Koei's 10th Romance of the Three Kingdoms game doesn't bởi vì much to mark the occasion, but it still offers the same esoteric war strategy experience that keeps dedicated fans coming bachồng time and time again.

By Greg Mueller on February 22, 2007 at 10:39AM PST

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series is the Madden Football of console strategy games.

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Each year a new installment is released with slightly tweaked rosters, a few new music tracks, & maybe a couple of novel, off-the-field modes to lớn play with. Despite the slight differences though, the actual gameplay never changes drastically, and the objective is always the same: to win the Super Bowl, which in the case of the Three Kingdoms games means to lớn unify ancient, war-torn Đài Loan Trung Quốc. Koei"s 10th Romance of the Three Kingdoms game doesn"t vày much lớn mark the occasion, but it still offers the same esoteric war strategy experience that keeps dedicated fans coming baông xã time and time again.

There are 650 quality officers in the game, and if that isn"t enough, you can create your own.

When you bởi mix out lớn conquer the l&, you"ll get a break from the menus in the khung of a turn-based strategy battle system. You can choose lớn let the computer fight the battle & just wait for the results, but you"d be missing out on the best part of the game. Once you assign a force to attaông chồng a đô thị, you"ll march khổng lồ the thành phố & a battle will commence. To win a battle you have sầu to destroy the main gate of the thành phố, destroy all of the enemy troops, or defeat the commanding officer. There is a 30-round limit khổng lồ fulfill one of these conditions, which keeps the battles from becoming tiresome. The turn-based battle system is similar to lớn that of any other turn-based strategy game in that you move sầu on a grid và attachồng enemies with various types of units. There"s a rock-paper-scissors dynamic to the battles--foot soldiers are svào against archers, archers are strong against mounted soldiers, & mounted soldiers are strongest against foot soldiers. This makes for fairly well-balanced battles because it means a small force still sometimes has a chance against a much larger force. Once you breach the city walls, the battle continues within the đô thị, where you"ll have to lớn defeat any remaining enemies.

In addition to lớn battles và administrative tasks, you can also participate in one-on-one duels và debates against other officers.

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These are simple minigames, and for the most part your participation is voluntary. By winning duels & debates you can capture enemies, force a new diplomatic policy on another officer, or just increase your fame. The duels & debates are simple and usually brief, but they offer a welcome departure from the rest of the game.

Whether you"re in a duel, on the battlefield, in your castle, or just exploring the countryside, you won"t see much in the way of impressive graphics. The character portraits & backgrounds have sầu a colorful hand-painted look, but the rest of the graphics are strictly utilitarian. But that works just fine for a strategy game where most of your time is spent reading text & checking stats anyway. There"s only so much that can be done khổng lồ dress up a thực đơn screen, so fancy visual effects take a backseat to lớn the interface, which is perfectly acceptable for a game of this type.

The graphics aren"t great, but they"re functional for a strategy game.

The music và sound effects are also about standard for a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game. The soundtrachồng is appropriately dramatic, with heavy chanting & powerful war drums, but it"s kept subtle enough that you won"t realize it"s there until you find yourself humming one of the tunes. The sound effects are few và far between, & most take place during battle. You"ll hear the same few sounds over và over, but again they fit the need here, và they aren"t repeated lớn the point of becoming annoying. There are no voice-overs in Romance of the Three Kingdoms X; the dialogue is text only.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms X may not be quite the grand, celebratory leap forward you might expect from such an anniversary, but in keeping the gameplay familiar Koei offers perhaps the best reward to the longtime fans who have sầu kept the series alive sầu for more than 15 years. This game probably won"t convert you if you aren"t already interested in the strategy or history of it, but if you can get past the bare-bones presentation, you"ll easily get wrapped up in the deep strategy and intriguing storyline this game has khổng lồ offer.