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Which game did it better!? Hyrule Warriors or Dynasty Warrriors 8

Posted by Jason on January 25, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Hyrule Warriors vs Dynasty Warriors 8

To a lot of people, Koei remains most familiar to them because of its historical simulation games. Primarily, this means the Romance of the Three Kingdoms franchise and the Nobunaga's Ambition franchise, which are based on the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China and the Warring States period of ancient Japan. However, it should also be noted that over the course of its long existence, Koei has made other historical simulation games based on historical periods that include but are not limited to the Chu-Han Contention, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Rise of Genghis Khan. With that said, historical simulation games tend to be rather niche in nature, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Koei tends to be better-known to most people because of its hack and slash combat games, with the Dynasty Warriors franchise being excellent examples.

It has been a long time since the first true Dynasty Warriors game was released in 2000 as Shin Sangoku Musou in Japan and Dynasty Warriors 2 elsewhere, meaning that a lot has changed. For example, Koei is now Koei Tecmo, which happened when Koei and Tecmo performed a merger after Square Enix offered to buy out Tecmo. However, Koei has continued to churn out its hack and slash combat games, which have become so popular that there are now not just numerous spin-offs of the Dynasty Warriors franchise but also numerous franchises based on the same formula. Examples of these franchise range from the Samurai Warriors franchise, which is based on the Warring States period of ancient Japan, to Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, and One Piece: Pirate Warriors, which are collaborations with other companies with their own popular media properties. With that said, the single best-known collaboration might be that of Koei and Nintendo, which has resulted in Hyrule Warriors based on The Legend of Zelda franchise.

Of course, considering the sheer number of Dynasty Warriors-style games that can be found out there, it is natural for people with no commitment to a particular franchise to wonder about which games are better than which. As a result, it is worth taking a look at whether Hyrule Warriors is better than Dynasty Warriors 8 or the other way around.

Which Game Is the Better Provider of Hack and Slash Combat?

Here are some considerations when examining the issue of Hyrule Warriors vs Dynasty Warriors:


For the most part, the gameplay of Hyrule Warriors and Dynasty Warriors 8 are much the same. In short, players take control of their chosen characters so that they can be used to cut a path through thousands and thousands of enemies with a specific move-set. However, there are still some differences between the two, meaning that some people might like one more than the other.

One example is how Hyrule Warriors characters are limited to a small selection of move-sets. For instance, Impa is limited to either a longsword or a naginata, whereas Lana is limited to either a book, a spear, or a tool for summoning creatures. In contrast, Dynasty Warriors 8 characters can choose from all of the move-sets in the game, though each character is much better with some move-sets than the others. As a result, this is an important difference between the two games that can cause a wide range of reactions in a wide range of players. Some people will prefer Hyrule Warriors's more unique-seeming characters, whereas other people will prefer the increased range of customization options offered by Dynasty Warriors 8.

Another example of the differences between Hyrule Warriors and Dynasty Warriors 8 is the number of unit types. This is one area in which Dynasty Warriors 8 is clearly lacking because while there are different unit types with different characteristics, those differences are so minute that they don't actually require the player to make any changes in their approach whatsoever. In contrast, Hyrule Warriors has a greater selection of enemies, with the most notable example being its giant bosses such as Gohma, King Dodongo, and the Imprisoned. Something that enables it to offer richer gameplay through somewhat increased variability.

Of course, there are other differences between the two games, but for a lot of people, these two differences will be the most striking differences between them. Still, interested individuals should look into them if they are seeking to choose between the one or the other because sometimes, it is the small things that can make the most difference.


On initial consideration, story seems like something in which Dynasty Warriors 8 should have an insurmountable advantage over Hyrule Warriors. After all, its source material is one of the most romanticized periods of Chinese history, so much so that it is famous in not just China but also other countries that have been influenced to a significant extent by Chinese culture. For proof, look no further than the fact that Koei is a Japanese company with not one but rather two successful franchises based on the same period, with one being the Dynasty Warriors franchise and the other being the Romance of the Three Kingdoms franchise. In contrast, Hyrule Warriors has a barebones narrative, which is not particularly impressive even by the lackluster standards of the genre.

Unfortunately, Dynasty Warriors 8 suffers in this regard because it is based on such a romanticized period of Chinese history. Simply put, its story has been done much better elsewhere, with the result that it suffers for the comparison. Granted, Dynasty Warriors 8 makes some interesting choices in regard to its characters, with an excellent example being how its depiction of Liu Shan straddles the line between wisdom and idiocy whereas conventional depictions lean towards the latter. However, it should be mentioned that there is so much material about the Three Kingdoms period of ancient China out there that this interpretation of the character is far from being original to Dynasty Warriors 8, meaning that it still suffers from the comparison.

On top of this, Dynasty Warriors 8's story suffers because the conventions of hack and slash combat games make important story elements more than a little bit ridiculous. For example, it is rather difficult to believe anyone when they say in the story that they care about the common people when the entire point of the game involves slaughtering poor peasant conscripts by the thousands. Likewise, it strains disbelief to see important characters die from illness story-wise after they have just rampaged through entire armies. As a result, there are people for whom the barebones narrative of Hyrule Warriors can seem simple but serviceable when compared to the notorious cheesiness of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, of which Dynasty Warriors 8 is but the latest example.

Further Considerations

Ultimately, Hyrule Warriors and Dynasty Warriors 8 are similar enough that one isn't notably better than the other, meaning that it is not unreasonable for different people to prefer different games based on the factors that matter the most to them. However, Hyrule Warriors offers something fresh and exciting, whereas Dynasty Warriors 8 is the latest installment in a series that is not exactly famous for its willingness to innovate. As a result, Hyrule Warriors might have an advantage for people who like hack and slash combat games but are not particularly enthused by what they have seen of the Dynasty Warriors franchise, particularly if they happen to be Zelda fans as well.

Categories: Gaming and other topics, Which game did it better!?