Tag Archives: Koei Tecmo

Delving into Musou: Dynasty Warriors 2

With it being a month of Hyrule Warriors here on MoeGamer, and with me recording a bunch of footage for upcoming video versions of articles, I thought it would be a good time to start another ongoing series poking at the Warriors/Musou series.

It’s a long-running series with over 50 separate releases at the time of writing, and while I’m not sure I’ll get the time to explore all of them in detail, it’s a franchise I’ve always been rather fond of since the PS2 days, and thus one I’m more than happy to casually devote a bit of time to.

For existing Musou fans, I hope you enjoy. For those new to the Musou series, here’s pretty much where it all began.

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Hyrule Warriors: Fun with Timelines

The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.

Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.

Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.

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Hyrule Warriors: Introduction and History

Omega Force’s Warriors (or Musou, if you prefer) is one of the longest-running, most prolific series in all of gaming. And yet it is also one of the most commonly misunderstood and misrepresented in terms of its gameplay.

Often dismissed by critics as being little more than mindless button-mashers, the Warriors series has, over time and the course of more than 50 individual releases for various platforms, continued to evolve and experiment to bring us to where we are today. Not only that, it has proven to be a great way to get people interested in a number of real-world historical events such as the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history (Dynasty Warriors) and the Sengoku period of Japanese history (Samurai Warriors) — as well as providing its developers the opportunity to explore more creative, fantastic stories that involve large-scale conflict.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (just Hyrule Warriors hereafter), of course, falls into the latter category… but before we dive into it in detail, let’s take a look at the series as a whole and see exactly how we got here.

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Waifu Wednesday: Lilysse

It may not have escaped your notice that I haven’t done any Blue Reflection-themed Waifu Wednesdays this month.

This is entirely deliberate; since the game as a whole is based around the interactions between the female characters, I’ll be talking about most if not all of the major characters when we come to explore its narrative, themes and characterisation in their entirety. So please look forward to that!

In the meantime, however, Gust definitely produces wonderful waifus, so let’s look back at a MoeGamer classic and main heroine of a Cover Game from last year.

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Blue Reflection: Introduction, and a Brief History of Magical Girls

This month’s Cover Game is a Gust title I’ve been intrigued about ever since it was first announced: Blue Reflection.

Featuring a combination of Mel Kishida’s wonderfully soft-edged artwork translated beautifully into 3D polygonal graphics, a highly stylised soundtrack by Hayato Asano and an intriguing story about empathy and emotion, I always knew this was going to be an experience that was right up my alley.

So let’s begin our exploration with an overview of what the game is all about, and a look back at the “magical girl” genre that inspired it.

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Nights of Azure: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

Nights of Azure is one of Gust’s most mechanically interesting games — particularly in how much it differs from the company’s usual output — but it also has a fascinating, ambitious narrative.

Combining a deeply personal tale with a more conventional JRPG-style “save the world” narrative, the overall atmosphere of the game is very distinctive and quite unlike your average JRPG, if such a thing exists. It blends drama, romance, action, horror and mystery together to create something altogether unique that is very much worth experiencing.

And it pulls the whole thing off with such wonderful style, such a beautifully clear sense of its own identity, that you can’t help but be compelled by the tale it tells.

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Nights of Azure: Hack, Slash… and Command

Gust, as we’ve established, is a company that doesn’t like to do things completely conventionally. As such, it’s entirely fitting that a Gust action RPG isn’t quite what you’d normally expect from the genre.

Nights of Azure is a fascinating game from a mechanical perspective in numerous different ways. Drawing influences from a variety of sources including From Software’s popular Souls series, Falcom’s Ys franchise, monster-raising games such as Pokémon and even elements of tabletop role-playing, the whole experience is one you can easily lose yourself in.

The result is a game that is initially surprising and baffling in roughly equal measure, but taking the time to get to know what makes the game tick really pays off in the end: it’s one of the most interesting takes on the action RPG for a long time.

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