I’ve loved the Dynasty Warriors series ardently since its original installments way back on the PS2. No, the fighting game on the PS1 that launched the brand name here in the US doesn’t count, at least for me.
I would never be so bold as to collectively call this series “good.” I do think it has many good installments — but most of the better titles are actually spin-offs or collaborations with outside development partners like Nintendo. Here “better” means “actually playable by non-fans of the series,” with things that you’d expect from a modern video game like readable graphics and controls that function.
The core Dynasty Warriors games have had numerous ups and downs over the years, and the development pace of the central non-licensed games has slowed to a relative crawl during the latest console generation. The last main DW installment came out way back in 2018, with its Empires follow-up finally releasing last year.
I bought too many copies of Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires, and I played at least one campaign through to the end in all of them. You can see more of my detailed thoughts about this over-ambitious and weird bandage of a game over here in my original review from last year.
However, today I want to finally talk at length about the stupid Nintendo Switch version. I’ve played a comical amount of the Switch port of Dynasty Warriors: 9 Empires, to the tune of 90 hours or so. That’s certainly not the most time I’ve ever put into a game, or indeed that excessive for a modern large release relatively speaking…but it is wild considering just how bad the Switch version of this game is.
Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires barely qualifies as a current generation game when you look at it on a PS5 or Xbox — but the Switch version then squishes it down through a muddy filter. They didn’t cut any content out, but they did make every single part of it worse.
While the other builds provide enjoyable hectic combat and strategy, all tied together with story cutscenes that feel like they cost…