KOEI is rare example that proves some developers can create better sequals than its already legendary predecessors...
Ahh...Chinese history. Romance of the Three Kingdoms to me was a history teacher that actually spoke the same language and successfully educated you on the subject in hand. History a fun subject? Not in this life-time, not in any life time, except of course if introduced by KOEI.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms series is extremely rare example in the strategy genre. How many strategy games do YOU know that have even passed the THIRD sequel with the same story? Yes, the SAME STORY. You can't change the historical texts introduced in strategy games in historical games like RTK, yet they've succeeded someway in making it a continuing effort that still ignites interest and curiosity of the players.
Well, I'm not quite sure how they did it but I'll tell you the things they did (of which I've noticed). First thing I'd like to applaud is the Music. SUCH BEAUTIFUL MUSIC! Egad, sometimes just turn on the computer run the game and intentionally sleep just to here the music. It's almost like oriental paradise (whatever that is). A BIG 10++ for whoever composed the songs in RTK IV.
Second, the graphics were much better than RTK III. It's amazing that so much has changed from RTK I to RTK IV, more detail, more color, more everything. They even put female characters now. Plus, you can have a lot of kids! Character creation was never better!
Third, is probably the main reason people can't get enough of RTK, more strategy. Unlike some irritating strategy games in my life time (of which I greatly suspect some developers NEVER ever played the games they created), RTK made more complex strategy approaches but still user friendly, especially to veteran players (Unlike some idiotic games like Master of Orion III
was an extreme disappointment. Don't expect a MOO4 anytime soon in the distant future. Oh, back again to the subject. RTK IV in that time was probably the best example of Strategic Diplomacy. Yes, plots and schemes were taken very seriously and had direct affect. Compare to Ho-Hum diplomacy games like Civilization
. YES, Civilization..had the diplomacy capability of a common mosquito. Strange, having made 3 sequels and Civilization still has a crappy diplomatic system. Alpha Centauri
had a better diplomatic system than Civ anytime any platform. Sorry, I keep walking away from the subject. And one other thing, RTK as well as any other KOEI historical game is LEGENDARY (probably dramatizing from a KOEI fan..hehehe) for its manual books. Such detail! You could read the bloody book 10 times and you probably wouldn't get bored. Strange, the fact that you've also read the manual of RTK I - RTK 3, of which describe basically the same story...strange indeed.
Well, the Educational Value of what RTK has accomplished in undeniable especially for RTK fans. Would love to have KOEI do a game on the history of my country (Indonesia) once in a while...
Honestly, not much worth mentioning. Can't think of one...
The Bottom Line
Romance just get better and better...