More or Less of the Same!
Before I actually gave this game around 8.0 for being innovative in their gameplay system of Blacksmithing, but I have to change that score now after spending some more time.
One of the gripes I have with this game is that you cannot pick certain stats you would want on your weapon. Warriors Orochi systems was a lot better in this aspect that you can freely choose what properties you would want an armor/weapon to have to suit the character.
In SW3, your given somewhat random weapon properties with limited amount of upgrades. This isn't bad mind you, but at the same time old Koei games did this system much better IMO.
Also the 4th Weapons were suppose to be crazy, but to be honest some of the 3rd weapons are much better in terms of power and what you can upgrade.
This doesn't give players much of an incentive to get the "best weapons of the game" The same thing can be said with armor. The better armor, boots, gauntlets can be gotten by playing the side-quest of Murusame Castle, but even those items may pale to what players can find by playing Hard/Chaos modes of SW3.
Did SW3 progress from SW2? Yes and No... I like that its on a better system, but I miss the rumble feature of the PS2. Also the maps are more detailed and you can see more enemies on screen. The fact that there is a Japanese language feature is a huge bonus to those who want to remain "faithful" to the original.
Yet at the same time I feel that SW3 hasn't done enough to branch forward. the gameplay feels slower... the action isn't as fast as other SW/DW games. The mission Objectives are a nice touch, but there is really no serious penalty for failing to accomplish them in the alotted time. The graphics are better, but not that much better. I feel you CAN have done this on PS2.
There are also only 5 stages for each Character. This could have expanded to 7 or 8, but thats somewhat fine.
What they should have done was customize weapons and armor similar to WO. If your going to allow the players to customize, well... let them CUSTOMIZE! Don't put X markers on Y properties.
Let there be a stronger penalty for not doing Tactical/Mission Objectives. If the player fails to accomplish a Tac/Mission the other side gets a bonus! This will speed up the action.
Unlockables were an excellent idea, but I felt that it was somewhat of a timesink to spend X rice to unlock Y character.
The blacksmith itself wasn't perfect. Under what reality did Japanese use Gems as a currency. Stick to using Yen to add properties, heck make it expensive to combine the crazier properties. This turns the game to a farm fest. Sure it gets easier as you play more characters, but I only see the majority of gamers at most learning 20 chars.
This was an average game at best.. Below average if you really want my honest oppinion. Fans of the series will get this either way, but I think that Koei was long extinguished the directions of their Warriors franchise.
If all your selling are different costumes with same gameplay its not worth the 49.95....