Warriors All-Stars is a musou style game featuring all the famous characters from other titles made by Koei Tecmo. In addition to the warriors games, well-known franchises such as Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden and the recently released Ni-oh are all part of the game. Lesser known series like Atelier, Toukiden and Nights of Azure are also present.
The set up for the main story is as absurd as you can imagine. A king who controlled a powerful spring has died and three heirs step up to take the throne. Princess Tamaki performs a ritual to call upon heroes from other worlds in order to restore the spring, but they end up scattered and find themselves fighting each other on behalf of the three heirs.
Combat is very similar to other games in the series. Combine light and heavy attacks to perform combos, as well as special moves to take down large groups. You can also use a rush ability where you become overpowered and try to kill as many enemies as possible before the timer runs out. In that period, your party members cheer you on, adding to the overall silliness of the situation. You start all stages at level 1 bravery, which increases as you finish objectives and kill enemies. This in turn increases your stats, allowing you to easily deal with bosses.
You can call upon an ally to unleash their own special moves by pressing R1 and a face button assigned to them. In addition, you can form a link with an ally, allowing you to control your partner while your party leader fights on his/her for a short duration. Rest of the game simply consists of conquering zones and beating key enemies while slicing your way through hundreds of foes. A neat progression lets you equip, craft and upgrade cards to each party member which enhances their stats.
Disappointingly, Warriors All-Stars only consists of a story mode. There is no multiplayer or Empires mode, and the only way to get more out of the game is to undertake side missions from the campaign map.
Warriors All-Stars is perfect for those looking to play a musou game with their favourite Koie Teco characters. But if you are already excited by the changes coming in Dynasty Warriors 9, this game represents consistent overuse of the same core structure and ideas. After a few hours, the vanity wears off and you are just left with the same repetitive battle system you have used countless times before....