I grew up with Dynasty Warriors, starting with the third game. It had that bad-translation charm and very accesible gameplay, yet it was also very challenging for even the best gamers. It was insanely easy to get carried away while destroying enemy soldiers, and end up surrounded by archers or getting killed in one hit by Lu Bu. Even when you had destroyed the entire enemy army, you still had to take out their super-powered commander. Every character was fairly shallow, but that was mainly because Koei probably assumed that the only people playing the game were big fans of the books, so they didn't elaborate much on what was going on. This lack of context and explanation was absolutely hilarious.
Anyway, the majority of American gamers and critics who are familiar with Dynasty Warriors criticize Koei for essentially releasing the same game over and over. By this rationale, it isn't uncommon to see reviewers give it a 3, 4, or 5 (Yet when Call of Duty follows the same tactic they get a 9 or 10, with an ironic "Why fix what isn't broken"). I disagree to a degree. People love the formula of stress-relief warfare, and Koei delivers it in a better looking and running package every year or so. However, I also agree with the critics, in the sense that I can understand where they are coming from. I will elaborate.
What does Dynasty Warriors 8 offer? As a sequel, what does it do differently from 7? Is it basically the same bike, but with a few new bells and streamers attached to it, or was it a nessecary and inventive expansion upon the franchise? I think you know the answer. They have done this formula so much that any person seeking stress relief now has 6, 7, and 8 (As well as 4 and 5 depending on your point of view) to mess around with. I think now is the time to change the formula, if only for one or two games, just to breath new life into the franchise. The casual gamers have their bazillion Dynasty Warriors games, they are (or should be) satisfied. It is now time to satisfy someone else, namely the fans that have loyally held on despite their better judgement, hoping for that lost challenge. And before someone starts yelling "If you want a challenge just do Chaos Mode", you and I both know that isn't what I mean. Difficulty is not giving enemy soldiers one hit kills and buckets of health. It is equalizing the playing field between you and your opponents, and letting skill decide who wins. In Dynasty Warriors 3, I could kill a general in just a few hits, but they could do the same (Barring the Lu Bu and occasionally Zhang Liao exceptions).
So what do you all think? I personally think this would satsify the old school gamers, while at the same time bringing in new fans, impressing critics, and hopefully generating more revenue in the western hemisphere. A more serious and skill based Dynasty Warriors that examines the motivations, successes, flaws, fears, and emotions of the spectrum of existence and humanity as personified in the cast of one of the world's oldest and most respected historical dramas.