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Shogun: Total War
List Price: $29.99

Our Price: $29.94

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Product Description

Thousands of loyal warriors stand before you, a nation lies ready to be conquered, in the shadows, ninja assassins await your orders. In Shogun: Total War you must display strength and cunning to conquer ancient Japan. In Mongol Invasion you lead the Mongol hordes on a bloody campaign to invade Japan and steal its riches.

Inspired by the war epics of director Akira Kurosawa, Shogun: Total War perfectly captures the chaos, conflict, and beauty of ancient warfare. Shogun thrusts you into the unstable politics of 16th-century feudal Japan. You command thousands of loyal samurai and other troops against six other factions in massive battles that will determine the fate of Japan itself. You can learn the basics of the art of war by playing the included tutorial missions, hone and test your skills by loading historical battles, or enter the campaign mode and go for the ultimate goal: becoming shogun.

Campaign play is divided into two portions--the strategic overview map where you manage your armies and provinces, and the tactical combat mode where battles are fought. The strategy portion isn't too deep. There aren't many buildings or unit types to build, and the diplomatic options are limited. It merely serves to provide a frame for the battle sequences, and that's where Shogun really shines.

Battles are fought on beautiful 3-D landscapes, with forests to hide in, fortifications to storm, and rolling hills to climb. Weather effects like rain and snow aren't just there for looks--they have a dramatic impact on gameplay. Wet conditions will render the match-lit guns useless and also decrease the range of archers because their bowstrings get wet. Troops get bogged down by wet gear, and high winds push arrows aside. Even the seasons affect battles, as longer or shorter days in the summer and winter determine how long you have to defeat your foe (or how long you must fend off an assault).

But weather and time are the least of your worries. Effectively managing your troops is the key to victory and also the toughest aspect of the game. There are dozens of formations to choose from and hundreds of tactical tricks to exploit. Keeping your archers, cavalry units, and various types of foot samurai all pointing the right way and effectively supporting one another is half the battle. The game interface and keyboard shortcuts make things easier, but Shogun's manual is just terrible. A simulation this fast paced and complex deserves thorough and accurate documentation, but you'll have to buy the separate strategy guide to get any worthwhile information. Fortunately, those with a little patience and an interest in the game should be able to figure things out, and they'll be rewarded with one of the most realistic and fun real-time war games available. --T. Byrl Baker


  • Realistic terrain and weather have an actual impact on gameplay
  • Control thousands of troops at once using historical formations
  • Strategy elements in the campaign mode complement the tactical battles and add to gameplay
  • Includes footage from Kurosawa's classic Ran
  • Worthless manual
  • Weak tutorial missions

Japan, 1542--a country in turmoil. The last shogunate has collapsed, leaving a nation divided into numerous factions, each led by a daimyo (feudal warlord). Each daimyo is out to scheme, murder, and wage war to become supreme ruler. The emperor is powerless--a puppet of whichever faction controls Kyoto. Into this melting pot come the first European explorers, bringing guns, religion--and disease. Out of this chaos will emerge only one daimyo who will master all the varied skills that make up the art of war: politics, economics, subterfuge, strategic warfare, and battlefield tactics. Only one will become shogun.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Great Game, but...
    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....more info

  • New model of complex role of dipolomacy & ancient warfare.
    EA has struck a balance, which many games have tried, between the strategic and the tactical. The strategic game is loaded with dipolomacy, and grand management of your resources and men. The tactical battles, played in real time on a beautiful 3D world, gives the feel of commanding an army from horse back with all the benefits and troubles that come along with that!

    This game is a high end demand on CPU speed and graphics, but one of those games that drives us to upgrade!

    Would like to see other games on the same model--Napoleanics, Revolutionary & Civil War!

