The fun part is i bought this game because of sheer randomness. I was in a moment where i just wanted something that allowed me to kick a lot of ♥♥♥, i knew the series though i had never played it before and decided to give it a shot, since it was on sale. Blast off. I immediately grew extremely fond of the game and its strengths, and happily accepted to ignore its flaws. Here's a list of the pros/cons of this game in my opinion:
-So ♥♥♥♥ing BADA$$! This game just allows you to enter a battlefield and kick so much ♥♥♥ you will just stay there grinnin' at the screen, overwhelmed by the sheer sensation of power this game gives you.
-Even if you may look overpowered in difficulties up to Normal, you still have 3 more grades of punishment waiting for you after Normal: if you want a tougher challenge, you're welcome. Don't even think of getting out alive with a non-leveled character, they will tear you to pieces. So, if you don't like being omnipotent, this game has many antidotes.
-Just don't listen to the general opinion that this game is merely a button masher. Ok, combos are few, very easy (just light attack a certain amount of time+heavy attack, and that's it), but it's not just fighting. Every battle has its own objectives you have to care about: avoid rescuing the troubled allied for too long and he's dead, battle over (for example). You must be very careful of what the game tells you: while you rampage through random enemy forces, you may miss your chance to complete an objective, thus making your life way harder and/or even failing the whole mission.
-The sheer amount of playable warriors is humongous: more than 80 powerful characters, each one, which is really something, with a dedicated weapon and move set.
-There's a lot of content: five campaigns that allow replayability thanks to slight objective variations depending on the character you choose, a free mode with rankings and extra objectives, the very interesting Ambition mode in which you can lead your preferred warrior to ultimate power and some challenges. At nearly 58 hour of gameplay, i am way far from the completion of this game. As long as you like it, you have tons of things to do.
-As soap-operish as the plot may be, it still is enjoyable enough to be a good glue between a mission and another.
-The soundtrack is powerful and exciting, giving the battles a real hand by boosting your heroic feelings quite a lot. If you are into being influenced by music, of course.
-The game is very repetitive. If you don't like killing things (a lot of things) all the time, you will grow bored.
-The english voiceover is quite bad, sometimes to laughable levels. Free japanese voiceover DLC, though.
-The DLCs this game has are very expensive and not quite necessary unless you've already fully explored the base game, which can require hundreds of hours.
-The graphics are rather poor. Character design is nice, but sceneries are empty and non interactive, textures are not detailed, geometry is very simple and generic characters all look the same (because they are). There is quite a load of special effects and a huge amount of troops displayable on screen with virtually no lag even on semi-good machines, but this game doesn't shine much on this side, no doubt.
-Playing with a keyboard is excruciating, and controller mapping may be tedious sometimes due to generic button names provided in the option menu.
This game has a lot to offers, and also historical flaws that are part of its DNA. If you like this kind of game and need to unload your stress through peons genocide, though, don't think twice: Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends (Complete Edition Ultra Super Turbo DX and what not) is the game you need. And always remember: don't pursue Lu Bu. Because no matter how bada$$ you are, he is more.