Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Let's Talk About the New Characters in Dynasty Warriors 8 - Wu Edition
Tonight, we round third base and discuss Wu's additions to Dynasty Warriors 8. As with Wei, there are only two to pick and initially, I felt that perhaps one of the picks was a bit of a wasted one. However, after a bit of further study, I do have to say that KOEI did good again with their picks this time around even if one of them wasn't -technically- a warrior of the time. It's still a rather good showing, especially after Shu's picks and while I haven't looked too deeply into Jin's, I'm willing to say that the streak probably ends here for the most part. Good run and all of that, but KOEI just cannot resist novelty characters and/or characters that just had absolutely no bearing on the era according to history -or- the novel on which they base the games off of for the most part. Still, be happy for what they got right and such.
Let's speak of the pictured above first, which is a man by the name of Lu Su. This was the guy that I thought originally didn't really need a spot since, first and foremost, he was a strategist and an advisor, but credit where it's due, the dude -did- lead troops into battle. Not often, but enough to add General to his repertoire, eventually leading to his title of "General Across the River". Not one of the best title names, as there are some real gems, but not bad either. However, the reason why Lu Su is important is basically that you look at a majority of the decisions Sun Quan made, the big ones, and you have to realize that Lu Su is the reason Quan made most of them. Su advocated resisting Cao Cao's larger forces when everyone else suggested surrender and bid that they team up with Liu Bei for a little-known conflict known as the Battle of Red Cliffs. You know, just a tiny battle that we certainly haven't heard of and certainly wasn't turned into a John Woo movie or anything.
He also spoke to lending Jing territory to Liu Bei when he came and asked to be named governor of the area to establish a home for himself and his followers. He was the only one who suggested it would be a good idea, as it would strengthen their relationship as it was forged by their cooperation in the Battle of Red Cliffs. Further, he was the only one to suggest that Liu Bei be allowed to retain part of Jing territory (which Wu had loaned to Shu) after Shu had established itself further west and doing so eventually allowed Wu to seize a big opportunity in what was Lu Meng's invasion of Jing which had occurred while Guan Yu was busy with Cao Cao's forces at Fan Castle. This occurred two years after Lu Su's death, of course, but had he not argued to maintain things as they were, that opportunity might not have presented itself. This is among other examples, so Lu Su was basically the guy behind the guy, if you will. As such, I'm completely fine with him being a character since he's basically Sun Quan's Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi. The character page says his weapon is a Rake, but looking at the above screenshot, I'm not....quite sure what to call that. Let's just go with it, I suppose.
The other character added to the game was Han Dang and this was a very good move indeed. Han Dang is one of those few, few officers that survived what is essentially a goodly portion of the major struggle of the era. He joined up with Sun Jian at the start when Sun Jian and the rest of China were participating in quelling the Yellow Turbans and ended up staying with Wu until he died two years after Sun Quan, Sun Jian's second son, had declared himself Emperor of Wu. Name an important battle that Wu was in and Han Dang was probably in it. That alone is impressive since he was often right in the thick of things and managed to survive the battlefield which is not something that just anybody could claim. It could be said that it was because of his need to inspire his men to fight as one no matter what, to trust in that unity, as well as the respect he showed everyone around him. They don't always have to be the dude who turned the tide of a battle or something like that - sometimes they just have to be a cool dude which Han Dang was. His weapon will be a Short Pike, apparently.
These two additions are, as stated, definitely indications of progress which is a very, very good thing of course. It's not perfect just yet, but it could never be, I'm sure as it's not only the inclusion of characters, but their portrayal that is important and while KOEI may deliver on the former, they often fail at the latter. That is my chief concern where it concerns adding Zhu Ran to the roster which is as much of an inevitability as anything, given how badass Zhu Ran was. Other notable Wu inclusions would be Pan Zhang, He Qi and Xu Sheng which sort of shows just how much is left in the pool considering there are quite a few other notables (Including Sun Quan's sons) that could be added, especially for long-game purposes. With Xtreme Legends favoring Wei for 7 and Empires (damnit, KOEI) favoring Shu, perhaps Xtreme Legends for 8 will put a few Wu characters into play? We'll see! Hopefully. (Physical product, KOEI, seriously)
Zhu Ran, baddest dude in the land, bitches