Review by lionheart186D
"Another Great Rotk Game!!"
I have been a fan of Romance of the three kingdoms era for some time now, and this all started when I first played Dynasty warriors 2. The story and characters were simply amazing. When you first play the game, you will play in the role of Liu Bei a warm hearted leader and he only seeks peace across the land, he is attacked by rebels and then Cao Cao goes to his assistance for a victory. Liu Bei holds a celebration Banquet for Cao Cao. Himiko, a sorceress tells the oracle for Cao Cao and it's heaven's wish that Cao Cao with Diao Chan should reign instead of Liu Bei, Diao Chan Liu Bei's lover witnesses this and Does not tell Liu Bei. Months after Diao Chan is kidnapped by Cao Cao, and this is the start of a great story to come as Liu Bei shocked by this plans to crush Cao Cao and rescue back Diao Chan. The story expands as it progresses and it gives a feeling that Liu Bei has no chance of winning and this gives more excitement to the story. Overall the story is great and gets alot better as it progresses.
The gameplay is great, before you actually battle, you are put in the hands of political policy and war council, these are new features to the second installment. Although they are not huge and you can win battles without them, they are still pretty cool. Political policy is where you improve your army in numerous tasks such as training troops and recruiting. War Council is where you plan strategy for the upcoming battle, however you can't decide for yourself, you must choose an officer's advise. When it come to the battle, you choose where a destination for each squad, this is also how you can alter strategy from the War council. You can also choose from a variety of formations depending on the experience of the selected general. There are 3 views of the battle field, Map view, Birds Eye view and Behind view. Map view is useful for sending squads to various destinations, Birds eye is useful for seeing what's going on and behind view is better for zooming in closer to an officer in a battle. When entering a battle you can zoom in so you control the officer in fighting enemy troops like shaking them of, or rushing them. Then comes special abilities, reflected on the officer's personality. There a 3 types, a general which uses attacking skills such as raid/using magic/or a mix of both. A general for arrow troops uses an ability known as Volley when a barrage of arrows is shot. Magic abilities are : lightning, fireball, hail and more and are cool to watch. Other abilities include,: charge (when you charge enemy troops) duel (when you take on the enemy officer, this is not controlled which is a flaw) rallies(increasing morale of ally troops) and much more. There are other types of battle such as siege and Naval battles, they both have flaws because many abilties cannot be used which could alter the outcome of the battle. What's annoying on siege battles is when trying to destroy a gate, the enemy will kill of about 2,000 of your troops and decrease morale. Then comes the supply depot, if this is destroyed, then morale is halved. You don't get alot of control and depth in the battles but they are still enjoyable and great. There are branches to this game where you choose which level you want to play in. What's also cool is that when generals get experience, ranks grow. Controls are also easy to get used to.
I would give the graphics 8.5/10. The costumes and armour are done very well. FMV sequences are excellent. How ever in battles there a few flaws, when in birds eye view, the troops all are 2d and have same pattern movements. Altogether on gameplay graphics, they could have been more improved.
The opening is presented well, as well as the narrating part just before the battle, everything is presented well
While the game itself isn't huge, its average on length, it could have been bigger as in more levels and longer levels, as some levels take quite some time to complete, if you try to defeat other generals before the main general. Once you complete the game with Liu Bei, you can play as Cao Cao, when playing as Cao Cao is starts to get old and boring, but you get back in it when you soon finish it with Cao Cao. Once you finish it with Cao Cao, there is expert mode. There are also other levels which haven't been played because of the branching parts. There are 11 levels for Wu And Wei
Rent or Buy? I say Buy, I got my copy for £19,99 and it was very worth it. You could easily rent it and complete it however, if you a ROTK fan, this is a must have.
Overall: this is simply a great game. 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/02, Updated 11/24/02
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