The Bottom Line
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a solid console strategy game
- Turn-based strategy is rarely done better than this
- Based in the same universe as Dynasty Warriors
- The graphics work, but pack little punch
- Turn-based strategy games may not appeal to console gamers
- Graphics: 3 - They work, and they are pretty, but the feel old, at best.
- Sound: 4.5 - The soundtrack by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra is appreciated.
- Concept: 3.5 - Similar to previous Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, but it works.
- Control: 3.5 - The concepts and turn order are more confusing than the controls.
- Difficulty: 4.5 - There is a lot to learn, but once you do, you're hooked.
- Replay: 3.5 - It's a long game, playing it more than once would be a commitment.
- Multiplayer: 2 - You can play up to 8 players, but if the single player mode takes hours then...
- All scores are out of 5. The overall rating is not an average of the above scores.
- Rated: Everyone for mild language and violence
Guide Review - Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX - PS2
The commands are simple enough, but the game itself is fairly deep, and may appear overwhelming to the casual strategy gamer. Fortunately, an excellent tutorial is included, which will walk players through Romance of the Three Kingdoms. When not playing Sim-ancient Chinese city, you will be ordering your troops into combat, or playing diplomat and trying to persuade non-aligned forces to do your fighting for you.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms does have a strong sense of atmosphere, despite it's dated graphics. The musical score is performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, which helps during the long turns, and battles. The battle graphics are very stylized, but are not 3D, which seems to be the direction most other strategy games have headed. The city management graphics look very much like Civilization II, they work, and are interesting, but your roommate will never walk by and exclaim, "wow that looks rad!", unless he was a surfer in the '80s.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX is a must have for hardcore strategy gamers... for the rest, it may be a bit much to jump into.