Lu Bu awaits your return to the world of Dynasty Warriors!

User Rating: 8.5 | Shin Sangoku Musou 5 X360
When i first saw the opening video of Zhao Yun tossing his cape away and dashing on water ... i knew i was in for a treat ... after months of waiting, i got hold of the Japanese edition of the game and i was not disappointed.

Folks, it doesn't matter if you're playing the US or European or the Japanese release. This game is as straight-forward as it gets, hack and slash ... but this time, you're gonna get more interactive with your surroundings than the previous games or spin-offs!

Graphics are a Huge improvement over the older series. The game's only video is the opening few minutes before the "Press Start button" screen ... everything else is CG rendered. The characters are much more detailed in their clothings, and the cut scenes are all rendered (as opposed to video) ... allowing for more expressions to be shown when a character talks or yell ...

The gameplay is very much the same as before, and the new renbu system is a welcome addition ~ you build your kills, the meter grows and you get to attack differently as the renbu meter goes up (4 levels) ... more damage, more effects and more chaos for your enemies!

Enemy generals are also capable of bringing new weapons into battle. You'll expect quite a challenge this time as everyone else randomly powers up from time to time. From peons to the generals, everyone brings the fight to you as you bring it to them ... nothing personal, it's just war!

The characters from the previous games are mostly in this one except for a few (e.g. Jiang Wei, Meng Huo ... etc) and many of them have new weapons to boot ... Quite straight up, Lu Bu has a brand new weapon that looks silly until you get to use it for yourself! A note of advice for fans of the Wei army, expect to have a harder time adapting to the change of weapons for guys like Dian Wei and Xiao Huo Dun (i hate his weapon)!

A big disappointment would be the lack of musou mode ... you'll only get to play 17 musou modes while other characters are free to use in FREE MODE ... as sad it seems, one can pray there would be either a DW empires or Xtreme Legend expansion that might turn things around ...

The battles in the game can get quite messy most of the time ... you'll be swamped by troops and other allies whenever you all clash ... it's annoying as it slows down your frame rate and battle as well, but you're not gonna do anything than to keep pressing on until the game speeds up again!

Players can also find new ways to affect the morale of the enemy ... you would notice that sometimes jumping into an enemy base from the hilltop will cause the soldiers to panic and help you get a free frag or two and they would be in a weaker position to fight back too! You can swim and take out small boats in rivers or streams, throw off a chase by swimming off ... helps add a bit of flexiblity to your attacking (or retreating) plans!

With all that said, i would encourage you to pick it up and give it a go ... fans would do it without being said ... I was lucky to get mine at a 2nd hand shop and it was worth it! For those who want to try getting in and see what's so good about it , i'll recommend to rent it first or borrow from a friend ... this series is only starting to get better with this , so do give it a try!