Warriors All-Stars – Review
Follow Genre: Action-Adventure, Hack 'n Slash
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC
Tested on: PlayStation 4

Warriors All-Stars – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: musou rush, iconic soundtrack & themes, fastpaced combat with new gameplay elements
Bad: maps look empty and bland, lacking gameplay modes
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Lately, fans of Japanese games and Western gamers in general have been spoiled with loads of great titles. Once again, they can rejoice as another game makes its debut on the already expansive list of Japanese games coming west. Koei Tecmo, a Japanese publisher, and developer Omega Force, are probably best known for their signature Warriors series. The latter is most known for Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, but just as most game series, the Warriors franchise received a lot of spin offs where they mixed multiple IP’s into one new game. The last and best known example was Warriors Orochi 3. Now with Warriors All-Stars, they’ve decided to mix characters from almost every single game from the Koei Tecmo catalogue. As this might sound like an ultimate Koei Tecmo/Omega Force fangasm, it’s still a question if Warriors All-Stars will be an interesting crossover/mash-up with its large roster of characters. There is only one way to find out: taking Warriors All-Stars for a spin and pass our final judgement in this review.Warriors All Stars titleStory

Let’s kick off by explaining that the story of Warriors All-Stars is divided due to a family feud between three members of a single family. So in other words, depending on which starting character you select, you might have another view or take on the story.

The story takes place in a mystical land and kingdom inhabited by canine-like people and has been inspired by Japanese mythology. This mystical land relies on the power of a large magical spring to sustain itself and make the flora and fauna flourish, but after the passing of the last king, the spring is drying up and the land is withering. The widow of the last king, priestess and queen Sayo summons her two children, Tamako and Shiki, and her nephew Setsuna to her side. She explains that the power of the spring must be restored by borrowing the power of heroes from another dimension or the kingdom might perish and a powerful old evil might rise again, which is imprisoned inside the magical boundaries of the spring. As Tamaki completes the ritual for summoning the heroes to the kingdom, something goes wrong and the large roster of heroes is scattered across the kingdom. Due to a feud, the two siblings and nephew split up in order to recruit the heroes and restore the power to the spring in order the save the kingdom.Warriors All Stars 06Warriors All-Stars has a story based on one of the many tales from the rich and extensive Japanese folklore. The introduction of the canine-like creatures/people and its unique story form an interesting addition to the Warriors franchise. The fact that the story is divided into three paths encourages players to undertake multiple playthroughs in order to explore the motivations of the cold and determined Shiki, the cheerful and gentle Tamaki or the brave and straightforward Setsuna. If certain objectives for each campaign are completed, this unlocks a fourth campaign that forms another take on the overall campaign’s plot. Another strong and convincing reason to explore the other storylines, is the fact that you can unlock a collection of twenty-seven characters originating from twelve different franchises from the Tecmo Koei catalogue such as Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors, Atelier Sophie, Nights of Azure, Ninja Gaiden and many others (thirteen if you’ve purchased the pre-order bonus).Warriors All Stars 07

Graphics

Warriors All-Stars offers some nice visuals but is plagued with the same problems that the majority of the other Koei Tecmo’s Warriors games are bothered with. All Stars features some truly beautiful and impressive character designs. Especially the new main characters or canine-like race are well designed. Unfortunately this can’t be said for the environments, certain NPC and the enemies. The maps looks like a collection of rooms with cardboard walls, filled with large masses of enemy clones. You can definitely call them clones as there isn’t a lot of variation in enemies except for some being the iconic enemies from the multiple series this game is made of.

Sound

The majority of Warriors have always been known to have been accompanied by some greatly composed soundtracks. Warriors All-Stars tends to keep up that tradition by creating some unique battle music, performed by a symphonic orchestra, during the many stages mixed with the iconic soundtracks from the many franchises joining forces in this mash-up. Imagine our surprise when we heard the iconic theme from Ninja Gaiden, while we were cutting through enemy ranks with Ryu Hayabusa or Ayane. This will definitely give many players a unique feel of nostalgia when playing with their favorite characters.Warriors All Stars 01

As for the voice-acting, it does a pretty good job to bring the diverse cast of unique characters in a convincing manner, especially if you realize that the original Japanese voice actors have returned to impersonate the iconic characters and bring them back to life. Fans will definitely rejoice and breathe peacefully. Unfortunately this means that there isn’t any English voice over and only the option for English subtitles, but fans of Japanese games won’t be bothered by this fact.

