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  • rtk 9 review

    i've been playing the chinese version for pc with some english translation hacks and i'm pretty impressed(for a rtk game anyways). the only other rtk's i've played were rtk 1 through 4 though, so i've missed the newer ones. this is the only rtk where i think i'll be able to conquer all of china without getting bored and probably want to do it again. the music is very good as are the graphics/animation and artwork.


    below is the city improvement menu which is where you'll spend most of your time. each city has a different population, and different maxes for each category(1000 is the limit max for support, farm, market and defense though). your officers(which have pol, int, war, lead) need different skills to improve different things and you also need gold for each improvement. it takes a few years on average to improve cities from their starting points all their way to their max even if you have unlimited gold and very good generals available. the only really annoying thing about the interface here is you have to give orders each month and can't set people to continue working on a certain thing(useful if you have officers with just one good stat, or everything else in the city is maxed, etc).

    visit improves manpower at the city(you get more manpower every few months which you can draft for gold), and i think it improves security so plots succeeding or prisoners escaping is less likely. market improves how much gold you get when taxes come(few times a year). farm is basically the same as market except it increases how much food you get(this happens once at month 7 iirc). defend increases defensive rating of your city(it's sort of like bit a big hit point pool, good for buying time but ultimately you need troops). the last three are pretty obvious training your trooping and buying/selling food. now would be a good time to sell food since the rate is 6 food for 1 gold and rarely gets better than this. during harvest time when you want to buy it's up around 15f/1g, and averages around 10f/1g during the year.


    i was going to explain all the basics but the more i played the more i realized it'd be a a waste of time. below shows the games fatal flaw, the ai is just too dumb. you can see an army attacking an ai's last city and they are obviously losing(green bar for city is defense, blue bar for both is morale, higher is better, numbers are troops) yet their larger army at the wall fort isn't going to come help and thus save them. result is they die next week while they could have easily sent reinforcements especially since it took the attacking army a few weeks to move their across the river and it spent a week or two attacking so far. you have to have pretty dumb ai to die to an army smaller than what you have and not even attempt to fight them off.



    the ai is obsessed with manning forts yet rarely seems to do anything else. you are more likely to get attacked by 10000 ai troops when you have 50000 defending than the other way around(which is how it should be). the ai's inaggression leads to unbalancing the game since the player builds up his cities much better than the ai and the way the game seems designed cities aren't really meant to get built up yet they do since the ai is too inactive. even in my middle screenshot i'm swimming in money/food yet i've only 4 cities and played about 2 years. the longer you play the worst it gets, in one game just after ~6 years i have ~100000 gold and ~600000 food which is totally ridiculous considering that much could practically support all of china yet i only had 11 cities(see the overview map screenshot below for a picture).

    like previously rtk's it'd probably take the ai till 1500 ad to unite china if it ever could. it does attack some and you'll see cities changing hands but it's practically random. the ai is very good at some tactical situations that involve timing(eg rallying or reinforcing attacking troops) yet nothing else. i hope the ps2 version is better or i'm going to skip it. the game is fun for at least a few hours though(i've played at least 10). i'd probably be a blast if you had a few friends to play hotseat(iirc 8 different rulers at a time can play at once) with but it's also a fairly slow game(sorta of like a board game).

    below is teal marching a long way across multiple territories to attack a city(something which is impossible in other rtks), of course they manage to lose(mostly likely crappy generals vs good ones). the blue flash is a unit healing(special ability) or being reinforced something the ai excels at. this is also the action phase of the game where orders are carried out(you can see the orders in the lower right hand corner.


    below you can see some boats crossing the sea to attack a fortress. rtk9 has lots of different boats and siege weapons. a fortress is also under construction. forts can be built in many places inbetween provinces and in many cases block access totally(as this one practically does). the food is in red because i don't have enough to support my troops until next harvest.


    below is the overview map where you can see your main competition. i'm cao cao. the white cities are unoccupied and can be taken with 1 general and a few troops but they are a long ways from being built up. one interesting thing in rtk 9 is fame which i think effects how many troops you can hold in your armies. the more famous you are the higher your imperial rank is thus effecting your rulers personal army and all his generals.


