Total War: Shogun 2

Since all the good anime is delayed this week, the usual Madoka post on Thursdays being replaced temporarily by some non-anime post to fill up some space...

So, this is my first time playing the Total War series. Rho pitched it to me as a Civilization-type mixed with RTS, which sounded interesting enough so I decided to give it a try. I played (and won) two campaigns using the Bow Specialty nation (short campaign) and the Cavalry Specialty (long campaign).

This was the first introduction I got to game, wherein I couldn't stop laughing at how bad he was - and even more so now, with the context of just how easy castle-defending is. lolz


The game flows between roughly two main things that you do. The first is very similar to Civilization: you build up your cities, research armies, etc. It's basically building infrastructure to go to war against the other nations (or, in this case with Ancient Japan, provinces).

There is a very simple tech tree that you research to gain better units and better buildings to build. You also get a generals, which you can appoint to different ranks (like Minister of Finance) and see your family tree slowly grow as your generals have wives and children. Pretty simple: you build armies with an upkeep cost in order to move around with your general in order to capture other provinces, which leads to the second main thing: battles.

When entering a battle, you get the choice of auto-battling it or going in yourself to do it. Here lies a flaw, between the AI and auto-battle AI. The auto-battle AI just measures a "combined" strength of your army that does not factor in weaknesses (like the fact that a full-archer army could get rushed by cavalry and thus that side loses badly). Therefore, you can make hugely unbalanced armies with just one type of units and then auto-battle against any unfavourable army. If you outnumber the enemy by 15-20%, auto-battling will pretty much guarantee you lose nearly zero troops. This also makes auto-battling a staple.

Now, there is a point to going into the actual battle: castle defence. All you need is to some have brainpower and you can defend your castle from the siege by putting units in to specifically defend the wall. I can easily defend my castles with half the army size of the attacking army (something that using the auto-battle AI for would leave my army dead and nearly zero enemy troops dead...). The worst situation for me was that an army of 800 was able to beat an army of 2000, and I only lost 600ish troops compared to wiping out 1800ish. The AI does a horrible job with castle sieges and losing to it. It's just sad - hence why that video is so funny.

The horrid AI does detract a lot from the in-depth gameplay; if only it was done better...



It's just absolutely stunning; all the minor details are there. You can zoom right in to see each individual warrior die in a battalion or zoom all the way out to just see huge battalions clashing.

The battles are like a CG film, which makes it just absolutely amazing to look at.



They say the same couple things over and over again without much diversity. They also used real Japanese people to speak the English, so all has that Japanese accent to it.

I've never been a big fan of sound since I don't feel it contributes much to the game unless it's extremely bad or good. Nothing in the middle really matters much. This game fits somewhere in the middle for me.



This is where I probably differ from the norm: I think it is minimal. This game will have the same "feel" every time that you play, making it stale. It is much like playing Starcraft just to play against bots on the same map every time. It gets very old very fast.

Now, I haven't tried to use the multi-player so I can't comment on it. But after playing through two different nations, it doesn't feel much different. I feel if they included some story for each province and some nice ending, then maybe I would want to play more. As of now, nothing much happens when you win and the game just gets boring on repeat playthroughs.

(Aaro Note~ : Despite saying this, she ended up playing it again and again for about 4-5 days more. Take what you will~)



The game was definitely fun for a couple hours, while I was learning everything (I personally just skipped all the tutorials). The first playthrough was fun but things got old fast on the second run. If you want something without much replayability and just nice graphics, there are tons of RPGs out there to play that can last many more hours than this. Maybe if the AI was better, it would have been more fun, but as it is now, I don't really recommend it unless you're that huge a fan of the series.

Overall Score: 6.5/10