Koei was founded in 1978, since then it’s known for its pseudo historical games. On April fool’s day 2009 they merged with Tecmo; a company famous for its Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive games. This game is born of this merger as it’s a crossover of all Koei-Tecmo games in the style of Warriors games that Koei is famous for; a first of its kind but as you’ll see a welcome entry in the series.
Warriors All-Stars takes place in an original world populated by what I believe are cat/wolf people who use a magical spring to sustain life in their world. Our tale begins when the King of this world dies and this causes the spring to lose power and the Queen, Sayo discovers that the spring can be restored with the powers of heroes from other worlds. Sayo recruits her two children Shiki, Tamaki and Setsuna her nephew to summon these heroes; the summoning goes wrong and the heroes are scattered across the land and the three recruits decide to split up and gather the heroes themselves to claim the throne as their own.
Once the story is set up it’s up to you pick your character and depending on the character you’ll be working with one of the Queen’s recruits to help them claim the throne so you may be sent home once your mission is completed. This gives a minimum of three different campaigns with a special fourth one that the player can unlock by completing a special requirement that I won’t spoil here.
Gameplay wise Warriors All-Stars uses the same mechanics of the Warriors series as is expected. Each character has light attacks and heavy attacks that can be chained together to create a combo as well as the normal attacks each character can use their special attack once the bar is filled. Unique to All-Stars is the Musou Rush which can be activated when the Rush Star gauge is full; when activated the player becomes invincible and the player is cheered on by their allies. Another new combat feature being able to select up to 4 allies to go into battle with you, these allow the use of the Awakening Skills. These are activated by holding R1 and with each face button a different ally is called and a different skill is activated. Some allies when chosen can reveal a new Awakening Skill where two can be called at the same time doing a bigger combination skill.
Warrior games usually allow the player to equip and upgrade different weapons; as some of the characters like Kasumi from Dead or Alive don’t use weapons All-Stars has instead replaced this with a card system. This card system lets the player to equip a card to the chosen hero which increases their abilities but only one can be equipped at a time with 20 that can be stored for later use. The player may also choose to sell these or to dissemble them for materials that can be used to upgrade other cards.
All-Stars isn’t linear as Warriors games are known to be with that it isn’t exactly open world either. The game allows you to travel across the world map as a little circular icon of your main character where you can choose which mission to complete next. Not all the missions will move the story forward with most of them being side missions that allow you gain money, materials or cards others are missions that once completed unlock a new playable character; it should be stated that some characters need to be recruited to unlock the next story mission.
Graphically All-Stars won’t be winning any awards in this category; this is what’s to be expected from Warriors games as they’ve decided to sacrifice graphical prowess in exchange for a better experience with more enemies on-screen. With that said it’s not an ugly game with characters from different worlds and more importantly art styles coming together it’s definitely something unique. Musically All-Stars goes the extra mile and brings in the original themes of characters but instead remixes them making them a better fit for the Warriors games which is known for its focus on rock instruments when it comes to their music.
To be fairly honest I haven’t found much to complain about in All-Stars with my 10+ hours of gameplay but I do have a couple of pet peeves that have annoyed me along the way. My main issue I found was when fighting some bosses, they regenerate health faster than I could damage them causing me to spend so much time on one boss. I later realised that I had to defeat and conquer the base that had a big red heart on it which was the reason the boss would keep healing. I would have preferred to have been taught that a bit more prominently than just a quick slide on-screen that can be easily skipped.
Overall All-Stars is a very solid entry in the Warriors series and is a fantastic and enjoyable game that fans and none fans alike would love to play. The game takes all these different worlds and melds them pretty well in a Warriors package, with different characters coming together and bringing in with them their unique fighting skills. All-Stars also brings to the table new mechanics that allow the characters to fully embrace their origins with their own flair. All-Stars really brings the content with 30 playable characters and 15 different endings and hours upon hours of gameplay it is more than worth the price of admission. With that said I would recommend this game to fans of any of the 13 series’ characters as it really is a game to be experienced.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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