    beliw is a city which is maxed out in economy, farming, and market. support still is a ways from max but a city like this is very powerful, even the less populous ones.


    below you can see barbarians leveling an ai city. the ai can rarely stop them. it seems not to know you need to garrison extra troops in cities the barbarians love to attack. there are 4 barbarian cities on the map(in the minimap they are the orange city in the west corner, the light brown city in the south corner, the light green city above the purple city in the east corner, and the yellowish near the brown/grey cities in the north corner) and they are quite powerful(300k-400k troops) especially compared to your ai chinese competition(usually 20k-120k). they are also much more aggressive(generally killing ai cities over and over again throughout a game) and actually a challenge to kill due to having pretty good generals and perhaps better troops.


    below is the load game screen.
    Last edited by pg; January 28, 2004, 18:07.
    Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

  • #2
    Sorry... rtk stands for what?

    -Jam
    1) The crappy metaspam is an affront to the true manner of the artform. - Dauphin
    That's like trying to overninja a ninja when you aren't a mammal. CAN'T BE DONE. - Kassi on doublecrossing Ljube-ljcvetko
    Check out the ALL NEW Galactic Overlord Website for v2.0 and the Napoleonic Overlord Website or even the Galactic Captians Website Thanks Geocities!
    Taht 'ventisular link be woo to clyck.

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    • #3
      You're Winner!

      that game doesnt look like much fun

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      • #4
        Sorry... rtk stands for what?

        -Jam

        Romance of three kingdoms

        You're Winner!

        that game doesnt look like much fun

        Turn based games are boring.
        :-p

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        • #5
          Oh. I remember the old ones. I never liked them much, but the I was playing Civ 1 and Streetfighter

          -Jam
          1) The crappy metaspam is an affront to the true manner of the artform. - Dauphin
          That's like trying to overninja a ninja when you aren't a mammal. CAN'T BE DONE. - Kassi on doublecrossing Ljube-ljcvetko
          Check out the ALL NEW Galactic Overlord Website for v2.0 and the Napoleonic Overlord Website or even the Galactic Captians Website Thanks Geocities!
          Taht 'ventisular link be woo to clyck.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have Rtk7 and 8 for PS2 and have played Koeigames since 1992.

            Can't wait until Rtk9 is released in North America
            signature not visible until patch comes out.

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            • #7
              I don't particularly like the games, but as a work of literature Three Kingdoms is a classic. It's availible for free at the below URL, though I'd reccomend getting a good translation if you get into it.

              http://www.threekingdoms.com/

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              • #8
                the games graphics look amazing!

                Hmmm, I'm hoping they have multiplayer like the earlier versions....and duels between generals again.
                Despot-(1a) : a ruler with absolute power and authority (1b) : a person exercising power tyrannically
                Beyond Alpha Centauri-Witness the glory of Sheng-ji Yang
                *****Citizen of the Hive****
                "...but what sane person would move from Hawaii to Indiana?" -Dis

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                • #9
                  yeah there is multiplayer(via hotseat with up to 8 people iirc). there are also duels(with some cool special graphics) but afaik they are totally random. sometimes i've fought 10 battles and didn't duel once while other times i've dueled 10 times in 1 battle. good news is you do have some control over the duel.
                  Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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                  • #10
                    The game does look superb though.
                    I'm building a wagon! On some other part of the internets, obviously (but not that other site).

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                    • #11
                      Yeah I've loved these games since I started way way back playing on my NES.

                      The ai can be very weak at times in almost all of the versions but when you're still learning the game it does provide some sort of challenge I guess. Still love these games as you can't get too many strategy games on consoles these days.
                      signature not visible until patch comes out.

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                      • #12
                        the game is much more impressive in action. i didn't even post any of the battles scenes, diplomacy screens, or character portraits(which are great, and much improved over any version). plus some of the special 2d effects are very impressive and makes me wish more games stuck to 2d with great artwork. if you look hard enough on the net you can find every rtk game(check major rtk forums hint, hint).
                        Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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