Review by Randomer

"Another Three Kingdoms Triumph"


Intro
Kessen II is set in the three kingdoms period in China. It is a mix of fact and fiction. The main characters are two generals Liu Bei and Cao Cao who become great enemies and become locked in a great war. It is now time for the greatest battle ever, prepare for Kessen!

Game play 8/10
This game has a tutorial that is really boring and restrictive. But if you avoid going to sleep and listen then you realize that the game is not very hard to play. The controls are very simple once you get the hang of it. The original Kessen had lots of tactical and recruitment options, this game has very few. This can be a convenient thing or a very bad thing. Instead of making your own plan the game gives you 1, 2 or 3 plans to choose from. When the battle has started you can either move units directly using the analogue sticks or move them on the map screen. When in battle with another, all of your unit charge straight in or from the side, depending on your formation, if you have archer squads you can choose whether they fire their bows or draw their swords. You can then choose an officer or general from any unit currently in battle and play as them. You can then attack the enemy with your weapon. But for some reason you can’t seem to kill them, you can also initiate special manoeuvres in this view.

Story
This game has a great story, which is sure to keep anyone glued to their screens.
It all starts off after the fall of the Han Empire, rebel uprisings occur across China. Liu Bei lord of a small province is trying desperately to defend it. When his soon to be enemy Cao Cao saves him and his men from doom. After a great party the two men decide to see an oracle to read their fortunes. Cao Cao takes his fortune to seriously, and a few months later attacks Liu Bei and Kidnaps Liu Bei’s wife, Diao Chan. Liu Bei barely escapes and plans a counter attack to defend his province and rescue his one true love. What possessed Cao Cao to do this and start a war, all will be revealed.

Graphics
Kessen II can fit up to 500 people on screen at anytime. This is amazing and the detail is great. When you zoom down into officer view it really does feel like you are in the battle. The in battle cut scenes can seem to be rather rough around the edges but the main cut scenes are beautiful and very well done.

Sound
Unlike the Dynasty Warriors series this games beat-em up relative, the soundtrack still not proper music of Kessen II’s timeframe but is more like classical music, but it is still great music and sometimes it really gets you in the mood for battle. It changes depending on the situation. The battle sound effects are rather poor and this game falls down in this department.

Lifespan
I am probably going to play this game for a long time to come but it depends weather or not you really enjoy it. Some people watch the intro and immediately take it back to the shop and request a refund, other complete the game and then trade it in. It all depends on weather it is your thing.

Overall
I have given this game 8/10
This game had a few flaws in sound and game play but is still the best PS2 RTS so far. If you want to be able to make up your plans and have change squad types around etc then the game may feel very restrictive. This game is now rather cheap I picked up my copy second hand for £13 but a new one should set you back £18+. It is not really worth hunting for as there are other things available on PS2. But this is the best! If you are unsure weather this is your thing then I recommend renting it before you buy it.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/07/03


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