Warriors All-Stars (無双☆スターズ, Musou ☆ Stars) is a crossover Warriors game that features several IPs owned by Koei and its subsidiaries and is one of the projects that celebrates Omega Force's twentieth anniversary. It was first revealed to the public onstage during the 2016 PlayStation Press Conference in Japan. This game marks the first time that characters from a Neoromance game have appeared in English outside of downloadable content, allusions, or multimedia adaptations.
Tomohiko Aoki is the director and Masaki Furusawa is the producer. The game was originally going to be another Warriors Orochi game, but the developers decided to create something different to "evolve" the Warriors brand. The general concept is to present "a hero battle starring all the protagonists", so the majority of the playable roster are characters who are fan favorites or starring in one of the company's latest IPs. A keyword for development is "festival," while the action parts are themed to "joint struggle."
Kou Shibusawa remarked that there are no characters from his IPs in this game, although Furusawa considers Nobunyaga and William to be representatives (the latter being a "quasi" one). At the start of the selection process, there were 100 candidates that the team had selected for consideration, many of whom originated from existing Warriors games. The team chose a vanilla character roster that they think would have entertaining character interactions with one another and would look visually interesting together. Another goal was to avoid overlaps, meaning that if Nobunyaga is in, Samurai Warriors Nobunaga would not be considered.
The Treasure Box edition includes a visual art book, an original soundtrack, two scroll wall posters, and a postcard calendar. Buy the game new to receive downloadable serial codes for Wang Yuanji's Kasumi costume and an early Opoona unlock. Reserve the game from Gamecity or Amazon to receive a code for Arima in Yukimura's costume. Other bonuses are being offered at various outlets.
The story takes place in an alternate world that relies on a miraculous spring to sustain itself. The King, who could control the spring's powers, suddenly perished, leaving the world in turmoil. The Queen tasked her daughter with summoning otherworldly heroes to save their land, but the attempted summoning errs and scatters the heroes to different areas of their world. Other members of the royal family rise to claim the throne and divide the heroes into three warring factions.
The player decides on one character to act as their party leader, while selecting up to a maximum of 4 other characters as support. Leaders and party members can be changed at any time before battle, with the only requirement being that the leader character and party members have already been recruited in the current campaign. Additionally, some scenarios restrict the player on who can and cannot be a leader/party member. There is no character switching during battle, only the rearrangement of the support characters' order.
Each character has a "Hero Skill", a special ability that they use for when they act as a support. They have cooldown times if used, so a single character's Hero Skill cannot be spammed consecutively. Hero Skills are divided into three types: healing, support, or offensive. Press R1 and the corresponding button assigned to a character to activate their skill; hold R1 to read brief descriptions for the party's skills.
In place of a morale system, this game features the Bravery system, which acts as a personal morale level for each character, rather than an entire army. Characters will hold the advantage when facing enemies with Bravery levels lower than their own, and will be at a disadvantage when facing enemies with a Bravery level higher than their own.
Every character has a fluctuating "Bravery" level for each stage, which can further strengthen their attack and defense power. The player character starts with a Bravery level of 1 in the beginning of each stage, and Bravery levels can be boosted by defeating enemies and completing sub-missions, up to a maximum level of 10.
When Bravery is high, characters can use their "Awakened Skill", a stronger Hero Skill, and gain the ability to start the "Hero Chain", which is an ability to summon your support members to line up with your character and attack simultaneously, allowing you to take temporary control over your support members. Bravery can help with the harder parts of a map, but it is not a mandatory requirement for proceeding through stages.
Characters can additionally perform "Combined Skill", or the simultaneous activation of Hero Skills between two characters that can be freely decided by the player. Combined Skills are given their own names when they are activated. Character pairings that come from different IPs are encouraged and may unlock unique Combined Skills.
"Musou Rush" (R3) is a time-limited state which involves every party member in a festive Musou. After the leader starts the sequence, a timer ticks down at the top of the screen. The player can freely control the party leader, while support characters pop up on the screen and provide assistance, such as boosting the leader's strength, increasing the time on the Fever Timer, or assisting in attacking enemies. The player has to defeat a certain number of foes to summon the rest of their party to cheer them on before the timer runs out. Longer Musou Rushes can make the leader completely invincible to damage and knockback.
