Dynasty Warriors must seem so strange to those who haven't played it. There have been about a trillion games in the series, and they never seem to change. The same faces, situations, soundbites... Dynasty Warriors 5 (which isn't actually the fifth in the series, confusion fans) is, to untrained eyes and thumbs, the same as DW4. But, for those who are sick of the series by now - you ardent warriors who've found every weapon, and aced every expansion pack - it's a slight, enjoyable change.
There's forty-eight characters, individual storylines, dozens of items to unlock - the game takes strength in numbers to its logical conclusion by crowding you with dozens of enemies at a time. It feels easier than ever to carve your way through the masses in DW5, though, and is all the more satisfying for it. It's a game that revels in repetition, and is gratuitous in a way that no amount of blood or cleavage can match.
It's meditation, really, of getting into the groove of an endless series of katana-swiping combos, and just wallowing in that old-school beat-'em up rut of battling endless swarms of enemies, with variety taking a backseat to the rush of hitting lots of people.
There's nothing here for anyone who's never fancied being a Dynasty Warrior; check out Kingdom Under Fire for a serving of chaotic warfare laced with serious strategy. The PS2 and Xbox versions are fairly similar, but since yet another DW doppelganger will only appeal to the hardcore, one may as well pick up the one in the green case, as it has the option of listening to the original Japanese voice-overs, instead of cornball English dub.