"A must-buy for any Three Kingdoms Fan!"

Kessen II is a strategic game that bases its battles during the Three Kingdoms era. Battles are fought first between Cao Cao and Liu Bei then eventually Shu and Wei and in a few battles, Wu. I rated this game a nine because I really enjoyed how smoothly everything went and how enjoyable battles can really be.

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Gameplay 9/10
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I think of Kessen II as a ''play the three kingdoms movie.'' You first have to play as Liu Bei and try to stop Cao Cao. Liu Bei controls Shu, and you are Liu Bei. This all means you can give commands to all your allied units. You can send a unit into battle with another guard another unit; join another unit in a fight, retreat from a fight, and change movements. The Gameplay at first I thought was horror able because I felt it was too hard to understand. Once I got the hang of it, it is awesome to control the armies and lead Shu to victory. Though actual control of generals runs short, you can cast spells to damage the enemy greatly, which adds cool effects.

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Graphics 10/10
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The graphics are MIND BLOWING! The graphics during cut scenes and FMV's are all very detailed and very interactive, which shows the awesome power of Playstation 2. Though when your far away from troops you can see they are only 2D but there is many of them on the screen, when you enter battle the graphics turn into small 3D figures, about 200-300 soldiers are fighting a once, even though they appear small, the quality makes up for it.

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Sounds/Music 10/10
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If you have played Dynasty Warriors 3 you will notice the music in that was hard metal. In Kessen II the music is more modern but I felt it was very good music for the battles. Sounds are what really give the points here. The cry of soldiers when they get hurt or die is very well done, as well as sound effects for hitting enemies is nice. English voice acting I felt has great feeling to the voices.

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Story 10/10
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If 10/10 could go any higher, it would be with this game. The story is extremely interesting and unlike some other games with long movies, this story stays very interesting and will make you be at the edge of your seat to see what happens next. Most of the story is beautifully done graphics wise and just the story in general is well done, even though most of the story is fictional, yet it provides some facts.

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Replay Value 8/10
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When you first play as Liu Bei the game will be anew and interesting to see what happens. After you beat the game with Liu Bei, you have the option to play as Cao Cao. Cao Cao's battles are fought in the eyes of himself, not as Liu Bei anymore. The only problem is many of the battles are the ones Liu Bei fought in, just as Cao Cao. So for some, it might get boring because of this.

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Relation to DW3 N/A RATING
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I felt I should comment on how people always ask, ''I enjoyed Dynasty Warriors 3, and will I like Kessen II?'' Dynasty Warriors 3 is a run into battle, beat-em up type of game, which involves little or no strategy for the player. In Kessen II, it is much different, you must plan how you will attack the enemy, and you cannot just jump into battle and kill soldiers. YOU cannot kill soldiers, only knock them down, but soldiers cannot even hit you. Therefore, this game is nothing like DW3 except for characters obviously and battles. If you only like beat-em games, do not get Kessen II.

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Bottom Line 9/10
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If you enjoy strategy games and the Three Kingdoms then Kessen II is definitely a must-buy. If you played DW3 and are expecting Kessen II to be a beat-em up game then I would not recommend this game for you.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/01/02, Updated 07/01/02


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