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Guilty Pleasures: Warriors Orochi

Guilty Pleasures: Warriors Orochi


This Guilty Pleasures piece isn’t really about Warriors Orochi specifically, it’s actually about the entire Warriors empire which, at the last count, consisted of no fewer than 29 almost-identical games. Now, we’re not about to deny that this seemingly never-ending milking of the same idea doesn’t deserve the ceaseless critical panning it endlessly gets. It’s just that we happen to think that this same, over-milked idea is, in and of itself, actually quite a good idea. And we also think that Warriors Orochi, being the everything-in-one package of the Warriors stable, stands out among the other 28 as the best vehicle for that idea yet produced.
So what is it that we actually like about the Warriors games? It’s really very difficult to say exactly. There’s no denying that they’re simplistic, repetitive, crude and sometimes needlessly drawn out. But despite all that they’re also really satisfying somehow. At one level there’s the physical impact your character has when wading blade-first into a herd of enemy nonentities, then at another level there’s the sense that your individual actions are shaping the outcome of the huge battle going on all around you. Those actions are admittedly, pretty repetitive as a whole, but there is a tiny bit of strategy involved. Not enough to make you want to stop and have a think about it for a bit – not by a long way – but just enough to hold your attention at a minimal level and give you some sense of freedom and of purpose.

And it’s probably this ability to hold our attention without really demanding very much from it that we like the most about Warriors games. It induces an almost hypnotic, trance-like state. Perfect gaming fodder at the end of a long, demanding day. Sometimes you just want to hurt lots of people without them making much of an effort to hurt you back. No harm in that, is there?

And Warriors Orochi isn’t even that repetitive anyway, at least not when it’s compared to Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Warriors 2, Dynasty Warriors 3, Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends, Dynasty Warriors 4, Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires, Dynasty Warriors 4: Hyper, Dynasty Warriors: Advance, Dynasty Warriors 5, Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends, Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires, Dynasty Warriors 5: Special, Dynasty Warriors 6, Dynasty Warriors: BB, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, Samurai Warriors, Samurai Warriors: Katana, Samurai Warriors: State Of War, Samurai Warriors 2, Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends and Samurai Warriors 2: Empires. It’s the one game in the entire Warriors stable in which you can pick a team of characters for each battle and swap between them as and when you choose. This is great, as when you get bored of tapping out the exact same rhythm and hearing the exact same catchphrase over and over again, you can just switch characters and try a slightly different rhythm accompanied by a slightly different catch phrase.

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