Name: Sangoku 6
Company: Koei Japan
Release date: 1997
Reviewed by: Zheen
If you are a Asian SLG fan, then you must have heard of KOEI and its well-known historical SLG series, Sangoku (Romance of the Three Kingdoms). KOEI started developing Sangoku series in early 1985. The most recent one, Sangoku 6, was released for jWIN95 in at the end of 1997. Compared to the earlier releases, Sangoku 6 is massive. The game includes tons of music tracks on CD, as well as a few lengthy animation clips.
The game reflects a historical story took place in China around AD 200, at the end of the Han Dynasty. The Emperor of China was young and powerless, and the country is divided into different regions, most of which controlled by former officers of the Dynasty. Many warfare were fought among these local rulers, and by the end of AD 197, China is controlled by three major rules: Liu Bei, Cao cao, and Sun Qun.
The player can choose to start the game at an early stage of the historical event, when the country was divided in many pieces, or at any point after the three major forces were formed. The player also has freedom to choose from more than 20 different regions, but the goal is the same-to reunite the whole country.
Like most Asian SLGs, Sangoku is turn-based. Many Americans prefer such real-time strategy as StarCraft and Red Alert, for the simple reason that there are more bloody scenes involved. Here I must argue for the classic SLGs, which provide more freedom of development and a detailed story. For example, the player can choose to start his country in any regions of China, and build his country in his own way, instead of going through some pre-designed levels, as in real-time SLGs. He has absolute control on when and with whom to make friends or start a war. Sangoku will become much more interesting if the player know the history behind the game. Important historical figures such as Zhu Geliang appear around the same year as recorded in history. The player has to known where and how to find such persons to aid his army, or the person might belong your enemies before the player finds out it is too later.
Sangoku 6 is also a very advanced strategy game. There are over 500 different characters in the game, each have his own abilities; some are good at controlling army, while the others knows how do use fire or arrow. These characters' can be further enhanced by certain items, which also corresponds to the legend: Zhang Fei's fighting power will greatly increase when player finds his favorite weapon; certain horses can help player escape from a battle if he losesÃ
Again, Sangoku is a massive game, with many interesting hidden sub-stories to be find out. If you what to have a game that's worthy playing over and over again, without repeating the same stuff, then look no further!
Here is my rating of the game:
This game is definitely time-consuming. Some of aspects of the game are repetitive. For example, if one wants to keep his people royal and his army effective, he has to check on these very two or three turns. One the positive side, the game is very controllable, and the plot is massive.
The graphics of this game is impressive. All the characters (over 500 of them, each with different pictures) are well drawn. The color of the background is also very good. However, compared with western PC gamers, it is less graphic intensive. There are no eye-widening movies or fanny 3D animations. Again, everything is designed to serve its purpose.
There are many good sound tracks on the CD. The game changes the music when players are in different stages of the game (of course). I find the rhythm of music very fitting.
To be honest, I am a Sangoku fan since the first game was released. The game is definitely getting better with each released, but I feel that there is few major changes in the gaming system. Also, the game might not be as interesting to those who are total strangers to the culture.
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