According to written history, 16th century Japan was torn by war. After the supreme leadership of the shogunite government collapsed, Japan split into many warring factions. The player ... See full summary »

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Simon Greenwall ...
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Eiji Kusuhara ...
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Kentaro Suyama ...
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According to written history, 16th century Japan was torn by war. After the supreme leadership of the shogunite government collapsed, Japan split into many warring factions. The player takes on the role of one faction leader and administrates the government through war and diplomacy in a quest to end the fighting by uniting Japan under one supreme shogun. Through master-class war strategy, battlefield tactics and combat, economics, and RPG-developed monarchs and generals, the player lives history. Written by Flotis

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Prepare For Total War


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Taisho: Total War  »

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A Promising Beginning
18 January 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Even though successive 'Total War' games get increasingly impressive in terms of graphics and game-play, this was much better than the other strategy games that came out around the same time.

The campaigns are rival clans battling it out in a (closely) historically accurate setting set in 16th Century Japan, or in the expansion pack you can be fighting as or battling against the Mongol hordes lead by Kublai Khan. The range of units for the real-time battles is impressive, though there is less difference in ability between units than there is in later games e.g. technically the weakest unit in the game is the Yari Ashigaru, but they are far more useful than the weakest unit in Rome: Total War, the peasants who are just arrow fodder.

You are rewarded for using the correct tactics in a battle, so that samurai archers on a hill will fire far further and be far more deadly than those marching uphill. Charging cavalry into the rear of a unit of Yari Samurai will be much more effective than charging them in the front. You can also easily see the value on the battlefield of upgrades such as improved armour, morale and weapon deadliness.

Diplomacy is an important aspect of the game, even though your allies are not to be trusted much of the time. Assassination is an important weapon, as you send your ninjas and Geishas out to murder out enemy generals of high ability or the clan leader and his heirs. It is a weakness of the easier difficulty settings that your ability to win depends a good deal on just surviving long enough to create Geishas who can win the whole campaign for you far quicker than you will be able to by force of arms (as enemy clans break down when there are no suitable heirs left). There are some entertaining movies as your assassins kill (or attempt to) something that is sadly missing from the series until Medieval 2.

There are other weaknesses in game-play in that there are no naval units so there is no chance to blockade ports as you can in later Total War titles. Also the graphics look extremely primitive compared to the latest incarnation Medieval II. On the other hand if you are looking for a good quality strategy game that will run on a machine with much lower specs than the more recent 'sequels' then you need look no further. There is plenty of re-playability due to the different abilities and focus of each clan.


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