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Review: Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII + DLC Pack

Welcome to the era of the Three Kingdoms. This era is full of romance, life, and war. Take one of the three sides in a conquest to take over the land in Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII, as well as it’s Expansion Pack: Fame and Strategy. The game deals with the rise of the three kingdoms and how they attempt to rule the land. Pick a side and take a seat for this adventure.

 

Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII & Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack
Developer: Koei
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Series: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), PlayStation Vita (JPN only), Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, & Nintendo Switch
Release Dates:  PlayStation 3 – JPN: January 28, 2016; PlayStation 4 & Microsoft Windows – JPN: January 28, 2016, NA: July 5, 2016, EU: July 8, 2016; Nintendo Switch – JPN: March 30, 2017, NA: TBA, EU: TBA; Xbox One -WW: April 25, 2017; PlayStation Vita JPN: May 25, 2017
Genre: Strategy

*Special thanks to KOEI TECMO for providing a review code for the Base game and the Expansion pack*

*In this review, my scoring system changed due to feedback. It will be out of 10 instead of 30.*

 

Intro/Story:

From my understanding, Romance of The Three Kings is based off the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel and the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms. Each game follows this format from what I gathered. This is the first time I dipped into a strategy game, let alone a Romance of The Three Kings game. I played several of the side games including the Warriors (or musou) games which is one of my franchises. I figured I would give this a go since it includes the characters from that series and is based on the main game that it spun off from. The story of this game I believe is the following:

The storyline takes place during the Han Dynasty in China with many warring factions that included the Shu Han, Cao Wei and Eastern Wu kingdoms. Gameplay revolves around managing numerical statistics, each representing an attribute of a city or a character. A city is described by statistics such as stored grain supplies, vulnerability to disasters such as floods and earthquakes, treasury funds, domestic affairs and populace loyalty. Characters are numerically characterized by their leadership abilities, melee prowess, intellects and loyalty, as well as special traits or even magical abilities that can be called upon whether during wartime, diplomacy or domestic affairs.

 

Each game has the same story loosely while following the novel and text in its retelling. That is what makes each game unique. As I dove more into this game, I realized a few things about myself and this franchise. One major key is a strategy game of this depth is, for a better term, very unique. As I dove more into this game, I realized a few things about myself and this franchise. One major key is a strategy game of this depth is, for a better term, very unique. Read Each game has the same story loosely while following the novel and text in its retelling. That is what makes each game unique. As I dove more into this game, I realized a few things about myself and this franchise. One major key is a strategy game of this depth is, for a better term, very unique. Read on more to find out what I mean by this.

Intro/Story score: 4/5; For the first time diving face first into a Romance game, let alone a strategy game, I found the story well done.

Gameplay:

 

Gameplay, in short, is very intense. If you are a first timer to the Romance series or strategy games in general, this may overwhelm you as it did for me. You are given a huge amount of tasks and options to achieve what you need to accomplish. The main story is told within the “hero mode” which you are given a story of the three kingdoms and how each rose to power. Within each kingdom, you are the head leader. You are given objectives to follow and it is up to you how to meet those requirements. You are also given a deadline on each task. If you fail to meet the deadline there are several options that may occur. I will leave that up to you as you may see what happens.

Some of the depth includes meeting in a strategy room, planning what to do, sending members of your faction to do various tasks, planning your attack, and much MUCH more. It goes into a huge amount of things to do and ways to approach it. Branching off this you have a link system where you see the links you made with other individuals in the game and where you stand with them. The higher rank you are with them, the much easier it will be to get your task done with them. Within the strategy room, you also decide if you are to go visit another faction. Once you visit the other faction, you need to win them over by any means. This can go multiple ways.

 

As for the DLC, which is titled Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII: Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack, this is what I gathered from it, as it is an addition to more gameplay and unique elements. The Expansion pack introduces new mechanics to the series that allow for greater strategic possibilities. One of these additions is the Fame System, wherein players work towards receiving bonuses for their characters by completing achievements, which range from battlefield objectives to peacefully resolving disputes. Players can also earn a Prestige title for their character through the Fame System, which will unlock new actions based on their Prestige level and ultimately shape life as an officer.

 

When I say this game and the strategy element is in depth, I am not exaggerating. I got insanely overwhelmed as a first-time player and it left a bad impression on me. It was very taxing on me. While I enjoyed most of it overall, by the end I was drained and struggling to finish.  However, if you are a strategy player, this will most definitely be up your alley. The sheer amount of what to do and its depth will fulfill any strategy gamer’s desire in a game.

Gameplay score: 3/5; The sheer amount of depth in Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII was fun but draining. It was a struggle to maintain a momentum to finish the game. If you are a strategy gamer, this will satiate your desires for a strategy game of this depth.

