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video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Kessen Publisher: Electronic Arts
Category: Strategy
Platform: PS2
ESRB Rating: Teen    Release Date: November 2000

Overall Rating: 3 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
3 Stars out of 4

Kessen is one of the few PS2 games that actually feels like it is using the power of the PS2. A strategy war simulation, Kessen bases its game play on historical battles in seventeenth-century Japan. Featuring highly polished CG movies and great battle field character animation, the game gives you the feeling of playing Braveheart.

Several groups of troops are scattered on the battlefield. Most of the strategy involves moving the cursor to each group, pressing the square button to analyze the kinds of troops in the group, and then moving forces together to combat a particular group. Rifle troops, bow troops, cannon troops, and other troops can be combined (if they aren't already) and organized to attack troops that don't have the same advantage.

After a battle, you enter the politics mode, where you decide what generals to go after next. The tutorial is text-based and not very visual, so you might have trouble understanding this mode. The instruction booklet provides no help whatsoever, which is really annoying. Games like this should come with detailed manuals.

All considering, Kessen is one of the more accessible Koei titles, but you can't control actual battles, just the strategic positioning of troops. Still, the battles are fun to watch, and the game is worth investigating for fans of the genre.

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