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"Warriors of Fate is a sequel to Dynasty Wars."
Known as "Tenchi o Kurau" in the east, the arcade version of this Capcom beat-em-up looks much better than the PCE port, and in particular the sprite flicker on the PCE is horrendous.
On the plus side, you get to ride a horse and spear a lot of medieval Chinese dudes. The sprites are quite tiny--this seems to have been before Capcom really hit their stride with the beat-em-up genre, and hadn't quite come up with their zoomed-in-view + large sprites formula that produced pretty much all the classic arcade beaters that they're known for, starting with Final Fight, perhaps? Hm Dynasty Wars came out in '89, and Final Fight in '90, so maybe there's something to that.
Anyway so the sprites are tiny and you only get to use certain amount of the screen space, so you kind of feel like you're watching the action from a good ways off--while drunk, since the sprites are flickering like the dickens. The backgrounds sometimes don't look so hot, either.
You can pick from five different warriors with I suppose different abilities, I don't know. They all pretty much control the same: left button hits left, right button hits right, hold for a charge attack (better range and damage), press Start for a bomb (lighting from the sky). The bomb uses some of your own life though, ouch. You'll notice that you don't really have many moves, and you'll pretty much be mashing the button as rapidly as possible the entire time, unless you're storing up for a charge shot, which you should pretty much always be doing if you don't have an immediate target.
So your horse gallops along (forwards, backwards, it doesn't really care). The horse control is kind of skittish: you don't have precise up/down control, rather you press up/down and the horse sort of drifts a little distance in that direction. Odd. So your horse skitters along and little guys jump out and run around the screen real fast, sometimes shooting arrows or rolling rocks or jumping with knives or other dangerous things in your vicinity. To discourage this, you hit them. You gotta keep moving constantly or else they'll land hits on you, and the collision detection is a little arbitrary (not helped by the sprite flicker) so it's no real use trying to dodge, just move and mash the button. Every few screen lengths a mounted boss guy comes along, and you beat on him for a bit. Baddies drop tiny powerups for points, bombs, health, etc.
The voices seem to have been redone for the PCE version--you can switch them to "arcade mode" but they sound bad that way. So that's a plus, I guess. The music isn't that hot, though, and the sound effects are lame--especially the sound when a bad guy blocks, which happens a lot later on.
I don't think the game supports co-op, which is a shame. It's also not all that hard, I got to stage seven or so on my first credit, and that was about twenty minutes of non-stop whacking people. Normally I'm all for that in a beat-em-up, the problem here is that the sprites are so small and not-so-well animated that the whacking people doesn't feel as much like whacking people as it does in other games, and what with the sprite flicker and the skittish horses its a little less intuitive than it should be. Oh and you really start wishing for more moves. I should mention that you do get weapon powerups, but they still work the same as before.
You could say that it's rather epic in scale, but the design of this game is just not as cool as Capcom's later beat-em-ups.