honestly two prime picks, but they needed a third slot and it needed to be Yu Jin, the final of the Five Elite Generals of Wei.  I won't get into it anymore than that, because I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he's introduced in the eventual Xtreme Legends iteration of the game, given 7 opened the series to that possibility.  At which time I'll go into a little more description (unless Xtreme Legends is Download-only in which case KOEI can once again resume fucking off) since there's nothing worse than going "Oh hey, I can talk about this....but I already did like half a year ago".  All in all, where Shu's picks honestly seemed wasted (If you want to give actual Shu officers a slot, go for Liao Hua or Wang Ping at least) but Wei's seem so on the money that it's a shame there weren't more of them.  Of course, it's not...like there aren't superficial characters in Wei either.  Still, it's a good job by KOEI and that deserves at least a little praise!

seriously, how do you make Cai Wenji before the last two Elite Generals, I don't even

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