The Nintendo Switch has a lot of strengths, from the variety of control options to it revolutionary hybrid design. Beefy graphics capabilities, unfortunately, is not on that list of strengths. For as beautiful as many Nintendo Switch games look, ports of current-gen games to the Nintendo console are often hit with graphical downgrades of some kind in order to run properly on the system. So what happens when Dynasty Warriors 8, a game touting high-detail character models and hundreds of on-screen enemies, gets ported to the Nintendo Switch?
A lot happens, as it turns out. As soon as I booted up the game and dove into a mission, I could tell I was playing a severely downgraded version of Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends. I haven’t played the game on other consoles in a long time, but from the jagged edges to the low-quality textures and the slightly blurry resolution, it’s easy to see that this version is a far cry from the visual experience you’d get on any other console.
Thankfully, all of those downgrades were for a pretty important reason. In all my time playing, this port of Dynasty Warriors 8 maintained a smooth and solid 60fps, with even the busiest moments of action barely making things dip. It’s also a lot harder to notice the graphical downgrades when you’re in the thick of the action than it is during the cutscenes that intersperse it all.
Amazingly, the undocked experience is basically identical to the docked version of the game. Graphics and framerate are of the same quality you get when playing on the TV, which is a huge plus. On a smaller screen, it can be a little trickier to keep track of every piece of information you need to take in during gameplay, but it’s still great to have a portable Warriors experience that lets you live the action wherever and whenever you want.
Something that makes me incredibly happy about this Warriors game is the full English dub it received, which was left intact for the Nintendo Switch version. My biggest complaint about Warriors-style games for years has been the fact that characters converse and story moments happen through small text bubbles in the middle of gameplay. It’s almost impossible to land your eyes on that text long enough to read them, so being able to hear and understand the characters suddenly adds some much-needed narrative oomph to the missions that I really appreciate.
Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition had to go through a lot of visual changes to be able to find a home on the Nintendo Switch. They aren’t pretty changes at all, but they’re changes that helped ensure the gameplay was unchanged and remains as smooth as ever. It’s tough to have to pick between sharp visuals or consistent performance, but when it comes to this kind of game, performance is key, and they nailed it with this port.