Tecmo Koei brings the stentorian epic combat of both their Dynasty Warriors, and Samurai Warriors franchises to the Wii U with the massive port of Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. Being a complete amalgamation of these two preceding titles, this new release seamlessly integrates characters from both franchises and unites them against a tyrannically cruel monster named Hydra. Incorporating the complete casts of both titles, Tecmo Koei also offers unique recruits from their vast catalog. These characters tantalizingly include Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, and Ayane from Dead or Alive. More obscure homages showcase Achilles from Warriors Legends of Troy, and Joan of Arc from Bladestorm. In all, there are a total of 130 characters to be unlocked and assembled into the player's personalized army.
The in-game battlefield is gigantic beyond scope with each level only increasing in size. Before entering the brawl, a team of three legendary generals must be assembled. In classic role-playing game style, every character has their own leveling system integrated into their primary interface. This mechanism allows for rapid customization and the discovery of each general's unique skill set. The primary agenda for every mission is to massacre all opposing generals. The body count always amasses in the hundreds as multiple enemies can be annihilated with every strike. The frame-rate has to fight to keep up with the never-ending dramatic action. Sudden tumultuous bouts with hidden enemies are spurred randomly by checkpoints that riddle this game with unpredictable loading sequences.
For a crossover, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper has a gripping narrative that varies based on the nearly infinite character combinations that are available. The free roaming capabilities within the actual missions lend to the most entertaining hack and slash game this genre has seen released in years; however, the merging of the franchise's signature game-play interface with the new Wii U controller design was uninspired. The implementation of the new GamePad was not just useless, it was detrimental and disadvantageous to players employing it. Because the icons on it are rendered miniscule and unobservable, players using the GamePad map find it impossible to locate objectives or keep track of their innumerable enemies while their companions using the on-screen replica have no trouble trouncing all the missions and protocols in the game. None of the other new Wii U technologies were even touched by the developers.
The main new addition to the Wii U port of Warriors Orochi 3 is the exclusively added Hyper moniker. It primarily refers to the new Duel Mode, where the player navigates three generals through a basic arcade arena. Battle Points accumulate through every fight to be converted either into increasing their own agility and power or diminishing that of their opponents. It is an amusing little sideshow that unfortunately serves only to distract from the main battle.
While this is a brilliant game, it is at times a bit too bulky for the Wii U to completely handle. All limitations notwithstanding, the generous bevy of vibrant content keeps it viscerally absorbing.