[Review] Warriors All Stars (無双☆スターズ)
Updated: Aug 29
While keeping up to date with the Koei Japanese releases , I felt that Musou Stars was a blatant cash grab for Koei. And although in some ways it is , it's much more than that. The game is supposed to be the spiritual successor to warriors orochi series in the sense that it's the amalgamation of the Koei Tecmo IP. But it's a fully fledged game with new game play mechanics , movesets and characters. The gameplay itself is very reminiscent to Dynasty Warriors 5 , or indeed Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn due to the base system. In summary your goal for most missions is to capture the main camp , with a series of Sub missions which can include taking a supply base , attack base etc. Nothing really ground breaking , but if it ain't broke don't fix it. The game follows 3 characters fighting for the throne of their land, when the old king died he left no successor so as a result the land started to die. And the heroes from a lot of the Koei Tecmo games were summoned to save the day. Although the idea is basically Dynasty Warriors in a nut shell, it's more interesting than the good vs evil we've grown accustomed to in the warriors orochi series. The game introduces new mechanics during battles including the "Musou Rush" which is a modified version of the Musou rage from Spirit of Sanada game. During "Rush" you are invincible for a period of 25 seconds , however the time increases depending on the number of enemies defeated. You are cheered on by your team mates and the spot light is literally placed on you as you defeat unlimited enemies for additional EXP and gold. Although weapon switching returns in a bare bones fashion . you are granted with special ability cards , which are unique to the characters chosen. The card system is taken directly from games like Toukiden and Nights of Azure . Each character in your team will fight by your side and perform unique special attacks or abilities when the card is activated. By pressing the D - Pad you can switch characters for a certain period of time, but it's not what fans of Orochi are accustomed to.
This system is ok however I am not a fan of cycling through the pages of special attacks mid battle. I don't see why some cards be can't activated by pressing the touch pad , considering it isn't used for anything in this game. Characters : As the game is called Warriors All Stars , characters were some were chosen through character polls , including dlc characters in Japan . As this is a localisation , character polls in the west didn't contribute to the games characters. You may have also noticed that the game has 30 characters , which is disappointing, it forces you to mix up who is in your team and experience characters from games you may not have played before. however there is actually 29 playable characters , Opoona is not playable from the start and is difficult to unlock in game. Hence why Koei decided to include him as a preorder bonus dlc , this character has no interaction with other characters and seems like an after thought. So I feel boasting 30 playable characters is a bit of a modified truth. Besides Opoona , characters use their systems from their respected games. So the 3 samurai warriors characters can use hyper attacks, although hyper attacks aren't fully fledged , and the full move set isn't available to use. Dynasty warriors characters have have moves modified as some characters (such as puni) can't be grabbed. Meaning Musou and EX Attacks have changed. Characters from the DOA/Ninja Gaiden series all have new move sets , and aren't clones from Warriors Orochi 3. But some of these changes make little sense , I understand why Marie rose uses no weapons , but surely Kasumi should use her sword in combination to hand to hand combat like ayane or hayabusa. Characters who are new to Musou games are a delight to play , such as William from Nioh or indeed Arnice from nights of Azure. These characters are made for hack n slash game and make sense in this game.
Game Play: This game is unique in the sense that multiple endings are possible meaning you can complete a story within 3 hours. However due to the lack of free mode and repetitive battles, the game actively makes me not want to replay because of this. It technically has a lot of replay ability but there isn't much value in replaying the game. And Koei knows this hence why they removed free mode and included multiple save slots. With hundreds of endings, some of the endings are slight variations of each other and the game makes it clear, that playing a certain battle will end the game. Missions also pop in and out of the world map which makes it hard to track what you have and haven't done. And it's nice to traverse the map however I would prefer a quick battle option similar to Warriors orochi 3 , as sometimes you just want to get into a battle asap. I must also add that the game has a lot of translation and continuity errors, for example Dynasty Warriors Characters will say "I'm a true Dynasty Warrior" , when in every single DW game it's said "I'm a true warrior of the 3 kingdoms" when 1000 ko's is reached. Not only this but when William reaches 1000 ko's he also calls him self a dynasty warrior, in text and audio. William is an Irishman in Japan , where does Dynasty Warriors come into this, I would have preferred something personal to him. Not only this but other translations errors and typo's are frequent , doesn't seem that someone has looked through the localisation properly. If it was one or two I wouldn't have mentioned it but it's everywhere.
Audio : The audio in this game is absolutely fantastic and the game itself is visually stunning , tracks from all the games have beautiful orchestral remixes as well as Guitar remixes which play depending on the course of the battle. We even see tracks from Warriors Orochi making a return. I would have liked to see the game be fully voiced , only in battle events are voiced and certain cut scenes. But pre battle and post battle events aren't which is a shame considering most of the story is told during these times. It's nice also within the achievements and trophies Koei make references to memes , like Smash Mouth's "All Star" from the shrek films. Which I love ... but personally I would have loved this game to be better. So I will give this game a 7/10 , its good but needs a lot of improvement I still feel that it's predecessor, Warriors Orochi 3 was a far better game with a more intense story and larger character based from majority of the Koei Tecmo Titles at the time, and less furries .
The Game can be purchased on PS4 and STEAM