Review by slavemaster

"Lord Liu Pei, I'd hate to interupt, but your game...it..."

Kessen II...I just can't see what people see in this game...in my opinion, this is an annoyingly horrible game, as I will go onto explain in the following review...

Game-Play 3/10

The game-play in this game is sadly disappointing...I was hoping for something equal to or better than the Dynasty Warriors series, but was sadly disappointed.

The control of the army is OK...but, really, it's nothing special. I mean, your marching your army at speeds that could never be attained by a foot soldier...hey, isn't he running as fast a horse? Absolutely, it's a horrible idea. I mean, how can a foot soldier go as fast, if not faster than a horse? Completely stupid is what I think. There is also the point that the army control is nothing on “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” series, and overall, is hard to control.

Then there is the lack of reality in this game. In the beginning movie, Liu Bei jumps up at Cao Cao...while he's on the top of a wall. Completely unrealistic. Then to follow up this, in game the spell casters go 100 metres into the sky, chant some made up words and then do the same movement for each different spell. Amazingly, again, unrealistic. A final point on this matter is that the spell casters don't ride horses, no, they FLY! Amazing, isn't it? How some have the ability to fly, and others don't...crazy, if you ask me...

Now, controlling your general has never been easy...but Kessen II makes it the easiest character to control in a long time...mainly because the character might have a few spells/abilities, and one attack, that does not really do much to your enemies...too simple for my likings...I may be a casual gamer, but this is just too simple for my tastes...yours too, probably, but that's not my choice.

One thing that pulls it right down: Retreating. Out of about five retreats, about three of them land you back in with the same enemy, and upgrade that to four with another enemy. It has, if possible, the worst retreating possible, and is by far the most annoying aspect of this game. One of the major reasons I dislike it.

The difficulty of the game for the average casual gamer is moderate to hard, a hardcore one, probably very easy. Its really annoying how most of the opposing teams have more and better troops than you...and its REALLY annoying that enemy officers have more spells/abilities than you. I HATE it when they can't come up with good AI, so they go for stronger enemies instead. It just really bugs me.

Story 2/10

“Love and Battle in the Three Kingdoms. A Magnificent Historical Fantasy” is what it says on the back of the game. In this game, there is little to do with actual historical facts and a completely different story to that of the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” book, of which most of Koei's games are based.

“Oh no, I have to go rescue Diao Chan!” is a direct quote of Liu Bei near the beginning of the game. In the book, Diao Chan played a very small part of separating an Eunuch with his trusty sidekick, and then disappeared just after. Liu Pei and Cao Cao never actually met Diao Chan, so why does Liu Pei want her, and why does Cao Cao kidnap her? A major mystery indeed. The story line get a big bad 2, because this game is meant to be based on the book, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, and it isn't. I was very disappointed at the kind of story-line that I expected was non-existent...very disappointed at its lack of realism...

Sound/Music 4/10

The music is probably the most un-memorable stuff I have ever heard, and isn't very good, anyway. I've heard many-a-game with music head and shoulders over this one, and I am very unimpressed by this. It deserves a seven though, as there are some games that are about equal to this one...but very few are as bad.

If I was so mean to give a zero, I would. But, I'd only do this for a game with no sounds at all, but I think this game would be better without. What on earth is on with those spell casters chanting. It was most obviously done by a mechanical machine, because that music is horrible. All of them make the same noise, too. Horrible, I say. Very unimpressive a 1 is what is what I give, even though it isn't really deserved by it, which brings the total to 4 for this section.

Graphics 5/10

The highest scoring section in the game...funny, isn't it? The graphics aren't that great either. Compared to Dynasty Warriors, they're shockingly bad. All the characters, it does not matter where they are, wear the same clothing as if they were in battle. Completely stupid, in my opinion. The soldiers to me all look the same, except for reddish and bluish horses for different teams...the officers can either fly or always seated on horses...nothing here is really creative or new to the gaming world...its not that good, anyway...

Play-Time/Re-Playability 4/10

This is an OK length game, but in the area of strategy, it's got a pretty poor length. There is not much in the length department to keep you going...there's only about 30 battles in the game, nothing compared to game like Age of Mythology, of which has 32 episodes in the Campaign only, then it has both multi -layer and Random Map mode, so it is a lot longer. A 6 here, because it is a PS-2 game, of which strategy games are pretty few, so I'll put into context with other PS-2 games.

Since this game was completed, I have not picked it up again...its still gathering dust with my N64 games...playing it once is OK, but a second time is asking a bit much. A 1 for this part, leaving the total for this section at 3.5, rounded up to 4.

Buy or Rent?

I'd say rent, if you wanted to, but at today's cost (I got it for $30 AU, Australian Dollars, if you were wondering, cause I live in Australia) its probably worth buying for the short time you'll spend playing it, and I don't think any place that you might rent it from would have been so stupid so as to buy it for rent in the first place. Overall, I personally don't even think it worth you wasting you're money on the renting fee...but that's me...

Final Say 4.5/10 (Average)

A disappointing game in most aspects...but what you going to do? There are just some things that are bad...and other things that are worse, such as this game. All in all, I'm VERY disappointed with Koei and this game...really disappointed...


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/30/04


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