    Can't wait for the expansion/update!...more info

  • Buyer Beware! STW won't work with Ge Force Drivers!! Read--
    Nice game, but I've just upgraded my PC to a Ge Force video card, and STW will not run if you have Ge Force drivers! Check and under technical support this is all thoroughly documented. There doesn't seem to be any patch or fix forthcoming according to what I'm reading there. And that's a shame because it's a fine game. Check's website for an official announcement about this problem being fixed before buying....more info
    Shogun is an EXCELLENT game, BUT IS UNPLAYABLE ON MOST OF THE BRAND NEW SYSTEMS OUT TODAY. Due to terrible EA techinical support, and horrible compatibility issues, Shogun doesn't work on my BRAND NEW 900mhz computer. I know for a fact that most people with an Nvidia graphics card CANNOT play Shogun. Electronic Arts (manufacterer of shogun) neglects the problem and refuses to patch their game to work with Nvidia drivers. The game also does not work on Windows Millenium computers. PLEASE keep this in mind before buying ANY game from Electronic Arts. The company obviously neglects to give their customers honest tech support and neglects to make sure their games even work!...more info
    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!

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! ...more info
  • Great Game
    this game is one of the best i have ever played. got it for christmas, installed it and played straight until 1 in the morning. i love asian culture, especially japanese. this is historically accurate strait to the names of the daiymos....more info
  • ... My god a game I love, and and and! *please read*
    This game gets my highest rating in the genre hands down, it's a fine example of what a video game can do for you. Put you in a time place and setting you could not possible encounter in real life, and while it's at it, you get to conquer a country one piece at a time using tactics, and battles. everything about this game screams wonderfulness if you like the genre, specificaly if you like fuedal Japan and strategy games, the graphics where impressive, the depth and immersion was right on, and everything about it told me I would be playing this game for months to come, and more than once at that... as there are a number of clans to choose from. so this game is not the flaw... the flaw is in the programming/design... the coding... this game is so unstable, in order to write this review and get what I did out of this game I had to reboot my computer once every ten minutes at best! it crashed froze and short of killing my computer, did everything a game of this callibur shouldn't do. In a few words... I was VEXED! I was forced to uninstall this game from my computer and keep the disks in a safe place until I get a better system, and my system is not that dated at all, in fact I beat every requirement this game has for it. the problem? this game has compatability issues that are not mentioned on the box, or documentation, even in the fine print. Electronic arts failed to test this game properly, and institute propper patches, and fixes. even the patches that are available, tend to make a difficult gaming experience worse, since for me the patches only made it so the game was unplayable since it crashed before I could even start the campaign. I have heard some rumors, and some facts, and it all boils down to bad coding and application of system rescourses. If you have a Voodo video card this game will likely frustrate you to tears, even with the final version of the now out of business 3DFX drivers. Whats more you can't control to much of a degree what form of hardware accelleration to use. and software mode runs slower than a dead walter hudson on most systems. if it even works. Electronic arts basically let down a large percentage of their customers on this title, not in the gameplay, graphics or other ways a game normaly fails, but in the worst example of a buggy game I have ever seen. I am no technowizard, but I do know a bit about computers, and trust me, if this game works on your computer, you are in the lucky 60% (my own estimate, since it hasn't worked on my friends older industry standard 2GIG processor, 2 gig RAM, demonic graphic rendering monster machine his father custom built for him so he could do special movie effects for the company he got hired into. and if it doesn't work on his machine, given his technical experience etc, within three hours of system updates and trouble shooting, it won't work on most peoples PC's), this game is as picky about what system you are using as your cat can be about eating what you put in front of him/her. sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't... mostly doesn't. Consdiering everything, I would say take the chance, if you like the genre, and the aspects mentioned about this game, if it doesn't work just return it, and don't even think about it. Me? I am a hopeless romantic, and am gonna wait till I get a new computer, with all kinds of compatable hardware before I give this game another try and then decide to use it for ultimate ... frisbie. I love this game and it pains me to say all this... I wanna play my game, one of my favs. but how can I? anyway! On a further note, after many hours of tearful frustration of rebooting, and sore knuckles from pounding my desk, icalled tech support at Electronic arts. They WHere helpful, so I tip my hat to them, but it was kind of funny, when I talked to the operator of the companies tech support line and mentioned what game I was having trouble with he sighed, and I could almost hear him mumble "Oh boy... another one..." somehow the 3DFX drivers, or direct x, or something about voodo, or even Geforce cards conflicts with this game. I don't know what systems they play tested this game on, but it wasn't one like a large amount of people have. This game was well made in the game aspect, but rushed on the race to put it on store shelves, rather than test it properly, and support it properly. money is the root of all evil I spose, second only to impatience... so buy this game if your a tech wizard, are lucky, or have a nice system, and cross your fingers. As I said, I would personaly estimate 20%-40% of you won't be able to fight one battle before you computer locks up and you have to do a hard reboot... (turn off the power without shutting down) hope this review helped somebody out there!...more info
  • Sengoku Jidai - The age of the country at war
    Welcome to 16th century feudal Japan, a beautiful, heavily wooded land of green, rolling, mist covered hills and wide rivers. A land of castles, peasant farmers and samurai warriors. That's the only welcome there is though because it's also the age of the country at war and as one of six competing Daimyo or warlords, your job in this game is to hold off your competition,defeat your enemies and unite Japan under your banner and thus claim the title of Shogun.

