Romance of the Three Kingdoms VII is yet another version of Koeiís statistics-based retelling of the famous, ancient Chinese fable, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This version contains 10 scenarios in which you build up the attributes of your character to move up the political, social, and military ranks of old China. Set aside a hunk of time because there are 535 possible characters to play and each scenario has multiple endings.
A Little More Romance
If you get a thrill from watching numbers add or subtract, this is the game for you. The expertly arranged menu system enables you to easily manage a complex set of commands that put all aspects of running a village and commanding a military campaign at your fingertips.
Most of the "action" centers on civic improvements and political intrigue, but military campaigns break out once in a while. Thereís a really interesting mix of tactics called "ploys" that you can launch. You can do everything from poisoning enemy troops to setting up nasty traps. Jeering your foes is an odd move, but itís fun, especially if youíre losing the battle.
As you might imagine, the sights and sounds in this game are minimal at best. Of course, there are beautiful, picturesque depictions of the old Chinese countryside and exquisite character portraits. This is the best-looking RTK yet, but by comparison to other RPGs, thatís not saying much. The music sets a nice Asian mood, but the sounds donít offer much beyond that.
Itís All in Your Mind
Romance of the Three Kingdoms VII is a deep and time-consuming game. It isnít everyoneís cup of tea, but itís fun in a unique sort of way. If your tastes tend toward tactics and you have the imagination to manage epic political intrigue, Romance awaits you.