Warriors of Fate (Arcade) Review

After a three week stay with CAPCOM-like-but-not-quite Rushing Beat games it’s time to return to a good old fashioned CAPCOM scrolling beat ‘em up, one featured on the Beat ‘em Up Bundle no less (which means these screens were taken many months ago at this point!) Warriors of Fate is a unique one in that it’s not only based on a manga that was based on the book that was based on Three Kingdoms era of China, but also the English language version changes all the names and locations, rendering that interesting titbit pointless. Oh well! It’s also a beat ‘em up me and my friend first played via the recently released collection, so no “Thoughts Then” paragraph here! Let’s take a look! Exclamation marks!!

Background:

Kassar tries to suplex fire like an idiot.

Warriors of Fate was released in Arcades in 1992, keeping the title worldwide but as mentioned, changing a great deal of other things outside of Japan. It was ported to the original Playstation in Japan on March 22nd 1996, and the Sega Saturn, also only in Japan, in September that same year.

Therefore the digital release of this game as part of the CAPCOM Beat ‘em Up Bundle in September 2018 was the first time anyone outside of Japan could officially own the game.

Gameplay:

I like the “people in the foreground” effect on some of the battlefield stages.

Up to three players can fight using traditional CAPCOM beat ‘em up controls of moving to the right of the screen with one button being attack and the other jump, plus walk into an enemy and you can throw them with a rather period-inaccurate wrestling move. The unique selling point of this game is the old health-draining special moves being replaced by the ability to summon your horse and then fight enemies of horseback until you take damage. It’s fun and more in-keeping with the mood the game is going for. There are still weapons and health pick-ups as well, for the record!

Throw in a classic “tap as fast as you can” mini game surrounding eating and that’s about your lot! It’s just nine stages of satisfying CAPCOM scrolling beat ‘em up action, so… nothing to complain about, but not a lot to write about.

As for genre clichés it has overweight enemies (that don’t breathe fire…) and… that’s about it, but given its set in the Three Kingdoms era of China, it’s not a shocker its lacking in lifts, ninjas and female warriors (don’t always believe what Dynasty Warriors tells you!)

Graphics and Sound:

A friendly eating competition in the middle of a deadly battle for the Kingdom… makes sense to me!

As I often say with these Arcade releases, the graphics are nice, with chunky sprites and interesting and detailed backgrounds, particularly fire during some of the later stages.

The music is both catchy and befitting of a game based in China (or a magical land that looks a lot like China…), but it’s also not exactly memorable. Very satisfying sound effects as well. It does what it needs to do, is the best way to put it!

Story:

Something about his picture is making it hard to believe he’s actually all that bothered about it…

The story is based on a manga called “Tenchi wo Kurau”, which uses the fictionalised accounts of the Three Kingdoms Era of China from the book “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” as its base, like the Dynasty Warriors series. That being said, the Warriors franchise was quick to get away from the book’s extreme bias towards the Shu side of the period, framing the Wei army as the villains and the Wu as inferior, but this game keeps it to the book with Wei as the straight up evil villains to the heroic Shu army’s … erm, heroism. It’s based in the post Yellow Turban Rebellion time period and goes up to the infamous “Battle of Red Cliffs”, though mysteriously you face Lu Bu as the final boss who was neither a member of Wei nor alive at that point in time… That could be a manga thing though, or a game thing for that matter.

The English language version changes everything, Cao Cao of Wei is now Akkila-Orkhan of Shang-Lo, Liu Bei is now Kuan-Ti and he is defending his realm with the help of his five great defenders Portor, Kassar, Subutai, Kadan, and Abaka (originally top Shu Generals Zhang Fei, Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong, and Wei Yan) I get that some of the Chinese names might be hard for the average person to pronounce, but the names they replaced them with are equally foreign and hard to pronounce (seriously, is Akkila-Orkhan really easier to read than Cao Cao?) *shrugs* weird choice, and annoying because thanks to being a long-time fan of the Dynasty Warriors series I would’ve liked to have seen the different takes on the characters without having to look them up (with a few obvious exceptions, like Guan Yu and his large black beard always being a giveaway…)

Thoughts Now:

“Ouch”.

Warriors of Fate is a fun CAPCOM scrolling beat ‘em up, with a unique setting and fun horse mechanic. The name changes are a little annoying for this Dynasty Warriors fan, but overall the actual scrolling and beating up is very satisfying and so I’d have no issues returning to the game in the future.

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