    Easier said than done, but in achieving it therein lies the fun. The game is a well balanced mix of 3D real time strategy (RTS) and a turn based system. There are three game modes - custom battle, historical battle and where you'll probably spend most time, the heart of the game - the campaign. All three have the 3D RTS 'Battle View' in common. In Battle View you are pitted against other daimyo and their samurai armies on lush beautifully depicted terrain. The terrain and weather effects are not simply pretty, they affect battle. Learn fast their secrets or die. Elevation allows warriors with ranged weapons (musketeers and archers) to rain death on those below. Woods will protect you from this aerial assault and those foolish enough to send cavalry charging into the close confines of the forests will suffer accordingly. River assaults can be bloody affairs. The weather changes with the seasons. Snow slows and tires both footsoldiers and cavalry and rain dampens your bowstrings and rifle flintlocks making ranged weapons almost useless. Mist and the occasional rolling fogs of spring and summer affect visibility for all concerned.

    To succeed you must field armies of mixed types. The armored Naginata and Heavy cavalry are what you need to assault those bridges or castle strongholds. Defend with your Yari (spear) warriors and ranged units to give the onrushing cavalry something to think about. Found a weakpoint! - attack with your shock troops - the fanatical warrior monks and the devasting No Dachi (two-handed sword) samurai. Your tactical situation is not solely a function of terrain and weather. You can adjust your army formations as needed. Loose formations help when the enemy is raining arrows down on you while a wedge formation provides the power to break those defensive lines.

    The turned based element is a feature of the campaign game. You, as one of the daimyo's have access to a boardgame style map of Japan showing all the provinces and your game pieces. Decide what you wish to move where, sliding your pieces across the map like chess pieces. Build structures, train armies, see to your income generating activities and generally look after your territories, while plotting where to invade next. End your turn and see how the other daimyos respond. It won't be long before their response will be War, and then it's back to the 3D battleview again for some more beautifully rendered mayhem....more info

  • UK Edition + [web site] have the full manual
    Wow - this is one of the most fun games I've played in a while.

    The campaign side of the game is minimal (and a bit tedious), and some of the AI seems to be cheating. But you forget that once you are launched into battle. The graphics are amazing - fully animated armies of thousands of soldiers that you can control over beautiful terrain. You'll need a high-spec PC though - I have a fairly hi-spec dual P3-733 / nVidia GeForce 2 system, and can get good performance at 1024x768 (I cant wait to take it to 1600).

    Some people have complained about the game shipping with a poor manual. According to the Shogun website, the US edition shipped with an abridged version of the manual. My copy (bought in the UK) came with a thick user manual, and two reference cards - which is just as good as any other game I've seen. If you want the full documentation, you can also download it from the [total war] website.

    The manual doesnt discuss tactics in detail, and leaves it to you to discover the benefits of the various unit upgrades available. As with any other strategy game, you're best off looking in internet forums for this sort of info - if you want to shell out on the strategy guide you can too.

