Dynasty Warriors 3 (真・三國無双2, Shin Sangoku Musou 2) is the third title in the Dynasty Warriors series and the first to sell one million units. It is acclaimed by fans of the earlier titles to be one of the most difficult due to the enemies' AI.
The game's Chinese version is narrated by Liu Mingxun.
- If they have a high ranked weapon, characters can now perform six hit combos. The four previous charge attack properties remain the same but add two more to the mix.
- Elephant mounts have been added. Riding a specific steed, however, demands the player to be at certain level. For example, if the character is at a low level and tries to ride Red Hare, they'll likely be thrown off its back. To counter this setback, the player can level up their characters or equip saddles.
- When two players work together on a stage, they can perform an attack called a Double Musou. If they are close to one another and have their Musou gauges filled, they can press together to unleash a powerful assault, where they automatically perform their True Musou Attack with the lightning element.
- Power Guards (press while blocking) replace the original counterattack system, where they push back the attacker upon their attack connecting, but it does not interrupt their attack string.
- For the first time in the series, characters can collect and equip various items and weapons before each battle. Playable characters can equip four weapons; characters can only have one copy of each weapon. Fourth weapons and rarer items must be unlocked through special conditions on Hard or the new Very Hard difficulty level on specific stages.
- Stat boosting remains similar to the previous title except Dynasty Warriors 3 offers different stat boosts when the game is on harder difficulties.
- Both the player's HP bar and Musou Gauge are no longer a single-shared unit when collecting the Dim-Sum item, and can now have their lengths completely separate of one another; likewise, a new item (the Musou Wine) can now be used increase the player's Musou Gauge cap the same way as with a Dim-Sum for HP.
- Saving during battle can be done by choosing to quit from the pause menu. Only one game can be counted at one time and choosing to not continue it makes it invalid.
- Enemy AI is much more aggressive and clearing crowds takes more effort. Even the most common soldier will actively run up to the player to attack.
- Pressing L1 when being launched into the air or knocked down during certain types of hit effects can now allow the victim to perform a somersault recovery where they are still considered airborne; this usually occurs much more often during more continuous juggles.
- Enemy and allied officers now replenish their health, increase their attack/defense instead in a similar way as the player would charge their Musou, and will often do so when the player's character falls near them, regardless of somersault recovery. Enemy and allied officers always counter with their Musou if they get hit with a 6-hit combo while still grounded; this allows players to be much more aggressive towards enemy generals without them instantaneously clutching a situation in their favor, but it forces them to also consider attacks that can exceed 5 grounded-hits.
- Messages are now more exaggerated in terms of text speed via having the player be able to read them on time, as well as having voiced-text by the various generals and characters.
- By proxy, while the in-game cutscenes now have voiced dialogue with new voice actors, nearly all of the in-game battle quotes (such as battle cries) use updated versions of the Japanese dialogue from the prior installment.
- In-game cutscenes no longer have the minimap show itself on its original position on the upper right of the screen, even during events such as opening a gate.
Characters' modes are extended as they can participate in more battles than before. Many of their new scenarios involve the Southern Campaign to suppress the Nanman rebellion.
Similar as before, more stages and characters can be unlocked when the player completes Musou Mode. This is where the Other characters can be played.
A mode that gives two players 90 minutes to compete with one another. They can chose to participate in the following challenges.
- 3 vs 3 Elimination - set at Hu Lao Gate's front, players engaged in an allied 3 on 3 can duel with one another on horseback in a barricaded arena.
- Struggle for the Imperial Seal - search for the Imperial Seal in the one of the Wu Territory bases and earn more warriors while engaging in a 5 on 5 with other allied generals. However, one can have said warriors betray one another if an opposing player also finds another Imperial Seal.
- Skirmish at Chang Ban Bridge - pave a clear path through the wall of enemies on the bridge.
- Battle at Sea - defeat all your opposition's 100 total soldiers on one of the ships at Chi Bi.
- Team Battle - defeat the three officers atop Fan Castle's walls in a unique 4 on 4 as they enter into the fray one by one.
- 4 vs 4 Elimination - be the first to climb Mt. Ding Jun's highest slope and meet the opposing commander at the top in an allied 4 on 4.
- Valley of Stone Soldiers - a thick fog clouds the field and obstructs vision. Find any enemy officers and/or the opposing player inside Yi Ling's Stone Sentinel Maze under these conditions.
- Duel - have a one-on-one battle within a barricaded spiked arena at Mt. Jie Ting's highest summit.
Within a 90 minute time limit, do one of the following.
- Endurance - At Tong Gate's map, defeat as many officers as possible without being defeated.
- Time Attack - Defeat all 100 enemies on the map as fast as you can. Takes place at the Raid on the Rogue Fortress.
Includes an encyclopedia for various officers and showcases collected weapons and items.
Bolded characters are new in this title.
- Koei 2002 Spring Pack Shin Sangoku Musou 2/Shin Sangoku Musou - repackaged as a part of Koei's 2002 Spring Sale set. Received a 2002 clear file with purchase.
- Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends
- Mobile Shin Sangoku Musou
- CR Shin Sangoku Musou - pachinko machine
- Pachislot Shin Sangoku Musou - pachislot machine
Kamaya released ten figurines of the cast.
Aside from the official guide books and character illustration book, Koei officially funded the following publications for this game:
- Comic Shin Sangoku Musou 2 ~ Extra Stage Vol. 1 - collection of four panel parody comics created and illustrated by fans. ISBN: 4-87719-999-3
- Comic Shin Sangoku Musou 2 ~ Extra Stage Vol. 2 - ISBN: 4-7758-0029-9
- Comic Shin Sangoku Musou 2 ~ Extra Stage Vol. 3 - ISBN: 4-7758-0036-1
- Performed by Yō Hitoto
- Several tracks from this game later appear in Warriors Orochi 2 and 3. Some were also given a unique remix in Dynasty Warriors: Online.
- Kiniro no Corda 2 includes a short loop of ENDLESS FIGHT in an event.
- The Xbox version of the game has several notable audio oddities:
- Various characters' C6 and True Musou Attack quotes have been swapped around.
- Alternate dialogue clips occur during certain events that differ from the English script, along with a different voice at times provided. An example includes Sun Jian saying "Lord Lu, retreat!" during the Surprise Attack on Liu Biao stage, and Lu Bu saying "Diao Chan has defected!" with a generic private's voice during the Dong Zhuo forces version of Hu Lao Gate.
- Dynasty Warriors 3 informational site
- Official American site
- Official European description
- Official Japanese site
- Official Chinese site
- Official Taiwanese description
- Official Korean description
- Omega Force 20th Anniversary opening collection
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