Musou Rush sequences can end with all party members performing the finisher. Character quotes change depending on their Regard levels with one another. The higher their Regard level, the stronger their Musou Rush.
Stages contain bases with durability gauges in a grid-styled map format akin to other Warriors games (mainly those with IP's not directly owned by Koei), and are divided into five types:
- Standard - if captured, this base will drop orbs. Collect these orbs to remove the cooldown for Hero Skills.
- Restorative - stores healing items.
- Treasure - grants additional bonus rewards after the player wins the battle.
- Attack - shoots arrows at the opposition.
- Defense - boosts the durability of nearby bases and base soldiers.
Regard levels are unique to each character and play a pivotal role in strengthening a character's performance as leader. Each character has their individual Regard levels with the cast that are ranked into five tiers: Associate (lowest), Acquaintance, Friend, Companion, and Confidant (highest). Regard level can be increased by specifically having characters form a battle party. Character interactions that increase ratings for the leader are noted by the hearts that pop over a character's portrait.
Aside from Musou Rush, Regard levels can unlock "Friendship Skills" which can be used on "Hero Cards", supplementary character cards that can alter character attributes like granting elemental buffs, altering base stats, and so on. Cards can be collected by defeating generals in battles or completing sub-missions. Cards come with different rankings of rarity; the rarest Hero Cards have special conditions for unlocking and cannot be altered. Gold and materials collected from battles are needed for alterations. Friendship Skills can offer different benefits than the default Hero Card skills and can be stacked based on a character's friendship ratings with the cast. The mastery levels for Friendship Skills vary between each character.
The Sanctuary is the player's main base and acts as the game's main hub area. The player can wander the sanctuary confines with whoever they have selected as their leader to enjoy various out-of-battle character interactions at any point in the story. It includes a Refinery to sell, alter, or disassemble Hero Cards, and a Practice Arena to level up characters outside of battle by paying gold.
Special character conversations at the Sanctuary often involve groups of characters and have a limited time to initiate before they expire. They include multi-choice answers for the player to select. Like the Neoromance series, it's advised to select a favorable answer to further boost character Regard levels. Friendship conversations are reliant on the interacting characters' gender, as same sex conversations will not be the same as the different sex ones.
If Regard levels reach Confidant and the player has successfully completed a special conversation, a unique hot springs bathing scene will occur as a reward. Mixed gender bathing scenes are available.
During the World Screen pause menu, the player can access the in-game Gallery and Encyclopedia. The gallery collects earned movies, music, character models and dialogue, character events, wallpapers, and battle results. The encyclopedia explains terminology from various continuities. More terms are unlocked from character events.
Other gameplay traits include:
- To contrast the Warriors Orochi series, all characters have up to C6 for their movesets. Certain characters will have more appending charge attacks to better allude to their original IP.
- Certain characters can afflict a new status ailment on their opponents called "Heart Break" which lowers a character's fighting capabilities. Cards can grant "Love" status to defend against it.
- Characters borrow the sprinting mechanic used from other non-Koei Tecmo-IP-Warriors titles that initially do not use mounts, due to the lack of horses in the game. Charge Dash Attacks are added that allow characters to continue their sprint, allowing for hit-and-run tactics. Normal dash attacks will stop their sprint.
- Characters can perform dodge-rolls to avoid enemy attacks and cancel attack animations. Dodge-rolls can be performed by pressing the jump button while guarding or by pressing the jump button during an attack. Samurai Warriors figures perform Spirit Charges with this command instead.
- Locking-on to single major enemy targets is now possible, and also accommodates the rolling mechanic.
- Stages, music, materials, and enemies will be based on varying IPs from Koei, Tecmo or Gust, with music being specifically remixed. Original NPCs and stages will be included.
- Music selection for battles is present for certain stages.
- Downloadable content is only costumes so far. Furusawa has stated consideration for a future multiplayer-themed update. He remarked that different costumes may be decided based on players' reactions.
