In the 16th century, Japan's Sengoku ("Warring States") period divided the nation into numerous feudal states, each ruled by a daimyo. These daimyos would often go to war with each other. Many dreamt of conquering the land, becoming the Shogun and ruling the entire country. One of those daimyos was the ambitious Nobunaga Oda, a merciless ruler and a renowned strategist. Players take on the role of Nobunaga Oda or one of many other daimyos to try to conquer Japan.
Nobunaga's Ambition is a turn-based strategy game which can be played in different modes. Gameplay is similar to Koei's better known Romance of the Three Kingdoms game. Players begin by selecting either a 17 regions scenario or a larger 50 scenario. Then, the player must select a daimyo, each of which is rated attributes in several categories; Age, Health, Ambition, Luck, Charm and IQ. As the game progresses, these values change depending on events in the game. The age value represents a time limit of sorts, as an elderly daimyo becomes increasingly likely to die of old age or sickness.
During each of turn (one per season), players can issue one of several commands from a menu. They include: Recruiting new soldiers, Training the army, Buying Weapons, Increasing Peasant morale, Forming alliances or Hiring Ninjas to bribe & assassinate. When one player attacks another, there is a war fought over the defender's region. Battles are fought in an overhead-view hex battle map. Each player takes turn moving units and issuing orders, which include attack, move, bribe and surrender. The goal is to defeat all of the enemy units (or force them into surrender). Army units each have a certain weakness against other types of enemies, and are also affected by the terrain.
Nobunaga's Ambition is a highly recommended game to any strategy-lover. You will actually forget that the game is lacking in the colour-department after only a couple of minutes. The game itself is placed in ancient Japan, in a time of unrest. A single man wanted to unite Japan under his rule, Oda Nobunaga.
In this game you can choose between 50 different daymio's, and use a huge number of different strategic options in order to achieve your goals. Ranging from espionage and military alliances, to all out war. Everything in the game is controlled with numeric commands followed by pressing enter. And the battles are controlled using the numpad. This might seem difficult at first, but is extremely easy to learn.
The game supports multiplayer up to 8 players.
Essentially Romance of The Three Kingdoms with Japan as a backdrop, the game chronicles the achievements of Oda Nobunaga, a shrewd daimyo who came close to the ultimate title of shogun in one of the most properous and tumultous periods in Japanese history. Play as Nobunaga himself or one of his rivals for a greater challenge (because they have inferior starting statistics). This is not as difficult as RTK games because there are fewer territories to conquer, but still very engrossing due to its emphasis on RPG-style character traits and "realistic" personnel management (e.g. you can entice the enemies' generals to defect with gifts, recruit free warriors, search for new talent, etc). Definitely a must play for any KOEI fan and an interesting historical wargame for anyone interested in Japanese history, or how crucial your generals' loyalty is in the thick of war.
People who downloaded Nobunaga's Ambition 1 have also downloaded:
Nobunaga's Ambition 2, Romance of The Three Kingdoms 1, Romance of the three Kingdoms 3, Romance of The Three Kingdoms 2, Romance of The Three Kingdoms 4: Walls of Fire, NAM 1965-1975, Nectaris, Gengkhis Khan 1
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