Kessen 3 is the latest in a long line of games that places you in feudal Japan of the 1500s, experiencing the chaos and battle that marked that era. If any gamer alive has not fully memorized every name and battle from the 1500s Japan era, they have only themselves to blame by now!
In Kessen 3, you are working at the "general" level, telling groups of troops have to organize to attack. It's the same concept as Risk - but instead of moving markers, you actually get visuals of groups of fighters doing your bidding. You can complain that they seem to be clones working in unison - but it's still a vast improvement over previous games. I really love how groups of horses look running along together, but they all manage to stop on a dime.
The graphics and cinematics in Kessen 3 are rather impressive. It's like playing a movie more than simply planning your moves. The characters have personality and motives. The voice acting isn't always great - it's a shame, really. Hopefully in future games they will invest a bit more money in the voices, since a well done voice set can really elevate a game to a work of art.
Gameplay begins nicely with a tutorial and moves you along into the more advanced aspects of the game. You get both the overall "arrange troops to plan out a coordinated attack" aspect as well as the one-on-one soldier assaults with your main characters.
This game is certainly more complex than, say, PacMan. But it is well designed as far as a strategy game goes. Yes, it uses a few of your little grey cells to get the hang of planning. I find it amazingly satisfying to be able to plan out and implement an attack, and watch it succeed. After all, if you don't use those brain cells, they'll atrophy. It's best to keep them shined up and in use!
Highly recommended for strategy gaming fans, and a perfect way to learn first hand about some key events in Japanese history.
Buy Kessen 3 from Amazon.com