Characters are automatically assigned based on their IP to one of the three factions: Tamaki, Setsuna, or Shiki. The available scenarios change depending on the player's starting faction. After the introduction cinematic, the player can select their next course of action through the world map screen. Battles, items, and information events are all marked. Information events are required to unlock further events for their faction's story. The player is free to collect materials and items through the various side missions, or proceed with the story at their leisure. Battles that can be played repeatedly with no effects on the main story (like challenge battles) will be present.
As the player proceeds through their faction's main story, they can unlock additional playable characters by completing "Hero Battles." However, there are instances where recruiting a particular character at a certain part of the main story will restrict conditions for obtaining a specific ending.
The other watershed events are "Key Battles"; completing these events will close off a story branch in favor of another. These battles can be unlocked or missed altogether, depending on the selected route, the player's available party members, or specific key items.
Hero Battle and Key Battle conditions may also fail to trigger if a specific character is not made the leader of a party. Clearing one type of battle over another may cause the unselected battle to disappear for the rest of the playthrough.
Repeated playthoughs are encouraged, since it is impossible to see every possible ending in a single playthrough. Fifteen different endings can be unlocked in the vanilla game.
Self-explanatory. Explains terminology from various continuities. More terms are unlocked from character events.
Collects earned movies, music, character models and dialogue, character events, wallpapers and battle results.
Difficulty and volume adjustments.
Characters with * are starting characters.
- Sayo - Unique NPC
- Zhao Yun (Dynasty Warriors) *
- Wang Yuanji (Dynasty Warriors)
- Zhou Cang (Dynasty Warriors)
- Lu Bu (Dynasty Warriors)
- Ōka (Toukiden) *
- Horō (Toukiden)
- Tokitsugu (Toukiden)
- Opoona (Opoona)
- Sophie Neuenmuller (Atelier) *
- Plachta (Atelier)
- Yukimura Sanada (Samurai Warriors) *
- Mitsunari Ishida (Samurai Warriors)
- Naotora Ii (Samurai Warriors)
- Hajime Arima (Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time) *
- Darius (Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time)
- William Adams (Nioh) *
- Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden) *
- Ayane (Ninja Gaiden)
- Nobunyaga Oda (Samurai Cats) *
- Kasumi (Dead or Alive) *
- Marie Rose (Dead or Alive)
- Honoka (Dead or Alive)
- Millennia (Deception)
- Laegrinna (Deception) *
- Rio (Rio) *
- Arnice (Nights of Azure) *
- Christophorus (Nights of Azure)
Famitsu held a poll for fans to make character requests until October 16, 2016. Up to five characters will be considered for inclusion; they will appear as downloadable characters with their own stories and endings. The top ten results of the poll were revealed in the April 13, 2017 issue. They are:
- Diaochan (Dynasty Warriors)
- Nozomi Kasuga (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de)
- Nobunaga Oda (Geten no Hana)
- Ionasal kkll Preciel (Ar Nosurge)
- Earthes (Ar Nosurge)
- Leiji Myoga (Kiniro no Corda)
- Logix Fiscario (Atelier)
- Hotaru (Geten no Hana)
- Oscar (Angelique)
- Totooria Helmold (Atelier)
Furusawa was surprised by the first two, especially the second. He stated that he may consider more Neoromance protagonists in the sequel.
PlayStation Japan wants to know players' strongest dream team from the thirty default playable characters so they can post select comments on their blog. Interested participants had until March 20, 2017 to share their thoughts through blog comments or over Twitter. The most popular results were posted along with select company executives' responses on the game's public sales date.
Four fans who retweeted their favorite character(s) during the game's Twitter campaigns won autographed cards from the voice actors. The most popular character scene voted by fans for the first and second campaigns are fully available for early online viewing, while second and fifth place scenes for the first and second campaigns are compiled into one video.