Gameplay

Just as the other Warriors games, All-Stars borrows the same iconic hack ‘n slash gameplay the series is best known for. But this doesn’t mean Omega Force hasn’t tried to add adjustments or new elements to the well-known hack ‘n slash formula. Just like in the Warriors Orochi games, you’ll be able to take three or more characters into battle although you won’t be able to switch at your own accord. All-Stars features up to 29 playable characters spanning 13 games from Koei Tecmo and 3 original characters specially designed for this game. At the start of each stage, you’ll be able to choose your main character and up to four supporting characters. These supporting characters lend the main character additional abilities that may be used by holding down R1 or the corresponding directional buttons. These abilities can be divided into healing, support, or offensive abilities. By combining certain support characters and assisting your main character at the same time, you may combine their attacks into a joint attack for additional effect.Warriors All Stars 11

The core features about the fastpaced hack ‘n slash combat have remained mostly the same. You have your light and heavy attacks at your disposal that can, combined, chain together six regular and six charged attacks helping you rack up your combo and K.O. counter. And if the musou bar is full, you’ll be able to unleash a devastating and fun musou attack that wipes large quantities of enemy forces from the battlefield. But rest assured as there are more ways than one to decimate large enemy forces. Musou Rush grants a new way of attacking.  It’s a time-limited sequence which involves every party member in a fun and humoristic Musou attack. Once you activate Musou Rush, a timer will start. As you freely control the main character, support characters will pop up on the screen and provide assistance by rooting or boosting your main character with random buffs such as strength or speed. Racking up the K.O. counter extends the timer or allows support characters assisting you in attacking enemies. Longer Musou Rushes can make the main character completely invincible to damage and knockback.Warriors All Stars 04

In combat, instead of the old morale system, you’ll have access to the Bravery system which acts like your main character’s personal morale system and won’t let you depend on your entire army like in the past. You will hold the advantage when facing enemies with Bravery levels lower than yourself, and will be at a disadvantage when you’re facing enemies with a Bravery level higher than yours. At the start of every stage, you’ll start at one and can be increased by defeating large quantities of enemy forces or by completing certain sub-missions that occur randomly. When you reach the max level of 10, you’ll be able to activate the character’s individual Awakened Skill that gains you access to the Hero Chain, which is an ability that summons your support members to line up alongside your character and attack simultaneously, allowing you to take temporary control over your support characters. This Bravery system helps securing the harder parts of maps and gain the upper hand.

Another new feature are the Regard levels which unlock friendship skills and which can be used on Hero Cards. But we’ll come back to these later on in the review. Regard levels are the bonds you share with other characters. By using their support abilities often, or performing certain requirements, your Regard level with that particular character will increase and unlock new skills and stat bonuses. Furthermore, if your level is sufficient and you’ve successfully completed a special conversation, a unique hot springs bathing scene will occur. Don’t expect anything naughty though. Warriors All Stars 05

Although in the other games, you’ve had access to weapons for boosting your character’s growth, in All-Star it is replaced by the weapon system as you gain access to Hero Cards which focus on character growth. These Hero Cards are obtained after every battle and can be boosted through your regard levels or by disassembling existing cards and investing them in the ones you like to enhance. Every character can have up to 20 cards in its inventory but can only use one at any given time. And if you don’t want to disassemble them, you can always sell them for gold which can be used in turn for improving the levels of your characters.

Furthermore, we’d like to discuss the Sanctuary which functions as your in game hub where you can tweak your hero cards, have conversations with your support characters in order to boost their regard levels, train at the arena or choose your missions on the world map. The world map doesn’t only allow you to play missions in order to advance the story but also allows you to play Hero battles in order to unlock new characters, missions to strengthen the power of the magic spring or other missions that help you gain experience or treasures. Warriors All Stars 09

Last but not least, we liked to point out the lacking of other gameplay modes such as multiplayer or dream battles. Although the story mode allows for an extensive gameplay experience, its still feels quite lacking if you’re comparing it with the other games in the franchise, but there may still be hope as producers are still considering adding multiplayer in a free future update.

Conclusion

Warriors All-Stars is an excellent addition to the Warriors franchise as it introduces old and new characters alike combined with excellent upgrades to the iconic hack ‘n slash gameplay. Unfortunately All-Stars is plagued with the same visual problems as its predecessors and lacks in available gameplay modes. Nevertheless, All-Stars is a great hack ‘n slash game with a charming story that encourages replay ability and play as your favorite characters from your favorite game series. If you’re a fan of the Warrior’s franchise or Koei Tecmo’s catalogue, than this game might be right up your alley.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Warriors All-Stars - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
JasuSakura
JasuSakura


Being over 30 years old, I've been playing videogames since I've exchanged my pacifier for a game controller. I've only recently started reviewing games and it's incredibly fun to do and educational as I get to know a lot of new stuff about videogames and the industry. My favourite game genres are RPG's(strategy RPG, J-RPG,...), adventure, platforming, simulation and retro.

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