Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition Review
Extra Features: Local Co-op play
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition is a Nintendo Switch port of the ultimate version of DW8 along with all the DLC that was released for Xtreme Legends. DW9 was my first true introduction to the DW series, so I was introduced to the series once it had changed to open world. I must say that DW8 is easily the best of the DWs that use the old-school formula that I have played.
I had previously only played a bit of DW8: Xtreme Legends on PS4 and this version is very similar in presentation. It seems the backgrounds have lower resolution textures in the Switch version. On the PS4 version, the game didn't always move at a smooth framerate and it also had a blur effect on background and mid-range enemies. Enemies weren't shown in clarity until they were nearly right up on your character, which I found rather distracting. In the Switch version, the framerate is extremely smooth. I have a good feeling that the Switch version runs at 60fps the majority of the time. The only framerate drops that I noticed were during cutscenes and FMVs and these were very rare. The Switch version does not have any type of blur effect on enemies or backgrounds either. Everything in the Switch version moves at a smooth framerate and the draw distance for enemies and backgrounds is much greater.
The Switch joycon controls worked very well for me in the Switch version. Just like other Switch games, you can change to portable mode or use a Pro controller. The game does not incorporate any type of motion controls. Instead of the PS4's online co-op play, the Switch version only has local co-op play. As already mentioned, the switch version comes with all the DLC weapons and outfits that you could buy extra in the other versions of the game. The DLC is all unlocked after completing the story mode with any kingdom.
As far as the game's content, I'm not going to go too deep into the overall content since I mainly wanted to focus on the differences. The game has four main modes - Story, Free, Ambition and Challenge modes. The Story mode is the main meat of the entire game where you'll choose between all the different kingdoms and go through their story. You get to choose between a whole variety of characters with each kingdom and you get to switch between different characters as you progress. Thankfully, there are a few branching paths in the story here and there that allow you to play different stages depending on if you accomplished certain objectives or not.
As you complete stages in Story mode, you'll unlock that stage in Free mode and be allowed to play that stage with any kingdom and character of your choosing. Free mode is basically a complete custom mode. Ambition mode gives you control over a character of your choosing and allows you to build your own kingdom by collecting supplies through your battles. The mode is a bit shallow in terms of what you can do but there is much grinding to be done. You'll go through short or long battles to collect supplies and gain new allies then come back to your kingdom and use those collectibles to build. Challenge mode has a long set of challenges (such as survival) that you can engage in.
The overall gameplay is your basic Dynasty Warriors gameplay with one character fighting an army of soldiers - you either love it or hate it. Normal soldiers can be wiped away with ease while generals and leaders put up a bit more of a fight. Every character has three musou attacks (super attacks) that allow players to perform a super flashy attack to basically level the surrounding battlefield. One of the best parts of Dynasty Warriors for me is to see all the detail that goes into the character design and this game is definitely no exception - there is tons of variety in outfit and overall character design in this game. Overall, if you enjoy Dynasty Warriors 8 and you want the console version that runs the smoothest, be sure to check out the Switch version. Even with the slight flaws it carries, the Switch version is the ultimate version of DW8 for me.
+ The framerate is so very smooth (much better than PS4 version)
+ Character designs are fantastic
+ Tons of replay value if you try to complete everything
- No online co-op
- Slightly lower resolution for backgrounds
Final Rating: 80% - If you want the smoothest version of Dynasty Warriors 8, be sure to try it on Switch!