[GAME MASTER]Romance of the ThreeThere are not that many game series on the market whose sequels sell more than a million copies in total.
One such series is the Romance of the Three Kingdoms (ROTK) games, by KOEI Corporation. Since its initial release, the ROTK series has been a consistent favorite of many gamers, and its 10th installment does not disappoint.
ROTK 10, like its predecessors, is based on the famous Chinese novel whose rich storyline is about three kingdoms and their heroes fighting to take over China in the late Han Dynasty.
The set-up of the game is simple. You choose a character (it can be a character from the novel, or you can create your own) and do whatever you have to do to help your kingdom take over the others.
What you’re able to do to further that goal depends on your character’s status within the kingdom, but basically you have to develop your cities, foster a strong army and go into battle against rival kingdoms.
ROTK 10’s battle mode, probably the most important part of the game, forces players to think more strategically than some of its predecessors did. You now have the option of going to war for an entire province, not just a city.
This can save you the time and trouble of fighting for one city after another, but you also have to be prepared to defend several cities simultaneously.
Furthermore, there are many different types of armed forces, each with different strengths and weaknesses, so you have to be more careful than in previous games when deploying your troops in battle.
One of the improvements in ROTK 10 is the one-on-one combat mode between two heroes. You can now control your character in more detail by commanding each move. Depending on how good a player’s tactics are, it is possible for a hero with a lower power level to emerge victorious over a stronger hero.
Another interesting new feature is the one-on-one “verbal battle mode,” through which you can convince other heroes to join your force.
Cities have more characters in ROTK 10 as well. You can expand a city a couple of times, and with each expansion, you get a new facility where you can upgrade your existing army, make new weapons and train your heroes. Their characters are wonderfully expressed in the game’s graphics, which are realistic and dynamic.
Even with all these features, you might get bored with the prospect of having to take over more than 50 cities. If that happens, I suggest visiting a tavern, where you can get a personal mission. A wide range of missions are available; complete them successfully and you are rewarded with either money or items.
If you are into collecting things, you can collect portraits of all the heroes in the game. The game has a “gallery” in its menu where you can see those you have collected. However, this might take quite a bit of time.
I’ve played the first seven games (and now the 10th) in the Romance of the Kingdoms series, and I liked them all. They each have a unique way of telling the epic story of the novel, which I think is why the series has been popular for so long. Each sequel was an improvement on the previous one, offering something new, and ROTK 10 is no exception.
by Koo Won-mo