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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
IGN (Feb 24, 2004)
At the end of the day, however, Kingdoms IX does manage to offer a couple of terrific new gameplay elements that the brand has needed for quite some time -- the battle engine and real-time army movement in particular. But with the substantially smaller set of features and a lower visual quality in comparison to last year (not to mention the continued neglect of online play) there's no way to hide the fact that we're more than a little disappointed.
GameZone (Mar 15, 2004)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX will satisfy your turn-based strategy game needs. Only one side effect has been discovered: after playing the game for long periods of time, you may not be able to remember what time or what day it is.
GameSpot (Mar 02, 2004)
The actual gameplay in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is pretty consistent from game to game. Basically, it focuses on the delicate balance of relationships that exist between a group of states that are all vying for supremacy in a tense, warlike atmosphere. Unlike in previous games, which had you starting low and working your way up through the command hierarchy, Romance IX immediately puts you in the role of ruler, thus demanding from you all of your managerial skills at the outset of the game. You'll have to work the diplomatic angle as much as possible by gaining allies and smoothing over hostilities, while at the same time you must prepare your strongholds and armies for the inevitable conflicts that will arise as you march toward unification. The game is played out in a turn-based fashion, and with each turn you'll give your many officers tasks to complete that will further the goals of your kingdom.
GamePro (US) (Feb 26, 2004)
Even with the new features, the core gameplay remains the same - horde officers with high war ability, build up resources, and send out your elite officers to dominate the map. Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX offers enough newness to allure fans to buy it, but casual gamers will be wondering what the appeal is of a game with PlayStation-era graphics and gameplay.
Even though the game is amazingly deep and intricate, it doesn't change the fact that it's also rather dry. Imagine you're "playing" a Chinese History textbook; it's about that much fun, but it's also that detailed and involved.
Gaming Age (2004)
The Romance series has always had a love/hate relationship with gamers. This sequel should be no different. I’ve always enjoyed the series’ simple, yet addicting premise, and hopefully you will to. That, my friends, is the only true recommendation I can give. Try it for yourself and see.
Oddly enough, Romance IX has streamlined gameplay to the point where it's basically a Chinese-upper-management sim. As a ruler, you're tasked with more overall strategy and development and less hands-on work. You end up delegating more, even to the point of not being part of the tactical battles. Rather than managing individual battles, you merely set up formations and direct officers, who then fight on their own with no input from you. While this efficient emphasis on overall strategy is well done, I do miss being able to manage single battles.
GameSpy (Feb 24, 2004)
If your first experience with the RTK series was via 7 and 8, and you dug the role-playing freedom, you'll probably dislike Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX; if you're a series veteran, or found yourself wishing the previous PS2 entries had less number-crunching and more action, you'll probably love RTK9. I'm squarely in the latter category, but not because I disliked 7 and 8's RPG elements; I just appreciate KOEI's willingness to keep tinkering with a 15-year-old franchise.