Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is the third re-release of Warriors Orochi 3, which continues from the original game’s good ending. This update includes two new stories: “The Tale of the Latter Day” and “The Tale of the Former Day.” Other features include new stages, side quests, the ability to play from the enemy’s perspective in Free Mode, and Gauntlet mode.
Aside from new chapters, Story Mode is pretty much the same from the previous Warriors Orochi 3 iterations. The game takes place several years after the events in Warriors Orochi 2, and begins with the monstrous eight-headed serpent beast dubbed as “Hydra,” who massacres through the warriors. Only three warriors remained, but were about to be defeated if not for the intervention of Kaguya, who claims to have been sent from the mystic world to help the warriors. With her time travel powers, the warriors are sent back in time so they can save their comrades from this catastrophe.
After finishing the prologue chapter, you will be taken to a Camp, which is the rest point of the game. In this areas is where you can conduct battle preparations, save your game, and even form a deeper relationship with compatible officers. Each character will have a special relationship with certain characters and as the relationship deepens, it can go from “Normal” to “Close” and finally “Intimate.” Results for new interactions within the camp, and within battle, feature better teamwork among these characters.
Duel Mode lets players choose three warriors for three-on-three matches against others online, locally or against the AI. Players can unlock four strategy cards and equip them to boost abilities, heal or put your opponent at the disadvantage. Players can duke it out with a friend locally or online, or test their skills with Survival Mode.
For the most part, you should only play Duel Mode with other players either locally or online, as playing with the AI could get a little bit boring. It is also recommended that you at least level up your characters to a strong level as you can easily get overpowered, taking away the fun of it. Overall, it should be treated as an extra mode and played for fun because due to the battle system, it cannot be treated competitively.
Gauntlet Mode, which is a new mode introduced into the Warriors Orochi series, focuses on a five man team and the main goal is to have these characters survive various trials in order to escape a multi-leveled dungeon. In the situation a character dies, player can either wait for their natural resurrection or move forward without them. Players will not be able to save and the difficulty increases the further they get.
Originally featured in Warriors Orochi 3, Musou Battlefields returns better than ever in this installment. This mode enables players to take stages they cleared in Story Mode or Free Battle and create their own scenarios by creating or switching lines, officers, and even the background music featured in the level. Initially in Warriors Orochi 3, the Musou Battlefield feature was limited to 50 edit point, so your culmination options was limited. However, in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, they tossed out the limitation so players can make changes more freely.
After finalizing their level customization, players are allowed to share them online for other players to try them out, or download scenarios other players made. While it would be cool to be able to edit the level design, being able to create your own personal scenario in Musou Battlefields is good enough of a feature for me.
Just like the previous iterations, Ultimate’s combat it’s exactly what it’s supposed to be, with changes and overall improvements made. The combat system consists of four attack buttons, including the officer’s Musou attack, and players can execute some serious combos as they develop their characters.
Players are allowed to rotate between their selected officers during battle. While the other officers aren’t in control of the player, their health and Musou gauge refills gradually. Players are also allowed to summon all officers into battle, which opens the possibility for triple attacks. This includes a special called the True Musou Burst, in which combines all officers’ special attack. Not all officers are the same and are divided into separate types, which includes Power, Speed, Technique and Wonder types. Each type differs from one another, giving each character different characteristics and special attacks.
Upgrading your weapons is imperative in this game, as you will face stronger foes as you progress through the game. By using gems, you are also allowed to fuse your weapons; by discarding weaker ones in the process, the old one transfers any powers or additional attributes into the new weapon.
Other changes made into Utlimate includes maximum level cap being 100 instead of 99. However, character growth is still determined by by weapon enhancements and character parameters, so maxed out characters can still be altered to a degree. Players are also allowed to “Promote” their characters, in which resets their level back to 1 but results in a second personal skill that contributes to the team’s overall stats. It also allows players to earn “Upgrade Stones” as they level up, which can be used to power up their abilities using the proper command. Players can be promoted up to nine times, and starting from the fourth promotion, players will earn additional benefits.
Koei’s Musou games are known for many factors, but having spectacular graphics isn’t one of them. However, their games are presentable enough that it doesn’t interrupt the player from having a good experience, and Ultimate is another one of those titles. Both characters and stages look acceptable enough that it won’t interrupt any hacking and slashing.
Just like the previous entries into the franchise the game is only limited to Japanese voices with English menus and subtitles, which it isn’t exactly a bad thing considering the characters sound more authentic speaking in their native language. Plenty of fan-favorite themes from previous games return to this version too.
The Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate expansion is definitely one of the series’ best installments, as it has so much content to keep Musou aficionados satisfied. While the game is great, and it does a very good job at giving the genre a good name, I wouldn’t recommend it to fans outside of it; however it’s a good entry point that new players can jump into. The game also fixes some of the problems the first iteration of Warriors Orochi 3 had, so even if you own the first game, this is definitely worth the purchase.