Review by wanderer35

"One of Koei's best products that was not based on the three kingdoms or nobunga."

Storyline - This game really follows the novel Water Margin or Outlaws of the Marsh. This novel was also the one which the original suikoden game was based on. Yes the one with the 108 stars. In this game you can recruit people in the novel and also the 108 stars. Your objective is to fight and defeat the evil Gao Qiu the evil minister of war in the novel.

Graphics- The graphics are not impressive. Yes this game's graphics are really dated by today's standards.

Soundeffects- The earlier koei games did not have music.

Gameplay-This game is just like the other three kingdom games in which you hire bandits and soldiers and you go to war against other bandit kings or the government.

Unlike most RTK games your goal in this game is to become popular enough that the emperor of china will send you an edict. The edict allows you to attack and kill Gao Qiu. Without it you cannot attack Gao Qiu. This game is also tougher in that you must beat the game before 1127. Because after that the northern barbarians will attack china. You will thus lose the game. In the first scenario you only start with 1 ruler yourself and no land or followers. You must defeat a guy with 8 territories that he intend to expand by fighting bandit kings. Thus this game is a tougher version of the RTK games.

Another important aspect which is also seen in some of the other earlier suikoden games is that unless you become more popular you can not recruit some of the characters to join your bandit army. There is only two ways to become popular. One is by fighting animals and the other is by expanding territories.

This game is similar to the RTK series in that you must
manage your territories, build up your army and expand your territories. Thus fans of the RTK games by koei would have no difficulty getting into this game.

This game is really fun to play and has a great replay value in that the various characters are very different in nature. There are 6 statistics scores in the game and 3 can not be changed. It is these 6 scores and the portrait that differs each character from the other. The first three scores are Strength which is for battles and building, Dexterity which is for hunting and archery attacks and wisdom which is for fire attacks and magic.
The 3 statistics that cannot be changed are Courage, Mercy and Intergrity. Yes these 3 statistics score are rarely seen in most games. They are also quite important which gives this game a unique approach and gives it a different style compared to most games.

Conclusion- This game is a Romance of the three kingdom style strategy game by koei with additional elements. I consider it to be as fun as RTK I and more fun than RTK II and RTK III. I would really recommend this game to fans of koei's strategy games.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 06/17/03, Updated 06/17/03

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