Real Talk By: Cmack The Don
If you’ve never tuned into the show on Spike, Deadliest Warrior is a hilariously historically inaccurate re-enactor match-up of two ancient warriors (who most likely never did or could interact; William Wallace VS. Shaka Zulu anyone?) from different cultures each show, with the outcome of the matches being determined by historical weapons experts and other authorities on similar subject matter. The show is pretty silly, with some legitimate educational content in there also, but it makes for a great premise of a game.
If you detach it away from the show actually, the idea of cross cultural, cross national ancient warriors fighting each other sounds a lot like another fighting franchise (*cough, cough, Soul Calibur, cough*).
Deadliest Warrior: Ancient Combat is a compilation disc of the two previously released Deadliest Warrior XBox Arcade games.
In their basic concept/presentation, they are very similar to the classic Bushido Blade series, with a lot of free movement and sudden kills being possible, it is not a traditional stand-off, combination based fighter such as Soul Calibur.
Both titles were pretty well conceived for Arcade titles, and it’s definitely fitting that the only disc release has both games made, either would’ve been too sparse on their own for a physical media version. One of the most odd things about the compilation is that when you load it into your XBOX, it redirects you to your Arcade titles, which will now have Deadliest Warrior 1 and 2 amongst your games. When I first saw that the games were bundled in a compilation disc, I expected a unique menu and ability to access both games from there, as with compilations such as Street Fighter Anniversary.
This aspect alone was a bit troublesome for me, because at first, I didn’t understand what had even happened when I loaded the disc in, I thought that something with my system was wrong as I didn’t immediately notice (nor expect) the two games in my queue.
Otherwise, from there, both games are accessible from your menu, also with the option to install them, and are both pretty decent.
In my experience with both entries, the Deadliest Warrior games are great for casual gamers as there aren’t large combos and an extremely complex fighting system to understand. Despite a lack of hard combos etc., there is still strategy and skill involved, and if you can learn how to exploit the openings an enemies tactics leave, you can end a match in a fast, satisfying way. Due to each character having mid-range, long-range, and projectile weapons, there is a lot of variation in how you can fight.
The arcade/one-player mode isn’t incredibly satisfying, what you really want from the game is to play quick matches with friends, where the action is fast and accessible. With the computer it gets a little stale.
The second game in the pair is obviously the better title, with tighter controls and gameplay, as well as the subtraction of the almost useless lifebars in the first game. The second includes more available and unlockable weapons and armor, better graphics, menus, presentation and music.
The first game is fun and enjoyable and gets you used to the concept, but aside from some of the characters it allows you to play as (there are no Ninja or Pirate-like characters in the second, there are in the first), there’s almost no reason to play it because I’m serious when I say that Deadliest Warrior 2 is that much better. DW2 even includes better made and more varied gore, unique kills, and has everything the first does and even more.
Considering that the compilation pack offers nothing unique or new aside from just bundling the two games, this reviewer would recommend simply downloading the second game from arcade from a lower price, even though the compilation is fairly priced below full price. Again, if you want a quick, accessible fighter for a game night with friends, check out Deadliest Warrior, you won’t be disappointed.
Deadliest Warrior Ancient Combat gets
Out of Five
+Deadliest Warrior 1
+Deadliest Warrior 2
-This conversion of both titles was poorly handled.
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Review Copy Provided By Reverb Communications*