Cheap Satisfaction

User Rating: 6 | Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle DS
I tried, I think, four or five times to get into this game. Each time, I would give up, put it on a shelf, and then wait for the next drought to come around before trying again. It wasn't the simplicity of the game that turned me off; I love guilty pleasures as much as the next gamer. No, what stumped me was that the gameplay progression never quite clicked for me, and I would inevitably become frustrated with the game.

Well, the drought of summer 2010, of course, hit, and I once again came back to this mutt of a DS game. And finally, everything clicked. I had been greatly over-thinking this game, and when I abandoned myself to repetition and button mashing, I was finally able to have fun with Dynasty Warriors DS.

If you're reading this reader review, you probably know the gist of the gameplay. If not, it's simple: You pick from one of three guys to play as. In a nutshell, one guy is slow, one is fast, and the other is a balance of the two. Your goal is to conquer ancient China by mowing through waves of enemies, capturing camps, and then defeating the boss located at the enemy's main camp before they can take over your main camp. It's really basic, kind of dumb, but also embarrassingly fun.

Sure, the combat is repetitive. Sure, the graphics aren't great. But there's something decidedly soothing about the whole thing that's hard not to love. I can see now why this series has so many devout fans, even if the games have been wholly deserving of the low scores they've received.

If you're looking for something that requires no real commitment of your time or emotion and you enjoy mindless hack-n-slash, Dynasty Warriors DS will likely hit the spot. It's got some annoying quirks (such as no micro map to see where exits are), and again, it's very basic and distilled. That being said, I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't a lovable guilty pleasure.