Review by YukiS

"Excellent game alomost as good as the original."

I would first like to start out by saying this game actually deserves around an 8.5 seeing how it falls just below the 9 I gave the original Kessen (PS2, 2000). The things I feel have gotten worse will be discussed in later paragraphs. Before the review begins I would like to say my score is not an average.

GAMEPLAY (8), the most important game element.
Kessen 2 only really IMPROVES on gameplay in one way, control.
-Control-As opposed to the original you can now manually move you units instead of having the computer idiotically run into other units in an attempt to save time (however you can still pick the target and have the computer blindly march there). Much to my dismay there were still times when I wasn't be able to enter a battle for some un-seeable reason.
-Strategy-This is the place where Kessen 2 falls short of even the strategically challenged Kessen. Now you can't even position your own units!! I personally got hours of fun out of rearranging my units and trying different strategies with the original Kessen, now you get to pick between 1-3 strategies each with different and original ideas but they all pretty much wind up with the same result (the only variable being time). The most strategy you really have control of is the formation of your units and what to do between battle (Train troop, Recruit troop, better weapons, etc.)
-New additions- The ability to take direct control of your generals an whack people no the field has no real purpose besides to get people out of the way to preform magic or special attacks (seeing how they don't die). The new special attack if preformed properly can do upto 3 times more damage than the original's special maneuvers if preformed properly. My only gripe about this is that these maneuvers can take what seems like decades to be recharged and you can't skip them...ever. Another thing worth mentioning is that now if your moral (or the enemy's) reaches 0 you lose/win, this is overall a cool feature that can either speed up your battle or slow it down tremendously. Destroying an enemy supply camp will drop all enemy units moral by a large fraction, which can result in a much easier victory for you army. One last thing to mention there are new troops types but the only one worth mentioning is the awesome Elephant Calvary.

SOUND (9), means the feel of the game.
-Music-Simply put, great music. Only not quite as EPIC as the original though.
-Sound Effects- Amazing! You can constantly hear the roar of battle and the screams of men. While running your troops individual rate of speed creates a realistic feel of an army charging to battle. The magic incantations give a mystic feel and the sound of every special maneuver taking place is accurate and blends in well with the sounds of battle going on around you. The sound effects are incredible.
-Voice acting-Eh....well there actors are very good but as far as dubbing....think Godzilla, yes it's that bad. People will keep moving their mouths for I swear 3 seconds after the words have stopped. Well they get the excellent story across ok so it's not worth getting disappointed about. And no there is no Japanese track included, but their are English subtitles.

GRAPHICS,(10) can make you drool or cry
-In game- Excellent, the background and battle fields are much more colorful and interesting than the original. Magic spells are full of detail and color as they should be, and the troop detail is good seeing how their are 5x (500) as many troops on the field at any given time than the original.
-FMV/Cutscene-Kessen 2 FMVs are amazing and truly a credit to Koei's skill. I really can't describe them besides that they are beautiful and really pull the story along well. The cutscenes are sure to impress as well with literally hours of them (I think).

REPLAY,(7) very important as well.
With 2 campaigns and branching paths in those campaigns this game will last you awhile. The only thing that Replay gets a 7 for is that you can't go back and position your units like you want to, your cursed to be stuck with your generals strategies... But besides that you'll spend some time on this game, don't worry.

Buy/Rent?
If you loved Kessen, buy this game!
If you are looking to a true sequel to Romance of the Three Kingdoms, your out of luck. Rent this game.
If you have never played a Koei game, rent it.

Solid long-lasting fun mixed with the thrill of victory can't be a bad thing in any case, Kessen gets and 8 due to short comings as a strategy game and horrible dubbing. Otherwise enjoy!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/03/01, Updated 10/03/01


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