Audio & Visual:

Audio: I was not impressed at all by the audio. While each main character gets their own theme song, the rest of the game has the same repetitive music. The first thing I usually look for in a game is the soundtrack. It sets the entire mood of the game for me. This soundtrack and sound overall it was just bland to me. It didn’t help as I tried to get through the intense strategy.

Get used to this as you will hear it A LOT

As well as this

The sound for the battles and other elements in the game also sound dull as well as repetitive. You can only tolerate your soldiers in battle attacking, or minor conversations with the same line repeating over and over or just with grunts and laughs. The one good element was that there were cutscenes with actual Voice Acting. This should have been in the majority of the game, not the minority of the game.

Audio Score: 2/5; mindless repetition, dull sounds, and no effort in the sound department. Only saving grace was the well-done voice acting when it did occur.

Visual: The visual department was hit or miss. There are cool things to see such as the character models, environment, cutscenes, debates, and key battles. There were other things too that looked alright at best, such as battles. In addition to this are the cities themselves as they all looked the exact same. Besides those minor complaints, I liked the visuals.

Visual Score: 4/5; Appealing visuals that were unique. Only cons are city visuals and battle visuals.

Replay Value:

To be quite honest, once I finished the game, I never went back. However, from what I saw before I started the game, and a bit after I finished to look in the main menu, there are quite a few different modes. From researching this a bit, the replay value is rich. You can uncover the history of the events and characters. You can play in these different modes that you can shape and cater to fit the story you wish to create and much more. If I was a strategy player, I would go back and try these modes. However, the game drained me quite a bit and with even the other modes being more in depth than the actual story, I probably won’t get through it entirely. Just know the content is there and it is very rich in quality and quantity.

Replay Value Score: 5/5; Rich and full of content just waiting to be discovered.

Fun Factor:

This is quite tricky, to be honest. In one aspect I had a great deal of fun being introduced to a new genre I never experienced before alongside its DLC. It was fun to experience it and the story itself. Also, some of the gameplay for me was fun. However, the fun factor eventually faded as I progressed and it became very overwhelming. It became a struggle to finish just due to the sheer depth and overwhelming gameplay to me. I would say it was a 40/60 split for me; 40 being fun while 60 is not fun.

Fun Factor Score: 2/5; Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII was fun at the start being a new element to me. However, it got overwhelming by the sheer amount of gameplay and depth, which ultimately drained me. This made it a struggle to finish.

Conclusion/Score Wrap-up:

Romance of The Three Kingdoms: XIII & Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack was a unique experience. As I stated several times in the review, this genre is completely new to me. To be frank, this may not have been a good starting point to get into the genre. It was too overwhelming for me to enjoy fully. While there were fun moments to be had, Romance of The Three Kingdoms just simply consumed me (in a bad way) by the sheer depth of content. However, if you are a fan of strategy games, this is right up your alley. There is a ton of content and much to do in the game that will satiate even the most hardcore strategy fan. This has me wondering if the past games were this in depth. I may actually go and try and a past game in the series to see if they match up to this or they are their own thing.

Until next time, Mgs2master2 out!

Score Wrap-up:
Intro/Story score: 4/5; For the first time diving face first into a Romance game, let alone a strategy game, I found the story well done.
Gameplay score: 3/5; The sheer amount of depth in Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII was fun but draining. It was a struggle to maintain a momentum to finish the game. If you are a strategy gamer, this will satiate your desires for a strategy game of this depth.
Audio Score: 2/5; mindless repetition, dull sounds, and no effort in the sound department. Only saving grace was the well-done voice acting when it did occur.
Visual Score: 4/5; Appealing visuals that were unique. Only cons are city visuals and battle visuals.
Replay Value Score: 5/5; Rich and full of content just waiting to be discovered.
Fun Factor Score: 2/5; Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII was fun at the start being a new element to me. However, it got overwhelming by the sheer amount of gameplay and depth, which ultimately drained me. This made it a struggle to finish.

Overall score: 6/10; A first time experience for a strategy game, Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIII, along with its DLC, Fame and Strategy Expansion Pack simply was overwhelming and a struggle to finish for me.

  • I would love to hear your feedback on this review, whether if it’s the structure of it, your opinion on the review, your experiences, or whatever else you would like to write pertaining this review. Please feel free to drop a comment below and I will respond when I am able. I love interacting with others, especially when it comes to my content on the site.

About Mgs2master2

Mgs2master2
A gamer and jack of all trades. I enjoy many things, but overall just enjoying life. Hopefully, I can add enjoyment to your life through my articles or interactions.

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