Summary: A MILESTONE IN GAMING HISTORY!!!
Comment: DISCLAIMER: I am a Japan-buff and games based on the Sengoku period of the Shogunate Wars have to be really bad for me not to enjoy them.
Now imagine how much I enjoyed one of the BEST strategy games ever!!!
SHOGUN: TOTAL WAR is admittedly such a great game in every aspect it has become a RTS game benchmark. Not to mention it has fathered the TOTAL WAR series!
Alternating between a tactical map (in which units get moved and improvements built) and the battlefield map (in which real-time unit movements and battles are fought) SHOGUN:TW has struck the perfect harmony between Turn-Based and Real-Time Strategy gaming.
The graphics are by now only a bit dated - and, on the other hand, they can truly shine even on mid-range systems today. The units are easily distinguished during battle, controlling them is done via a user-friendly interface and the issued orders are followed fast and effectively (something not true for much latter games, such as SUPREME COMMANDER).
The sounds manage to be both majestic and realistic (even after so many years, I am using them as my main WinXP Sound-Theme). Both Japanese and English is available.
Birth of an heir, earthquakes and assassination attempts by ninjas all add to the unpredictability of the gameplay. The particulars of the terrain and the weather, the troops deployment and the placement (and survival) of the general, all make the real-time battles such a unique experience!
Alliances are made and broken; rebels conquered and their shock troops assimilated; Christian traders allowed or shunted. Every decision has consequences.
Do not miss on it!
Summary: the BEST war game ive played
Comment: An absolutely awesome piece. The graphics and sound is just so fantastic! Able to coontrol hundreds of troops at a time. The only cons are that there is a lot of space taken up on the hardrive. Otherwise, AWESOME!!!!!!!
Summary: Every Clan has a chance
Comment: This is just to disagree with Chow Dog's review.
*Every* Clan can win, even at the hardest (Expert) level, you just need to have a knowledge of your clan's strengths and weaknesses. The Hojo and the Shimazu are , in my opinion, the easiest clans to play and win with, but there's molto fun in the others. Brag: I've won with every clan except the Imagawa (yet!) at the hardest level and that means I've defeated the Hojo at least five times.
The weather is also vitally important. I used to only play in fine weather so I could see...but you can sneak up in fog...or if you are close-combat oriented, attack one of the computers Archer- heavy armies in the rain.
I could go on. I discover new subtleties with every game.
I agree that the "diplomacy" is rudimentary, and that is my one real gripe. You cannot get your "ally" to attack in concert on a mutual enemy, even if you are both at war.
A strategy suggestion: in the beginning you have two choices: immediate blitzkrieg on your nearest enemy to take them out before they can get strong, or a more measured approach, building up infrastructure and armies till you are ready to fight. Both approaches have their place, but you will find that your long-term development is slowed if you choose the former.
Cry Banzai! and let loose the dogs of war!
Summary: A Great Game, but...
Comment: Shogun: Total War brings you back to the Warring States Period. You may play as one of the seven warlords. The history and everything appear to be accurate. Ninja, Geisha, emissary, and all kinds of soldiers, from regular spearmen to archers to warrior monks to calvary, are all available. The game play is indeed simple. Most of the time you are like playing card board game, you move your soldiers like playing RISK. But when a battle breaks out, it turns to an action mode, in which you can command and actually see the soldiers crossing blades (the sound effect is cool!) You win the game until you defeat all the other lords, i.e. conquer Japan.
There are several things that make this game fascinating: (1) the sound tracks are great: very traditional Japanese music; (2) accurate historical background. Good research; (3) the videos are fantastic. For example, when the ninja carries out his assination, a video will show that whether he has succeed or failed (i.e. whether the ninja or the target is killed); (4) like the AGE OF EMPIRE, you need to build things in your dominiants in order to improve either your country's economy or the quality of your soldiers; (5) you can choose between two languages, either English or Japanese. If you'd like to enjoy a more traditional Japanese environment, this will be a very good option.
Many people have praised this game, but there are several drawbacks that made me give it only 4 stars: (1) the function of forming alliances is almost useless. An "Alliance" in this game only means "non-interference". You cannot plan and cooperate with your computer allies to attack your common enemies. Also, they sometimes offer you alliance without reasons: they can immediately invade you right after forming an alliance with you; (2) Although the introduction claims that all the warlords have equal chances to win, this is simply not true. After playing it for a few times, you will discover that the Hojo Clan has almost 80% chance to win, the remaining 20% goes to the Oda Clan. The remaining five lords have no chance at all; (3) after all, it is force but not strategy that really matters. As long as you have a large and elite army, you can win for sure. In fact, I don't see how one can apply Sun Tzu's ART OF WAR to this game because of the illogical alliance relationship; (4) ninja assassinations are not helpful. Even if your ninja has succeed in killing the enemy general (this is rare), the death of the general has no real impact on the enemy; (5) ninja assassinations are extremely tough missions: you can hardly make it. Sometimes I wonder why do I spend money on training ninjas...; (6) the graphics during the battle mode may not be as good as you think. You can't really see the tiny soldiers clearly. You won't see any blood. You won't see where the arrows are shooting at until you see some of your soldiers falling down. The map is also not impressive. The weather makes no real difference. Sometimes when the enemies are hidding, you will never find them, and when time's up, you will lose the battle even though you should be the victor; (7) I don't like the difficulty levels. The EASY mode is too easy, it is like your competitors are standing still and waiting for you to knock them down one by one. But the NORMAL mode is too difficult, and unless you play as the Hojo Clan, your chance of winning drops to zero, because the Hojo Clan controlled by the computer is "destined" to win.
Overall, this is a nice game with several shortcomings. But to be fair, many strategy games have these shortcomings, too. I would recommend you to play the EASY mode, enjoy the sound tracks, learn some Japanese history, and to be absorded into the traditional Japanese atmosphere that will be automatically created by this game through your computer screen. But don't expect too much for the AI of this game.
Comment: It gives the strategic a chance to wield an army of samari that yeilds to his or her every whim. It features adreneline pumping combat and samari warriors that fight to the death. If you want to command in battle, lead your men into battle, and take the victory, I recommend it for you.