Review by strfry
"Koei has done it again."
I can easily sum this game up in a single word - impressive. Koei has once more given us a fine game based upon the 'Romance of the Three Kingdom' novels. The story is very nicely presented, as the story revolves around two characters: Liu Bei, lord of Xu province, whom wishes only to live in peace with his love, the singer Diao Chan. And Cao Cao, a powerful general who wishes nothing more than total global domination. Who could ask for more?
And if you're one of those people who absolutely require eye-candy, who live and breath for those full motion video (FMV) sequences that leave you panting for more, then you most likely won't be disappointed. Koei apparently decided to push the PlayStation 2 engine a bit, and placed FMVs at the beginning and end of every battle, not to mention at odd times during the battle. It really makes you feel like you're on the field yourself, watching the action transpire from an up-close and personal perspective. (Motion picture producers could take a few notes from the way they did camera angles - it was really tight.)
Also, you have great control over your generals, being able to make them do such things as challenge enemy generals to duels, cast defensive or devastating spells, or simply rally your troops morale. In fact, the best part about this game is that the battles are more heavily influenced by your general's actions than by the type of troop that's being used - which has been proven correct in history more than a few times. I mean, if a general casts a fireball the size of a double-decker bus onto the enemy while they're in close formation, it's bound to do more damage than a simple volley of arrows.
Unfortunately, I do have a few complaints. First of all, there aren't quite enough actions that a general can take; eg. not enough spells to be cast, or special abilities to be used. Maybe I'm spoiled to games like the Final Fantasy series, but I expected a far, far longer list of spells than I got. And I personally thought that the general's special abilities and spells should have been more personalized - if a general carried a spear, he should have spear-type attacks, as opposed to the bland 'Charge' attack that nearly everyone got.
But overall, this game is well worth buying, and I eagerly await it's sequel.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/21/01, Updated 10/21/01
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