    The best part of this game is easily the battle sequences. The music, graphics, and enemy AI produce not only the best wargame that I've ever played, but one of my favourite of all games. Once you see your Samurai swarming over the battlefield to chase some rival scum off the face of the earth, any criticisms of the game just seem irrelevant.

    Saying that, I do have a wishlist. There's no editor available yet, and the campaign game is pretty limited (theres not much you can do in the way of diplomacy). The unit types are all very alike too - you get samurai with bows.. samurai with spears... samurai on horses... and thats about it. Its certainly nowhere near Age Of Empires 2 in that respect.

    Pro: Fantastic graphics. Great ambience when you're in battle mode. Lots of variety of tactics, terrain, and very realistic.

    Con: Needs a high spec machine. No editor available (yet). Not much variety in units....more info

  • One of the best strategy games out there
    Shogun: Total War is one of the best strategy games ever. The game is divided into two segments: a Risk-esque map of Japan that gives you the strategic picture and a battle simulator that lets you play out the battles you arrange on the strategic map. Going far beyond numbers, tactical decisions a player makes affect the battle significantly - for example, if it begins to rain gunpowder units are useless, while if a player seizes the high ground they can attack units still ascending the hill easier. While by today's standards the graphics are not stellar, they are still passable and don't detract from gameplay - and those with slower computers can experience an RTS game with little to no lag.

    My one and only beef with the game itself is the diplomacy aspect - it is seriously lacking, especially because it lacks any toggle switch. For example, if you forge an alliance with someone the only way to break it is for one to attack the other. It's almost impossible after the first few turns to be neutral to somebody. Also, the manual, in a word, sucks. It's uninformative, and I've had to go out and buy the strategy guide just so I can learn what some of the basic symbols of the game mean.

    Those two items aside, this game is a classic. A must for any RTS fan....more info
  • Shogun is top-notch
    I am not a real fan of fuedal Japan, but I do enjoy RTS games, and Shogun is one of the best RTS games I have played. The graphics are excellent, and the sound is incredible. The Japanese score does the job getting you primed up for a "braveheart" like battle. Some flaws are the manual,or I should say a lack thereof. If you do buy this game,I reccomend the strategy guide, because it is extremely difficult past "easy" mode. Another thing I noticed is the AI in the game is frustrating. Sometimes your troops flee, and you have no control over it. Al-in-all, Shogun:Total War is a true winner, whether you like Feudal Japan or not....more info
  • If you like RTS, history and realism - this is the best game
    I have played all Age of Empires series games, and always wished for more realism and control in combat. This game is perfect in that. Weather (wind, snow, rain..), terrain, flank attacks, surprise attacks, soldiers experience, morale, fatigue - it's all there, the effects of all these variables are realistic, it's all as it should be. If enemy is beaten - they will run, you can go after them..

    The game is played in two basic screens - the map (where you manage economy, diplomacy, raise army and attack) and the 3D battle screen, where you fight.

    Battle experience is the best in RTS if you like realism. However, diplomacy and economic management is a little bit stale.

    Game has high replay value - you can play as one of 8 or so clans. Each clan has different advantages in the price of soldiers they can raise, but soldiers are the same (they are all Japanese, after all). There are about 11 soldier unit types, each specialized, but none of them can be used alone. In that regard game is balanced very well.

    The game will require thinking from your part. AI is pretty good and will respond to your actions as well as human could (if not better).

    The interface is very easy to use, camera moves perfectly (comparing to Black & White).

    In summary - this is the best RTS game if you like tactics in combat, realism and historic accuracy. It is a game from general's perspective....more info

  • What every wargame SHOULD be...
    I fell in love with Shogun: Total War the minute I started playing. I found it's interface fairly intuitive and within 15 minutes I was in complete command of the game, which is a good thing as teh manual was a little skimpy.

    The atmosphere that this game creates is outstanding! You really get the feel of feudal Japan. The graphics are beautifully done. It's nice to see a battlefield covered in snow, or with a fog cover. And the music is well done, and unlike most game music I have not turned it off tired of the repetition after a couple hours.

