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Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 review

Just enough improvements to be slightly better than the original


  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Tons of flashy particle effects
  • New multiplayer combat modes


  • Highly repetitious gameplay
  • Limited view of opponents
  • Winning every battle yet losing the war

The most recent portable incarnation of the Dynasty Warriors franchise lives up the traditions of its ancestors with the usual sword-slashing action, fantastic attacks and repetitive button mashing we've come to expect and enjoy. Doesn't do much new, though.

Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2 features the fairly brainless slaughter of hordes of ancient Chinese baddies - clearly evil, because they're not from the clan you selected. They'll be good next time, when you choose someone else - periodically pausing between battles so you can apply relatively simple strategic moves on a regional campaign map.

You select from dozens of warlords dressed in elaborate, often frilly costumes armed with sharp and pointy weapons to lead supporting officers and minions on a quest to defend your territory by destroying opponents' morale with a continual barrage of attacks.

Pick the wrong route and your bases might be overtaken, supplies depleted or you could be hopelessly surrounded, each of which will destroy your allies' morale and, in turn, result in utter defeat.

DW2 offers a few changes to its predecessor while also maintaining its detailed character designs, spectacular particle effects, heavy rockin' soundtrack and simplistic gameplay.

The action doesn't chug much when too many soldiers cluster onscreen, as the first game did - but there's a trade-off. It appears that the distance you can see has decreased, causing most opponents to snap into sight just before they are a pole's poke away.

Besides the standard Musou attacks, which release pent-up power on your opponents, you can now also cash in mid-level experience points to unleash a Wolverine-style Musou Rage, making your hands glow and your attacks more damaging.

The biggest addition is a multiplayer mode that offers four competitive mini games - Bombs Away, Time Attack, Sudden death and Battle Royal - yet there is still not the long-haul co-operative Musou (story) mode typically found in the console games.

More info

DescriptionA nearly identical but slightly more fun cousin to volume one, this portable hack-and-slash game has all the usual sword-slashing action, fantastic attacks and repetitive button mashing.
Franchise nameDynasty Warriors
UK franchise nameDynasty Warriors
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)