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Critic Reviews

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AmigaCommodore User (May, 1989)
Lords Of The Rising Sun ranks as Cinemaware’s finest interactive movie yet. It has a superb combination of disparate yet mutually complementary elements that combine to make one of the most comprehensive pieces of entertainment software yet released. Sayonara!
Superb graphics, sound and gameplay are combined to produce one of the best Cinemaware games to date. It's tough, challenging and addictive and will keep potential Shoguns amused for an entire Dynasty.
AmigaThe One (Apr, 1989)
Lords Of The Rising Sun would probably fail to prove immediately appealing to anyone turned on by either Rocket Ranger or TV Sports Football, but it's certainly worth the time and effort. An innovative and absorbing approach to the strategy genre - serving as an example of how it should be done.
AmigaThe Games Machine (UK) (Jul, 1989)
Although the story is a trifle slow moving in places, the great graphical detail coupled with the compelling gameplay make this a game worthy of a few yen. And to be fair the two disks don't have to be changed as often as that. If you enjoy buckling a swash without too much exercise, take a look at Lords of the Rising Sun.
AmigaST/Amiga Format (Jun, 1989)
In its day, Defender of the Crown was reckoned to be one of the finest strategy games ever, but Lords of the Rising Sun could be viewed as the next logical step considering the progressions made with the ST and Amiga on the games scene over the intervening years. The challenge, as ever in this type of game, is not one likely to appeal to anyone unprepared to play for a long time. It is very much of a strategy game so the action moves sufficiently slowly to give you time to think. In moments of tension this can often prove to be too slow despite a speed-up option, although a save to disk feature is available. The game spans a wider battlefield than Defender ever did, and as such the gameplay is far deeper and potentially more appealing for the avid strategist. With the long shelf-life of this kind of game it is certain to become the same classic which Defender proudly claimed.

Note: Website link transcribed score incorrectly.
AmigaPower Play (Apr, 1989)
Ähnlich wie Cinemawares Debüt-Programm “Defender of the Crown“ ist Lords of the Rising Sun ein mit Actioneinlagen gewürztes Strategiespiel. Man merkt hier aber, daß die Programmierer in den letzten Jahren viel dazugelernt haben. Das Spiel ist eine echte Herausforderung und trotzdem einfach zu bedienen. Die Action-Teile sind knifflig und nur mit Übung zu meistern. Grafik und Sound sind - wie man es von Cinemaware gewöhnt ist - sehr gut und vermitteln eine packende Atmosphäre. Auch wenn man das Spiel gelöst hat, bleibt die Herausforderung, es “perfekt“ zu gewinnen, um am Schluß den höchsten Rang zugeteilt zu bekommen.
AmigaCompute's Amiga Resource (Feb, 1990)
On the whole, though, I am mightily impressed with Lords of the Rising Sun. Cinemaware has long touted itself as a producer of interactive movies, some of which I've enjoyed immensely. But before, I always had the feeling of being part of the audience, invited into the picture for a few exciting frames, and then banished to my seat until the next interactive session. With Lords, I was able to suspend my disbelief from the beginning, participating in the creation of history and historical fiction simultaneously. Cinemaware, you've grown up.
TurboGrafx CDVideo Games (Nov, 1992)
Der strategische Teil von Lords of the Rising Sun ist angenehm umfang- und abwechslungsreich, die sporadischen Actionszenen sehen besser aus als beim Computervorbild . Zusammen mit der fetzigen Musik und dem gefühlvollen Erzähler (englische Sprache von CD) ist‘s ein interessantes Strategiespiel.
Fazit: LORDS OF THE R1SING SUN ist ein würdiger, nicht gerade leicht zu bewältigender Defender-Nachfolger mit hervorragenden Grafiken, sauber animierten Action-Sequenzen und vielen strategischen Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten. Eine gelungene, gut in Szene gesetzte Mischung, die für längere Zeit interessant bleibt und für den Preis eine akzepable Leistung bietet.
TurboGrafx CDTurboPlay (Jun, 1992)
If you're looking for a colorful, lighthearted TurboPad exercise, save your money for future TurboGrafx-16 releases like Splash Lake or Buster Bros. But if you've been waiting for a large-scale challenge of strategic decision-making and intense drama, the wait is over. Lords of the Rising Sun is a real workout.
AmigaZzap! (Jul, 1989)
Comprehensive accompanying manuals, save/load options, suitable music, excellent all-round graphics and a high degree of polish throughout. Unavoidable disk access rears its head. A two-pronged challenge is offered from both the fairly difficult arcade sequences and the slow-moving but strong overall strategy game. The elements of Japanese honour and the bloodshed of the ancient Orient are skilfully brought together and wrapped up as one very faithful package. A very good successor to Defender of the Crown in all respects but serving best as an introductory program to the often very complex world of strategy.
AmigaAmiga Joker (May, 1993)
Als ob das noch nicht reichen würde, wird man von einer logisch aufgebauten Maussteuerung und hilfreichen (englischen) Screentexten verwöhnt; hinzu kommt HD-Tauglichkeit, obwohl 512 KB genügen. Also Komplexität und Spielspaß in perfekter technischer Harmonie vereint – sowas findet man auch und gerade heute nicht jeden Tag...
This is clearly an oriental Defender of the Crown with enhancements. Unfortunately it still suffers from all the old problems - endless disk accessing and swapping, and gameplay that could quite easily be reproduced on a Spectrum in one load. What it has got is superb presentation, atmosphere and stunning graphics - but you still get the feeling that it's more like a demonstration intended for CD-ROM, than a game.
A graphic masterpiece, it is only marginally a game of the unification of Japan.
To wrap this up, its a good port of the PC version, and a pretty solid strategy game. Medicore graphics, and lackluster sounds don't take away from the fun of a rare gem in the CD-i gaming crown. Don't come to this game looking for flashy images and snazzy graphics. Look to it for a challenge and a long term game that you won't beat in just a few minutes. This one is a real treat for CD-i strategy gaming fans who're tired of the simplistic turn-based combat of Axis & Allies.
This reviewer particularly enjoyed the mixture of arcade and strategy elements. This mixture not only allows the player to become part of the movie as it unfolds but really lets one feel like he or she is participating in the story. Lords of the Rising Sun is highly recommended.