Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV: Wall of Fire Review by: SacraRainFrom SNES to PS
Before I do anything at all, I'd first like to say... I am now a NORMAL member. So congrats to me, and all that other stuff... and now to get on with the review.
Alright, at first this game was originally created on the Super Nintendo (SNES)... it's a game designed around logic and the laws of warfare. It's more or less, a game similar to "Civilization" combined with "Sim City". In other words, you are a fearless and powerful leader during the times of the Mongolians, and other things similar (sorry, I cannot think of what the proper term for what type of leader you are is).
During this time, you need to build up your empire/kingdom and take over the rest of the lands by force or by teaming up with one another. Or, you an just say that instead of killing each other... you have made an alliance for now, and they will join your army in battle as well as help you out when in need.
This games requires a LOT of strategy and can often confuse you if you are unable to come up with any offensive or defensive tactics, which then leads to you losing warriors and other people working for you. Part of this game is both ecological and warfare, you have to be able to manage your normal civilians, your common workers, and your military force. Once one of them gets out of hand, the whole thing comes crumbling down and you end up with a shattered kingdom and soon end up without anything at all but failure.
Here is my current review for this game, and since it was remade on the Playstation (PSX/PS1)... the content and controls of it are much easier, the graphics are slightly better, and the music has also become a little better.
Personally, for me... the graphics are rather good, but because the animation is somewhat sloppy at times... it often throws me off track and makes me a tad bit irritated with how the game is set up. Outside of some minor graphic problems in the game, it's definitely interesting to see the map and the symbols as well as the icons designed for each character and each dynasty (or whatever they are called). If anything, it's much similar to playing "Domination", or whatever the alternative name for it is. Basically, the battle setup between your army and another army isn't exactly animated entirely, but they do show that your army and theirs has gone into battle. From there, while that is taking place... you can plan out other things to do, as well as prepare for the next battle. The graphics may be simple and somewhat edgy at times, but honestly... this game is probably one of my favorites, so it's kind of hard to talk bad about it. In general, it's a good game and the graphics are alright... but they are a tad bit too simple at times.
Because this game is designed around Chinese or some other Asian based ethnicity (sorry, I'm not racist... I just can't think of what else to say), it's very interesting to listen to. The music designed for the game, kind of puts you in a state of harmony as well as in a state of constant awareness. With the sounds of the pop-ups as well as the reminders in the game, it helps you become used to constantly jumping from one event to the next... often at times, you may become confused with what is going on... but if you pay enough attention, this game will become clear to you and the sounds will also keep your mind on track. It's both interesting and exciting, plus the audio sounds a little 8-bit at times during certain parts of the game.
Now, this game and all games before & after it... deserve a high rating of addictiveness. To be completely honest with you, every single one of these games is designed to tug at your brain and make you become a little more logical as well as learning how to use your morals properly. There are multiple ways to play these games, you don't even have to conquer everyone or anyone... you can just turn your kingdom/city/dynasty into a refuge for other kingdoms, or you can lock yourself away from the rest of the world. When I first played this game, I honestly didn't know what I was doing... some of the abbreviations may become confusing, and you may be required to look them up. But in all fairness, this game isn't supposed to be easy either. The only way this game actually becomes less addicting is if you cheat and take control of every single army with a 2nd controller and make them all surrender to you... otherwise, this game will test your wits and test to see what your objective in life is. Personally, I played this to make my kingdom into more or less... a safe haven for other kingdoms as well as for travelers and other city folk. Every single option you make in this game will ultimately determine how you will end up in the game, even your character can be killed or become homeless, so be careful of the choices you make. Love your people, love your army, and give respect where respect should be given. Do not push anyone over the limit when it comes to working, and do not force people to work without payment or respectful offerings... the moral of this game is to teach you how to be a leader, but at the same time... knowing the differences between right and wrong.
Although this game has a very simple but rather outstandingly long story, it also tends to stray away from the main plot of the story. In any case, you are... as I have said before, a leader or ruler of your kingdom and from there you have to figure out where your alliances lie and where your enemies are. Each time you play this game, the difficulty can vary as well as the actions of your AI companions as well as your AI enemies. Each kingdom has it's own style, but every time you start the game over... they may change how they respond to different events and in the end, it's all a matter of being strong but also being committed to the game. Whether or not you want to be a violent person doesn't entirely matter, you will encounter violence throughout this game... but at the same time, you can also negotiate with an opposing army. If you are not familiar with this game, then I would suggest that you look up the meanings of the commands in the original SNES version. This version is pretty much an enhanced remake of the older SNES version, adding a little more depth and easier control system throughout it... as well as making the characters and art, as well as the battle scenes a little less bit like.
Even though this game and all games related to it offer so many options and roads for you to take, ultimately in the end... either you will come out as a leader or come out as a loser. Although these games kind of require you to pursue being a leader, there is a small chance you can put the game in a state of neutral order where you are not part of the fighting or part of the outside lifestyles. Pretty much, either you are someone who will be obeying others or someone who will be giving orders... that's kind of how this game has to go. But like I said, there are so many options and so many choices you can make in the game that determine your outcome in life... but ultimately, you have to decide whether you want to be ruled over or ruling.
This game and all games related are some of the most difficult games out there, they really require you to think. It's not like other RPG games where you just follow the path and it will take you to victory, no... in these games, there is no path directly to victory and no hints on what you should do. Although you can ask your advisers and other officials for advice and help, it all really depends on the choices you make... even if you only make good choices to help out your people but not your army, other armies may still attempt to attack you... but because you no longer have a dedicated army, you will be taken down with ease. Or, you can choose to work on your army and ignore your people... but then as your army gets better, your people leave or riot throughout your kingdom, causing much distress and then leading to the fall of your empire/kingdom/city/town/whatever. The only way to make it through this game without any severe problems is to balance your love for your kingdom's army and then your love for your kingdom's people, otherwise... one of them will backfire against you and cause the downfall of your kingdom. This game requires a lot of logic, a lot of strategy and a lot of pre-emptive planning... without any of those, you might as well not bother, cause there is almost no chance you will survive.
Anyways, good luck and thanks for viewing... hopefully this will give you a little more insight into these strategy based games.