Tecmo, initially a supplier of cleaning equipment and now best known for Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, was founded on this day in 1967!
Besides the resolution, the Windows version has numerous display options you can choose from to optimize your playing experience
After choosing the campaign you want to play, you can access a team creation screen, with a summary of each character stats. Characters are organized according to the "clan" they belong to.
Up to seven abilities can be activated for a battle, each giving specific bonuses to your characters. Each character, as he/she gains experience, gives you 3 specific abilities levels.
Each character wields a specific weapon. You can store several weapons for a character. Weapons have some powers that give fighting bonuses. These powers can be boosted through weapon fusion.
Additional weapons (gained from defeating enemy officers) can be salvaged. Select a base weapon and add to it the slots/attack points/powers from other weapons. Each change costs some growth points.
Growth points are gained during battles, depending on your performance. Besides weapon fusions, they can be used to increase the level of your character.
Once all is set, select the scenario you want to play. Besides the main story scenarios (upper row) there are some side stories (-Xtra chapters) to play, unlocked by meeting specific requirements.
2-player split screen mode. Each player plays a different team but the game engine forces them to have the same characters in their respective teams.
The game is not shy regarding the number of enemies on screen at a time.
Depending on its nature, each character's weapon has a specific range, which will influence the way you play. Check the CPU controlled Zhao Yun's spear compared to Zhuge Liang's fan.
Battles are not limited to the ground but can also take place on ramparts. Some levels feature castles in which you can battle on several floors.
Several points in a level are "bases". Enemy reinforcements will come from behind it (non-accessible area), as can be seen in the background. Defeat the base captain and the enemy flow will stop.
Besides swordmen and spearmen, the enemy armies are made of different categories of soldiers. These sumos have an attack that can pass through your defense.
In small numbers, riflemen are not much of a threat. However, as their attacks interrupt your combos and can also break your defense, grouped together or with other soldiers, they can be devastating.
Archers (here, Orochi soldiers, snake-like appearance) are quite similar to riflemen, although a bit slower. As seen here, when in a castle, you can zoom the radar to better view stairs and doorways.
Blue and transparent soldiers are phantom soldiers. They cannot be defeated and allied soldiers will lose morale when confronted with them. Kill the sorcerer who conjured them and they will disappear.
Some levels have specific units, like peasants to protect. Here, some messengers. If you let them reach the enemy camp they will alert them and additional reinforcements will arrive.
Certain levels feature siege equipments, like a ram here. Protect it from the enemy and it will give a major benefit for your attack. Conversely, try and destroy those when besieged.
Two power-ups left by defeated enemies. The axe increases your attack for 30 seconds. The scroll (left by an officer) will increase your experience.
This will increase your movement speed for 30 seconds. Another power-up can double your defense for 30 seconds and yet another allows to perform musou (super) attacks for 10 seconds.
When an enemy officer drops such a box, quickly grab it. It will contain a new weapon, perhaps more powerful than the one you wield and that can be used for weapon fusion anyway. Resistance is futile?
One of the powers a weapon can have is to freeze the opponents for a brief moment. This is useful when confronted with several strong enemies.
By exploring, you can find optional objectives. Here, defeat the enemies and break the prison and the ally officer will give you a hand.
Characters with a special relationship will interact specifically. For instance, CPU-controlled Xing Cai has a specific message to congratulate the player-controlled Zhang Fei (her father).
On most objects that would hinder the view during a fight, a transparency effect is applied. Here, on a tree in the foreground.
You can ride a horse. It helps reaching a destination faster. You can attack the enemies with your weapon.
If you do a charge attack, the horse will rear and then stomp the ground, damaging and knocking down enemies in a close area surrounding the front hooves.
If you get hit, you will be dismounted from the horse. Archers and riflemen are particularly efficient at this.
Each category of characters (SPD, TEC, PWR) has some special abilities. SPD characters gain a special attack that usually does not consume the musou gauge. Here, Sun Jian shoots a short wall of fire.
SPD characters also have a sort of double jump (aerial thrust). Here, Xiao Qiao flies over a short distance thanks to her fans...
The game contains some weather effects, like snow here, although they do not affect the gameplay.
The camera can be fully rotated around the character. It can also be tilted up and down a bit. Of course, this only serves gameplay purposes... The defense key brings back the camera behind.
If you don't play as a character needed for the level story, he/she will be CPU controlled. Of course, characters can't read the screen, otherwise Zhao Yun would already know the answer.
Some levels can be won in different manners. Here, you can either fight your way to the escape point or go and defeat the officer in chief.
At any time during the battle, you can access a map showing you the location of the allied and enemy officers. The player is represented by the green arrow.
You can also access a summary of the moves for the active character. This list vary a bit depending on the character category.
Each campaign final scenario will take place in the volcanic landscape of Koshi Castle. Defeat all the enemy officers outside, then the drawbridges will lower, granting access to the castle.
Here, Guan Yu is fighting, face to face, the final battle with the evil Orochi.
Da Ji is unlocked when you achieve victory in every level. Her move set is quite original to say the least (ballet martial art???).
Orochi is the last unlocked character, requiring all other characters to be unlocked. Here, his Musou attack knocks down and severely damage every enemy in a vast surrounding area.
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