The 5 Best Things About Samurai Warriors 5 (& The 5 Worst)

Samurai Warriors, and the main brand of Dynasty Warriors, gets a lot of flack for being repetitive and unchanging. While that’s true to an extent, the various anime spinoffs and the main games are getting better as time goes on. Just look at Metacritic. Technology is starting to make these seemingly endless battlefields full of soldiers a more sustainable reality.

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Samurai Warriors 5 manages to do a lot right for the series on PS4 and Switch. However, there are still problems that need fixing. Try as Koei Tecmo might, this will never be a series for everyone, and that’s fine. Let’s see how well Samurai Warriors 5 did anyway.

10 Best: Great New Art

One of the most striking things about Samurai Warriors 5, in terms of changes, is its visual style. While it’s not new for the series overall as the anime spinoff games have mostly used cel-shading, it’s still a great look that works wonders for this game.

Cel-shading can help make a game stand the test of time aesthetically more so than a title with top-notch realistic graphics at the time of its launch.

9 Worst: Cutscenes Look Blurry

The one odd part about this anime-like visual change is that cutscenes look blurry. Some studios use secondary companies to make their cutscenes for them, but this is just speculation in the case of Samurai Warriors 5.

This difference causes there to be a disconnect between the in-game graphics and the cutscenes, leading to the latter looking not as colorful and blurry. It’s a real shame since the art aesthetic looks good otherwise.

8 Best: Character Variety

One of the absolute best things about this series, from main games to spinoffs, are the characters. The amount of variety Koei Tecmo packs into these games is astounding.

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There are always so many to choose from and they all play differently. From old favorites like Nobunaga to new characters like Yasuke, there is assuredly a character for every type of player out there in Samurai Warriors 5.

7 Worst: Long, Drawn-Out Maps

The map variety, as in the level design, also has a great sense of variety in Samurai Warriors 5. However, these maps can overstay their welcome by simply being too big. Missions can take thirty minutes or more to complete.

Even with save features, this can make playing stages feel more tedious than they need to be. The way in which the mission tasks roll out on each map should change in future games in the series.

6 Best: Co-Op Action

Another great aspect about this series that has been outstanding since the very beginning is Koei Tecmo’s stance on couch co-op. Not only can this game be enjoyed with a partner on the couch, but it has online play too. It’s great for any level of player too, from hardcore users to beginners.

Samurai Warriors 5 is fine enough alone, but things will go by much faster with a partner at hand. These games are just meant to be played in co-op with friends as the solo experience can get repetitive. Having someone there helps make the tedium less of an issue.

5 Worst: Some Maps Single Player Only

It takes a couple of missions for Samurai Warriors 5 to unlock the ability to play co-op. That’s fine in theory, however, even after this feature is unlocked, not every stage can be played in co-op.

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Each map has two different versions – Musou Mode is the story while Free Mode allows players to choose anyone in the game to play as and it skips the story. Even in solo mode, these maps won’t even allow players to choose an AI partner. The way in which these maps are divided up then can be confusing.

4 Best: The Vault

Most games in the series have some sort of mode like The Vault. In Samurai Warriors 5, The Vault allows players to look at their stats such as play time. Players can also listen to music or rewatch story cutscenes or friend cutscenes.

Many developers are including photo modes as options in their games which is great, however, more titles should have modes like The Vault. This makes this series a trendsetter in a way.

3 Worst: Japan Language Only

One of the bigger bummers in Samurai Warriors 5 is that it only supports Japanese audio. The voice cast sounds great and this is not an issue for cutscenes. Why this is bad, though, is that characters are constantly talking in battle. Reading subtitles and hacking and slashing away at an army of enemies is nigh impossible, causing plenty of dialogue to just be ignored.

2 Best: Ultimate Skills

While secondary skills are not new to this series, how they are implemented in Samurai Warriors 5 is different from others entries though. Players can equip four skills at a time in the weapons menu.

These skills can range from weapon or character-specific attacks to passive skills such as Pride. This raises attack power temporarily. This small change to the game makes combat feel more engaging.

1 Worst: Cool Powers, Still No Dodge

As cool as the new Ultimate Skills are, there is still no dodge button. Players can block attacks as well as perform a side dash later on in Samurai Warriors 5. These options are better than nothing but a dodge roll or something like it has been a requested feature for years now.

Adding one in could help make this game more contemporary with other action games of its ilk.

NEXT: Hyrule Warriors: Hack & Slash Games To Try If You Loved The Zelda Title

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