Furusawa was a guest for the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 6 Gentou Rondo pre-release live stream; he promoted Warriors All-Stars's hot springs fanservice using a placard that features the male cast. January 26, 2017 was the date of the first live stream that had Kazutoshi Sekiguchi as a special guest. The second live demonstration happened February 24, 2017 with Nobunyaga. The third live stream occurred on March 10, 2017 with Osamu Mieda present. March 28, 2017 was the date of the fourth live stream with Masumi Asano (Ouka), Mai Aizawa (Marie Rose), and Yuuka Aisaka (Sophie) as special guests. Five viewers can gather keywords at the end of each live stream to receive voice actor autographs or merchandise if they follow instructions at the end of the fourth live stream; the deadline for entries is April 2, 2017.
A press conference to celebrate the game's completion was held March 23, 2017. Ai Nonaka (Honoka), Yuka Iguchi (Plachta), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Christophorus), Kanae Ito (Wang Yuanji), and Yusuke Kobayashi (Opoona) shared their commentary about the game on stage.
Game★Maniax featured a pre-recorded visit to Koei's main company building and an interview with Furusawa about this game for their March 4 broadcast. Three people can potentially win free PS4 copies of the game by entering the show's online giveaway; deadline for entries was March 17, 2017. Famitsu featured gameplay footage from the game during their March 22, 2017 Tokaigi TV segment.
Omega Force's twentieth anniversary website has the original characters for this game star for March in their 2017 online calendar.
Thirty-four Tokyo and Akihabara cafes, restaurants and other outlets hosted a food campaign for this game March 10~31, 2017. Place mats of the playable cast were offered at each location. The majority of the participating stores were assigned to a single playable character. Customers with 500 yen or more orders from a store's menu obtained a postcard of that store's character. Customers who collected all of the Akihabara postcards were given the chance to receive a postcard exclusive to this campaign.
Baseball team Yokohama DeNA Baystars had two collaborations with this game. The first included three downloadable costumes that were made free from the PlayStation Store. The second included original collaboration merchandise with illustrations by Katsuki Onda that had the baseball players dressed as characters from the playable cast. Additional merchandise for this collaboration was sold at YOKOHAMA GIRLS☆FESTIVAL 2017.
Furusawa was a guest on the Taiwanese program Baha Game Crazy for their March 16, 2017 segment. His appearance came with another announcement for a cosplay contest hosted by Koei-Tecmo Taiwan. Cosplayers have until March 29 to share their photos on the official company Facebook. Taiwanese cosplayer DenKa, who is also the special guest for Koei-Tecmo Taiwan's pre-release press conference, will act as a special judge for entries. The top contestant may win a PS4 copy of Warriors All-Stars.
- The soundtrack contains many re-arranged musical motifs that originated from previous IPs.
- Dynasty Warriors - Arena, Welcome to China, Sacred Ground, Lu Bu's Theme, Victory
- Samurai Warriors - Ōsaka Castle, Okehazama, City of Flowers, Victory
- Warriors Orochi - Kotodama Runner
- Toukiden - Melodies of Nakatsukuni, Endless Journey, Mission Accomplished
- Samurai Cats - Battle music from Guruguru Dungeon Nobunyaga, Neko Bushou Sengoku Emaki
- Haruka - Kokuchou, Kami Fuusen
- Taiko Risshiden - Iza, Kessen
- Nioh - Battle I
- Ninja Gaiden - Ryu's Determination, Concealment, Fighting Soul
- Dead or Alive - Hitohira, Tropical Beat
- Deception - Wings Of Darkness, Immortal King, Blades Of Crime
- Rio - Rio Chance
- Monster Rancher - Continental Opposition Battle
- Rygar -
- Star Force -
- Atelier - Spring Wind Skylark, A Piece Of Pie, I'm Working Right Now!, Yellow Zone, Red Zone
- Nights of Azure - Lady Crimson, The Night, Servans and I
- Official Japanese site, Official Twitter, Official YouTube playlist
- Official Taiwanese site, Official Taiwanese YouTube playlist
- Official English trailer
- PlayStation Japan Blog posts
- Inside Games interview, 4Gamer interview
- Dengeki PlayStation Live with Kanako Takatsuki, GameWith YouTube review
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