Tecmo Koei’s Warriors franchise has become so well established in the modern gaming era that the publisher is no longer coy about spreading their love across multiple platforms. After the success of porting their PlayStation 2 titles to Xbox 360 with minimal improvements early in the life of the console it seems that marking their territory is now high on developer Omega Force’s agenda with every new system launch. Latest on that list is a launch title for a brand new system, offering an all out action experience on Nintendo’s forthcoming Wii U from day one.
From the very first instant of playing Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper it’s obvious that this is a very direct port of the original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 release, Warriors Orochi 3. This is no bad thing of course, as Warriors Orochi 3 is a very entertaining rendition of the Warriors formula, featuring an extensive Story Mode and a huge assortment of characters, but Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper does have a couple of extra aces up it’s sleeve.
In terms of content Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper adds four new characters, including Ninja Gaiden’s Momiji. While Ayane is a high speed, nimble character whose athleticism outweighs the power of her blows, Momiji is a more cautiously considered fighter, doing more damage which each attacks in her shorter strings but still retaining a reasonable pace. Electronic Theatre’s experience of these characters took place in the Duel Mode, another new addition to Warriors Orochi 3 offered by the Wii U version of the videogame.
A simple one-off battle featuring a fully customisable team of three warriors against another equally crafted team, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper’s Duel Mode is clearly designed for multiplayer gameplay. The combat system directly reflects that of each character’s single-player design – which adapts to the Wii U’s Game Pad remarkably well – which may call into play some balancing issues when they are fighting directly against one another, but Electronic Theatre remains confident that Omega Force will have taken this into account when devising the new gameplay mode.
The use of the Wii U Game Pad in other areas is also worthy of note. The basic set-up of the preview build available sees the in-game action repeated on the Game Pad’s screen just as it is on the television, albeit in a very tidy fashion thanks to the high resolution of the screen, but there in an interesting additional option which Electronic Theatre hopes will be implemented in other videogames. During co-operative gameplay, one player may use the television screen in its entirety (controlling the videogame via the Wii U’s Classic Controller Pro) while a second player plays directly on the Wii U Game Pad screen. Such a division is surely the future of split-screen gaming – a feature that is ignored all too often in the modern industry as it stands – and as such Electronic Theatre would recommend that other developers take note.
Set to launch alongside the Wii U console itself later this month, Tecmo Koei Europe’s Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is looking set to be a highlight of the launch date line-up. Given the quality of it’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts and the evidence presented in this preview build, it’s highly unlikely that Omega Force are going to release a product in anyway inferior to the expectation set by the Warriors Orochi series, and that benchmark is one which very few launch titles tend to hit. Of course Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is simply a port and will therefore do little to convince gamers who already own Warriors Orochi 3, but gamers who missed out on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases certainly have a reason to take interest in Wii U’s launch day.