    This is definitely one I'll recommend to all my wargamer friends....more info

  • The animation is amazing!!!
    The detail of the battles is incredible. When your archers fire, you see the arrows, you see them nock a new arrow, and you see them draw the bowstring back. And when you put your gunners in ranks of three, they fire in rotation. Marching troops actually march, they don't just glide across the screen. The variety and fluid motion of the camera angles accentuates astounding vistas that the armies fight on. The strategy portion of the game is not overly complicated allowing for a bit of a break after a hectic battle. My only real complaint is that the manual was not well written. It'll tell you how to move the camera and the basic commands, but you need to pick up the strategy guide to figure out how to really play the game....more info
  • Disappointed
    Happily, I didn't buy this game, but had a look when my brother brought it to my house. The highlight that most people talk about (brilliant 3D terrain) just did not happen. I have a pretty new computer (PIII 550Mhz, Windows 98), and even after updating my monitor drivers, the battle sequences just display a pile of rubbish! When you use the 'software' drivers the terrain appears, but the response is SLOW - completely unusable. From a game my brother raved about, I got only disappointment...more info
  • Every Clan has a chance
    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!...more info

  • the BEST war game ive played
    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!!!!!!!...more info
    Shogun is a game of strategic warfare and politics. You have to use strategy in order to become Shogun of all Japan. You must gain resources like koku and oda. Command thousands of troops instead of peuny hundreds. If you are a PC gamer that likes srategy and warfare, Shogun's the game for you....more info
  • Shogun the full review
    This game as you should know is taking place in feudal japan. here are good things and bad things

    GOOD 1.ninjas 2.geishas 3.a reaistic truth that alliances were made betwen daimyos and broken the next day 6.realistic battle happenings BAD 1.unrealistic soldiers each clan really had its own helmets armor swords and decorations ashigaru...more info

  • One of the best games you can buy
    This may be the best RTS game ever. The graphics are amazing and the backrounds are a visual feast. Your posted in the 1500's in Japan. Control has just been lost by the shogun of Japan and there are 7 clans trying to claim it. You can choose one of 7 clans to try to take over Japan, each with it's own advantages( can build archers for cheaper castles.....) There is a map where you manage economy and deside what to take over who to make and alliance with and so on. Then their is the battle field where you do battle with the troops you made. I suggest you get a mixed line of troops or you have no chance. Then there is the whole honor thing. When you win battles genrals gain honor and lose honor when they lose. If a genral loses about 5 battles strait he has someone chop his head off. You can also Assassin people with Ninjas ( At first it's highly entertaing to whatch the assassinations). The point of the game is to take over Japan.

    This could be the best game ever. Buy it....more info

  • Best RTS game in a looooooong time!
    This game is the best! Aside from the regular RTS/strategy style, building castles and gaining money to build and upgrade your troops, the best I love the most about this game is using your ninjas to assasinate the enemy and friendly generals of other clans. By completing a successful assasination, your ninja goes up in rank and he can kill more higher grade generals and eventually the other clan's warlord! If anyone has played Warcraft and the like, then they will find all that building resources and upgrading troops a breeze; it is the same principle. But in this game, there are some clans that are specialized in certains that will be cheaper to produce and have a higher grade quality than the same type of troops of the other clan's. This you will have to find out for yourself. I think the controlling your own troops in battle is fun especially when you can set them up into positions and then have them crash the opposing forces. The graphic are very fun to watch during the battle scene and also in the throne room when the other clan's comes to you for alliances and traders come to trade with your clan....more info
  • Buy it if you like any of the comand and conquer games
  • Great Strategy game.
    This game is a must for anyone who likes to be both the warrior and the strategist. This game actually happened by chance since the store i was walking through only had one copy left i decided to check it out. And I loved it from the start. It's easy to get into and the tutorial is pretty explanatory showing how to form your armies on the battlefield. but it's not just war, you have to manage your income to which is manage by rice or koku. then you can move your armis around the map and either negotiate or go to war with other nations. eventually you'll go to war with all of the surrounding nations and thats when you get to the battles. The battles are real time and are extremely remarkable. The layouts of the field are great from the mountains where you can position archers from to fire down at your enemies, or the forests where you can make a surprise attack. There are only two problems though and that's the control and the morality of your troops. You can have the largest army there is and still you end up falling back because of your generals rank. The control can be a pain sometimes especially if you're positioning your troops in diffeerent areas and they are facing the opposite way of the enemy. But these are only small problems, this is worth the purchase....more info
  • Windows ME
    Just wanted to point out that even though the description for this game says it works with Win95, 98 and ME, it does not work with ME. At all. It doesnt crash lots or run slow under Millenium, it just does not work at all....more info
  • Excellent play, graphics make this game a true winner!
    Having played the board game of the same name for years, I had to get this game when I first heard it was coming out. True to reviews online and in Time magazine, the graphics and playability are outstanding. From the white haze of the morning fog to the patches of sunlight that filters in between intermittent rain, the tactical terrain graphics are excellent and should produce many copycat games in the near future. The strategic play in the campaign mode is also well made. Managing the ever scarce koku and deciding your kingdom's technological path are great attributes to the game. The diplomacy of the game, however, is unfortunately random, unstrategic, and becomes useless as the game progresses. Also, the spies and shinobis are useful only for counterspying and once the geisha is produced, it is only a matter of time before you are left with only the passive ronin to defeat--a cheap way to win!

