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PlayStation 2 Review: Nobunaga’s Ambition: Iron Triangle

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With the recent PlayStation 2 price drop, you can get even more quality, yet inexpensive entertainment with this deep PS2 exclusive $29.99 game. It's the 12th in the series following Rise to Power. This game involves strategic skills, reading/analytical prowess, management skills, and determination. You will definitely use the manual on this game as well as the lengthy tutorials, but the progression rewards and replay value are extremely high.

PhotobucketThe turn-based action centers on a samurai named Nobunaga Oda who fights for unifying peace in Japan on land and in the sea. Funds for your troops become your primary concern because each action and menu option revolves around the funds, especially paying stipends or enticing other officers to your group. Customization options include creating your own fictional characters and even making a family.

You get three modes – unification, region and challenge (shorter timed scenarios) as well as active and planning statuses. Planning involves your negotiations and alliances while active status includes construction, military battles and other creation functions.

The unification mode alone has several stages that are historical and fictional, which can keep you busy for as much as 60 hours…each. You get a definite advantage if you have historical battle knowledge. The shorter length region mode lets you choose from six regions and can last approximately 10 hours for each. The challenge mode has objectives with time limits. Each mode has unlockable elements as you progress plus expandable item inventories, properties, and skills.

PhotobucketThe developers used color and design to distinguish the visuals and text, though the screen can get a bit crowded with the limited space.

Technology, governance, and military power comprise the three “iron triangle” themes while the castles, port towns and villages contain activities relating to commerce, agriculture and learning/technology. You can even work with other groups to learn their technology. Technological advances can also be bought and sold.

The music score by Kosuke Yamashita enhances the game while the graphics and controls schemes can be overloaded at times due to the high content. You can get different views and rotate your helpful maps, especially which is a wonder to watch during battles. Game speed options and difficulty options let you customize gameplay according to your skills and experience.

Accomplishments and rewards could use more celebratory sounds/visuals to compel continuing gameplay, though if you can interpret the menus and inventory/power amounts, you’ll know what you did and quickly move on to the next battle until ultimate victory. Nobunaga's Ambition: Iron Triangle is a highly challenging game full of great content. It's ideal for strategy veterans, but novices will definitely be overwhelmed without referring to the guidance materials.

Nobunaga's Ambition: Iron Triangle is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for mild violence and alcohol reference.


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