Fri, Mar 07, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Computer Game Reviews

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Romance of the Three Kingdoms IX (三國誌九)

Sin Sangokumusou 3


Developer: Koei (Japan)

Domestic distributor: Taiwan Koei Entertainment Software

Language: Chinese

Release Date: PC (late March), PS2 (currently available)

The chaotic Three Kingdoms period, which followed the Later Han dynasty and lasted until the fourth century, is the setting for several games, among which are Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Sin Sangokumusou, both developed by Koei.

In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series the player needs to organize infrastructure, manage resources, develop the army, and finally unite China by conquering his or her enemies.

The Sin Sangokumusou series uses an action game format and was developed for Play Station 2 (PS2). The player picks a heroic figure from the historical epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, who then leads the army to fight the enemy, conquer territories and unify China.

The biggest change in the ninth edition of Romance of the Three Kingdoms is that the player plays a feudal baron, instead of a military officer, whose abilities he needs to develop. This is strategic rather than tactical, and the mode has shifted from turn-based play to real-time strategy (RTS).

"This is in line with gaming trends. The old turn-based system was good for single players playing against a computer. Now, games are harnessing the power of the Internet, and things happen much more quickly," said Sammy Liu (劉政和), general manager of the Taiwan Koei Entertainment Software (台灣光榮).

The third edition of the Sin Sangokumusou series was released at the end of February. What makes this game different is that players can switch characters during the course of the game.

"The best part of the game is that it offers the player a chance for wild killing, so as to release the accumulated pressure from a long day's work," said Liu.

Splinter Cell: Stealth Action Redefined


Publisher: Ubi Soft Entertainment (USA)

Domestic distributor: Unalis Corporation

Language: English

Platform: PC, XBOX

Release Date: currently available

Splinter Cell is the latest game from the series based on the work of best-selling author Tom Clancy by Ubi Soft Entertainment. In a game world that seems almost real, the player assumes the role of Sam Fisher, an outstanding intelligence agent of a secret national security organization. He or she will then be sent to out on a series of dangerous missions.

The story starts in 2003 when the American National Security Agency establishes a secret squad, code-named Third Echelon, which handles the most advanced technologies but whose existence is denied by the US government.

On March 10, 2004, two CIA special agents go missing while on a secret mission in Georgia. Fisher is summoned to find them.

The player is set to go through 24 levels in four countries -- Myanmar, the US, Georgia and Russia -- undertaking 11 missions, which include sneaking into a military's headquarters to steal information, destroy papers and eliminate the enemy.

"Since it is named `stealth action,' the player certainly needs to operate in secret and killing is not the only choice when encountering an enemy," said Chuang Cheng-han (莊承翰), manager of Unalis Corporation. "The game is designed to allow all kinds of subtle movements such as climbing a pipe or hanging upside down."

Impossible Creatures

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