Kessen Shines on the PS2

Kessen Shines on the PS2

I've run a feudal Japan newsletter for over 10 years now, and am a huge fan of the samurai era. I grabbed Kessen the second I got my hands on a PS2, and started playing it immediately.

The graphics in the game are startlingly lovely. From the cut-scenes to the campagin setup to the reactions of commanders to your decisions, it truly flows like an interactive movie.

It's not just hack-and-slash, either. There are personal triumphs, anguished losses, generals who you convince to join your side, warriors who show their nuances of personality in how they react to your commands.

The game is a strategic combat between the two great warlords of the early 1600s, recreating a series of battles that put an end to the fighting era and brought in over 200 years of peace.

The level of detail is great. You can see exactly how each group is put together, the loyalty of each leader, their weariness, and much more. You can choose to ignore details if you want, but a true strategist will find ways to shine by taking them all into consideration.

You can also use political influence to sway your enemies, and sometimes they'll even watch how the battle goes for a while before determining which side to take.

The cut-scenes are beautiful, but if you want to skip them, just hit a button and you're back into the overall battle watching. Perhaps the only downside is that since this is based on real events, you don't have as much flexibility as in a game that could randomly create situations and encounters. Perhaps this same engine might be used for that in the coming months!

Buy Kessen at

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