The second installment of Koei's crossover hack 'n slash brings lots more of fanservice and no new features.
In this game, the big nemesis of the previous game, the evil serpent-god Orochi was brought back to life by his strategist and biggest ally Da Ji, who not only took care of all preparations to assure him a brand new life and reunited the previous Orochi faction, but was also able to get the help of two more allies: the old monk Kiyomori Taira, the monkey warrior Sun Wukong and the young goddess Himiko. Foreseeing the beginning of a chaotic era, the divinities Nu Wa, Fu Xi, Taigong Wang and Yoshi-tsune Minamoto join forces with the Samurais faction and the kingdoms of Wei, Wu and Shu to defeat Orochi's new form: Orochi-X.
The gameplay remains the same as the good old Musou series. You can use regular attacks with the Square button, fiercer attacks with the Triangle button, Musou attacks holding the Circle button and all can be combined to create powerful combo attacks. With the X button you can jump and mount/dismount your horse. L button allows you to set the camera to default view, R button gives out the special attack. Start button opens the menu that allows you to see the current battle and character status. The controls response is smooth and quick and the navigation through the map is a lot faster than the previous game. For being a portable console's game, there are almost no lags at all throughout it, even when you're facing more than 20 enemies at once, which is great.
As in the previous game, for each "faction" you choose, you can control a party of three characters. You begin with a determined party, but you can change them as you unlock more characters. Keep in mind that some characters are the key for finishing certain campaigns and if you don't have them in your main party, the events will not be triggered. This is more of a game bug rather than a feature.
Instead of having X campaigns for each chapter, now you'll have a new game mode called Dream Mode, which is a collection of extra campaigns with non-Story-related goals. In Dream Mode, you control a static three-people party with a certain mission. Dream Mode has only a few chapters for you to play, but you can unlock more chapters as you acquire new characters and play through the regular Story Mode. Also, as you acquire more abilities and level up your characters, you also unlock some extra features (background images with sketches and rendered images from the Musou games) in the Gallery.
As for the other modes, there aren't news. You've got Story Mode (now, besides the Three Kingdoms and the Samurais faction, you can also play with Orochi's party), Free Mode (in which you can choose a campaign from Story Mode and play it with no compromise) and Dream Mode. Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to test the online mode, so I can't say much about it.
One thing that the producers seem to have forgotten was to change the OST. Ok sure, the soundtrack itself is great, but even the Main Screen song remains the same.
Overall, this game is great for fans of the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series. Short in therms of story and extras, but quite fun while it lasts.