The Rat’s review videos— Romance of the Three Kingdoms VII

Romance of the Three Kingdoms… it
surprises me that a game series such as this has gained any popularity in the United States… but
they keep releasing it here again and again. They’re all the way up to number 11… but
I’m going to talk about the one I’ve played, number seven. So what’s so strange about
this game? Well, take a look at the screen shots. The
first thing you’ll probably notice is that the graphics look like ass. And I’m not hiding anything that may be
a little more spectacular than this… this is the ENTIRE game, and it’s a
PlayStation 2 title! Let’s look for second at a Super
Nintendo strategy game called Ogre Battle. These are the combat
graphics in Ogre Battle. They look about the same, if not better,
than the graphics in this game. So if you’rea gamer that can’t stand
bad graphics, Romance of the Three Kingdoms is out of
the question. Now, if you’re willing to look past the graphics, you’ll be
rewarded by playing a game about hundreds of beloved historical figures such as
Jhuge Liang, Sun Ce, Zhang Fei, Guan Yu, and… …oh wait… who ARE these people!? That’s right. Unless you’ve studied
ancient Chinese history, I guarantee you’ve heard none of these characters. And there’s hundreds of them! It’s all about a period in history when
three Kingdoms squared off against each other for control of China. So I guess maybe this is a learning game, but there’s an issue… the game is open-ended, so just about
anybody can conquer China. So after beating the game several times,
I actually have no idea who is supposed to win the war! In my version a mysterious character
named conspicuously after myself turned out to be the one who really
conquers China. So as far as I’m concerned, that’s what actually happened. …so if you’re ever on Jeopardy or
something and someone asks you who united China under one banner after the
fall the Han Emperor, you can tell ’em it was… David Parker? …So this is why the game is so strange: For one thing it’s a ps2 game with
graphics that probably wouldn’t even be good on the ps1, and two: The story is about ancient
Chinese history. It’s really hard to get into because
it’s so foreign. So what you’re left with is a fairly hard-core strategy game, With the difficulty that fluctuates
wildly depending on which side you pick. But before I get to that, I’ll tell you a little
bit how the game works… The first thing you’ll realize is that
the game doesn’t let you do anything without officers. It’s basically fascist! An ordinary individual can’t do anything
important… you must be a character with a name! If you want an army, you have to have food and gold. So one of the first things you inevitably do is build up commerce and cultivate land, so you have extra
food and gold. Then you concript units and assign
them to each officer. The rest if your city management isn’t
that important, especially early in the game. So like I said, you can hardly do
anything without officers. There’s a limit to how many troops each
officer can have, which severely limits the size of your
army. So if you’re a ruler without officers, you’re almost certainly fffffucked! Your first priority, which is even
more urgent than food and gold, is to get officers to join you. Getting officers to join you without
already having them to help you is a major pain, especially when other nations are
gaining momentum while you’re still trying to scratch together a workable force. The abilities of the
officers are all important; The ‘war’ ability is especially handy,
because it determines how well they fight. The ‘political’ ability makes developing
your city faster, and helps form treaties. ‘Intelligence’ is
necessary for having a good adviser that will save you time by telling you how
likely you are to succeed at things, and ‘charisma’ is important for convincing
people to join you. Eventually, you have to get around a
conquering your enemy. During conquest, you learn ways to easily
out-wit the computer player, But it takes some time to figure out how
they operate o maximize your advantages. The battles
are probably the most entertaining part of the game, but they can take a while, and fighting many of them over the course of the campaign can really make it dragged on and on… So when you’re strong enough, you’ll
probably just auto calculate the battles. The basic gist of the battle is to
surround enemy units and capture them one by one. There are a lot of factors to winning, including the abilities that you have, what type of the units you have, the size
of your army, the ‘war’ ability of your officers, what
terrain you’re fighting on, the position of your units, and your
morale. If your’e a seasoned strategy gamer and the odds are even, chances are you’ll be able to win any
given battle, because the AI’s monumentally average.
Some mistakes your enemy will make include attacking land units from the
water, or throwing officers with very few units
headlong at you, or allowing themselves to be taken out
piecemeal. There’s also a way to enter siege battles, which you may go the entire
game without seeing. They’re not that special, anyway. You can save your game during every turn,
so if you want to retry any battle you can do so as many times as you want, so
long as you’ve saved recently. That’s basically the entire game. Once
you get a formidable core group of officers, the rest at the game is
downhill in terms of difficulty. However, conquering China takes a long time, regardless. As the size of your kingdom increases,
more weak points become exposed. New officers will betray you if you
don’t raise their wages, and you have to micromanage the ruling
policy of each city so they don’t do something stupid, like attack a stronger force and then
get their asses captured. As your power increases, your advisers
will suggest things like a poetry competition, or Tournament of Champions, which would
be interesting if I were even a little bit invested in the characters. Eventually, you learn to skip these entirely.
Building relationships with other officers and poetry contests serve mostly
to break up the monotony of all the micromanaging you’ll be doing. Unfortunately, all it amounts to is whose
stats are higher. The most fun you have with this game is
not by choosing to fight AS or FOR one of these rulers that you’ve never heard
of, but by creating your own officers. Chances
are you won’t even give them a Chinese name, so it’s kinda funny seeing one really out of place name among hundreds of ‘Suns’ and ‘Jiangs.’ I really wish the faces were a little
bit better… who would want a character named after themself to be wearing one
of these goofy hats!? The ability to create your own officers
can make the game as harder or easy as you want it to be. I’ve beaten the game in advanced mode,
starting with only two officers, including the leader. I suppose the
hardest thing to do would be to pick a scenario where most of the map is
already conquered, and play as one character with the shittiest possible stats, but this game isn’t good enough to honor
it by getting that skilled at playing. If you play long enough, you figure out
who the big shots were in this period of Chinese history. I happen to know that
Lu Bu is a badass, Dong Zhuo is a tyrant, and Zhuge Liang
is some kinda tactical genius… so I did learn some stuff from this game.
But if you ask me, if they can make 11 versions of a
historical simulation game with graphics this terrible, then I’d say
the market for newer and better strategy games for consoles is begging to be
tapped! If this were a fantasy setting, and had
better graphics, that probably would have been a more
interesting game… When I was younger, all I had was a ps2, and I was dying for strategy title. All I
found was this game, and it was like precious cruel to a
starving street urchin! It wasn’t my first choice but it was
still food. if you wanna play a real-time strategy, you pretty much have to own a computer.
but for turn-based strategy titles, I’d say consoles should have a lot more to
offer. And I’m not talking about turn-based RPGs, but rather, games where the focus is
strategy. So that’s my review for Romance of the Three Kingdoms if they were better competing titles in
this genre, it wouldn’t stand a chance. Be sure to
watch for more reviews by me, The Rat.


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