    Also, the game is limited in replayability. Sure, multi-players can go forever with custom battles but the campaign game becomes repetitive once each daimyo is played out. They should have made it like the board game with an option to start the game with random provinces.

    The difficulty levels are useless. Beyond normal, it is almost impossible to win battles since your men, regardless of strategy and strength, flee at the slightest provocation.

    But beyond these limitations, the tactical real-time battles are the greatest draw and it is they that make the game a winner....more info

  • Realistic, no. Fun, yes.
    My red-eyes and coffee stains confirm my late nights and fun with this game. I really got hooked on turn-based games after playing Civilation II a few years ago, because they challenge to player to balance scarce resources with an evolving AI society that feeds the virtual-god-complex in all of us. "Shogun: Total War" on the other hand is strongly tipped toward battlefield tactics and army building, rather than economics, politics, morale, technology, etc. In this sense, I was disappointed by the fewer dimensions of the challenges.

    It is really 2 separate games: chessboard map of Japan and battlefield troop fights. If the settings are set to Easy, you can almost win the whole game without seeing any troop fights. The battlefield side is strongly in favor of positioning (attacking downhill has incredible benefits), angle of attack (side attacks are just as effective as from rear), and troops (quality, morale, etc).

    My major complaint to the creators is the overall controls. For instance, if you have seasons where several cities are creating armies, each one has to be dragged and moved individually. Where are the Heirs located? Where is a list of the current technology status of each city? In the battlefield, controlling groups of troops is loose and must be re-imposed each time you want action. In this way, large armies are harder to control and less enjoyable.

    Somewhat of a problem is the AI. It is actually quite predictable after you learn the basic tactics. Even on the most difficult level, basically you just attack the opponent in an angled approach and/or from higher ground. As long as you have some decent troops (quality and numbers), you will usually win.

    Although my processor is PIII750mghtz and I have lots of DRAM, there are performance issues with heavy graphics screens. Troops get weird, mouse-pointer stops moving, sounds get funny, etc.

    All said, this is an entertaining game, but don't expect to play it forever....more info

  • Almost incredible
    This is the first game that I can say replaces Lords of the Realm 2. It mixes the turn-based overarching strategy of resource-management with the real-time tactical combat. The graphics are amazing (with my voodoo5 and Hitachi 814 21' monitor) and the music in battle is pretty cool.

    The only reason I didn't give this game 5 stars (and I play all the time) is that the alliance system offers nothing to the game. In Lords 2, you could at least ask your ally to help you attack people. In Shogun the ally system basically consists of allying yourself with as many parties as possible, getting nothing from any of them, then attacking them/being attacked. There is no point to the current system. Please please add to this!!

    Other than that the game rules. The replayability is great (every 2-4 weeks I feel like beating it again), especially because there are 4 difficulty settings that can make the game really intense....more info