Considering the limitations of using the older DW character models and an apparently unrefined game engine, along with reworked levels, and that it's a budget game, the developers couldn't wring much more out of this title.
With 20-odd 'dream' levels, where you are given a predetermined selection of three characters, as well as 5 campaigns with 8 levels each, you're looking at 60 levels. The vast majority of these levels are much more filled-out than the ones in the original Warriors Orochi - even though some are still short due to their nature, there aren't any throw-away ones which the previous title was peppered with.
Each character has three costumes instead of the previous two, and some of them look amazing. In terms of characters, there are a sprinkling of ones which are from newer expansion packs which I haven't had access to before, as well as a handful of new mystical characters - excellent.
The weapon upgrade system remains, but is bolstered with a new system. Treasures are found in predetermined stages, and must be unlocked by following the 'hint' and achieving the goal in a timely fashion. These treasures are used to turn weapons into effects which can be applied to other weapons. There are 15 of these new effects, ranging from increased power-up time to the ability to resist being stunned by missile attacks. These are applied to 3 new slots which are on each weapon, they're in addition to the 8 slots each weapon has for skills such as 'flame'. Each of the 15 effects requires specific treasures and specific skills on the weapon that is to be converted into an effect, for the more useful effects this means weapons with several skills higher than level 1. In a nutshell: there's now a further use for all those weapons lying around, and something else to buff your characters with.
Proficiency has been expanded to 50 levels, unlocking higher levels allows more powerful combos and increases the character's damage resistance, this is in addition to the 99 character levels. There's a whole lot of levelling needed to get your favourite characters at their best.
The game isn't without problems, and they all relate to the technical limitations of the aging game engine. The first is slowdown, which is frequent and, in busy battlefields, prolonged. It doesn't ruin the game in any way but it's something we could all live without. The next is longstanding issue with the player having to do everything since computer-controlled allies are incapable of making progress themselves. Again, nothing new, but it would be nice to think this is something that will eventually be worked around. The plot is a continuation of the Warriors Orochi story, an original work which crashes the two games' plots together and spins them around with demons. For newcomers, this three-way which is now in its second act will be totally confusing.
To buy or not? For newbies, despite this being a quality game, the plot and massive amount of (probably unknown) Asian names being bandied around might confuse to the point of switching off. Try Samurai Warriors 2 instead, the plots aren't a work of art but they are nonetheless an important part of the experience. For fans of the series, why haven't you bought it already? Even if you found the original game a tepid experience this one should be a marked improvement, it really is a well put together game.
It's a real pity that the developers are so inconsistent, if they'd shown the same drive when throwing together DW6 it would still be on my shelf.