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GoNintendo Review - Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV "Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack" (written by DeuxMichaels)

Is there romance in the air?

This review was written by Deux Michaels

When it comes to a series that has as many installments as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, it can be difficult to jump right in if you’ve never played before. Luckily, there are good tutorials and understandable game mechanics which, while involved, can be learned by a player with a little determination. Yes, I found that determination is what it took for me to push through the convoluted menu system and try to dig deep into what fun could be had here.

I personally have only played one other RotTK and that was the seventh installment on PlayStation 2. As a fan of history and video games, I was immediately immersed in the time period and the historical characters. The amount of real historical figures that you can take control of is staggering and I loved learning more outside of the game about some of the most intriguing warriors. Because I loved RotTK7 so much, I found it difficult to put certain features out of my mind and concentrate on the mechanics of RotTK14.

The historical characters are all still here and in fact they have added hundreds more. You can still create your own generals with familial ties to real figures and you could have a lot of fun creating your own faction and putting them into very specific scenarios throughout the romance timeline. My Johnny Yune dynasty didn’t do all that bad against the early power of He Jin!

While many new features have progressed over time to get to where they are in RotTK14, there are a few features that a player like me regretfully misses. Firstly, you better enjoy being the Liege Lord because there is no longer options to being a ronin, general, or prefect under an AI ruler. That means that you won’t be working your way to the top of a famous leader’s ranks, but you will have all the responsibility and stress of the man or woman in charge. With that system comes a lot of micromanaging and there are many diplomacy options to try. Once I was familiar with the game’s options, I found that many were undercooked and I didn’t use half of them. There are certain things that your prefects can do by themselves but as leader, appointing people and advising them in which ways to govern just gives you more things to worry about as you try to strategically fight back in sieges on all borders. Heavy lies the crown for sure.

The battle system is now one that is happening on the same map as all of your other political dealings. That means that there are no more specific battle areas in which you can try to use a little more strategy for when you’re severely outnumbered. This gave me a feeling of less control in battles because there aren’t as many options to tell your individual generals to try. It was more of a point and click and hope your forces last longer. They’ve also taken away specific military unit factions. In RotTK14 you conscript soldiers at each of your cities and train them with your powerful generals, but they are just soldiers. There’s no cavalry, navy or bowman units. All of those buffs pertain to the general leading these soldiers. If the general can take advantage of shooting arrows from a far then his soldiers can. Instead you’ll get an advantage in battle by surrounding enemies and “coloring in“ the area around their forces. There is still plenty of strategy, but the micromanaging and the lack of individual general control during battles gives more to worry about, but less to feel in control of.

The music in the game is serviceable and there are a few nice compositions here. As with all strategy games, you are bound to be hearing the music quite a bit and even good songs can get old when you have a long play session. I was questioning a couple of the tunes as they sounded a little out of place for the historical setting (one song feels like it could be in the Harry Potter movies), but they are good and can be switched off.

RotTK14 is a game that I would recommend to history buffs and strategy game lovers. If you are willing to put in the time and learn all the games systems, there is some fun to be had. If you are someone who is easily frustrated or who dislikes micromanaging then it’s not the game for you. Although, for me, RotTK14 does not live up to the previous installment that I had played and loved, it’s nice to finally get another series entry optimized for NA and it’s even nicer to be able to take it anywhere on the go with Nintendo Switch.

Koei Tecmo opens survey for Romance of the Three Kingdom XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle players

Your input is needed, general

Have you spent some time with Romance of the Three Kingdom XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle? If so, Koei Tecmo has a few things they'd like to ask you.

The company has released a survey that asks a bunch of standard questions about the game, gameplay mechanics, visuals, and more. If you have some thoughts to share, you can take the survey here.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle updated to Version 1.0.4

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle has been updated to Version 1.0.4. Check out the full patch notes below.

Function Expansion/Adjustments
- Added the scenario “Enduring the Autumn Winds”.
- Expanded upon features of the Event Editor.
- Improved the AI for the final phase of the game.
- Adjusted the AI for Search command.
- Adjusted the conditions for triggering some of the events for the War Chronicles scenarios “The Battle of Chibi” and “The Battle for Jing Province”.

Bug fixes
- Corrected an issue in which, during the War Chronicles scenario “The Battle for Jing Province”, if other forces had insufficient gold, the loyalty of officers would sometimes be likely to decrease.
- Corrected an issue in which messages were automatically created to the data usage limit in Edit Events.
- Corrected an issue in which, when creating an event, after setting the Trigger Condition and Result, the actual numbers would be different.
- Corrected an issue in which the trigger condition of the event “The Decline of the Yuan Clan” was sometimes inconsistent with the content of the event.
- Corrected an issue in which, if, for example in events, an officer became affiliated with a force led by a ruler they normally cannot serve under, the settings regarding such ruler would inadvertently remain.(Switch)
- Corrected an issue in which the focus cursor would disappear on the list of View Movies.(Switch)
- Corrected an issue in which, at the beginning of a scenario, free officers residing in cities could not be discovered by using Search.
- Corrected an issue in which, during the scenario “In the Midst of an Endless Dream”, some of the titles for the Free Planets Alliance and Galactic Empire could not be set by using Auto Appoint.
- Corrected an issue in which the game would sometimes stop if a specific procedure was performed to execute the plot “Unattended Home”.
- Corrected an issue in which, if the Marching settings screen was entered multiple times, the display for details regarding formation and tactics would sometimes be misaligned.
- Corrected an issue in which the background image for Yuchi Gong was not transparent on the Marching settings screen.
- Corrected an issue in which, when Divisions were switched from the Balance Trends window, the Balance number would not change.(Switch)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV "Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack" - more gameplay

The Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack for the series' latest title "ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIV" is available at last! An all new world of strategy awaits you. Make a display of your strategies on an increasingly worldly stage!

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV "Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack" - more gameplay footage

The Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack for the series' latest title "ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIV" is available at last! An all new world of strategy awaits you. Make a display of your strategies on an increasingly worldly stage!

Outwit Adversaries in Ancient China in Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack, Available Now

Isn't it romantic?

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms series has certainly had a few installments release outside of Japan, but they've never really much success. Could Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack and the Switch be the perfect combo for a breakthrough moment? We'll find out soon, as the game has just launched in NA/EU today. Check out full details on this installment below.

Today, KOEI TECMO America and famed developer Kou Shibusawa are proud to launch Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack on the PlayStation®4 Computer Entertainment System, Nintendo Switch™, and digitally on Windows PC via Steam®. This Expansion Pack is the latest addition to the RTK historic simulation franchise that has been a staple in strategy gaming for over 35 years.

The Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack introduces four new scenarios into the Three Kingdoms experience, enabling gamers to play as unique warlords who were active during several stages of the time period – and depending on the forces chosen, players will be presented with completely different paths in their attempts to unify China. The four new Scenarios include “The Intentions of Two Yuans” (October 191), a story that depicts how the ambition of warlords clash after the Anti-Dong Zhuo Coalition collapses; “The Battle of Chibi” (October 208), the biggest turning point for Romance of the Three Kingdoms; the “Anti-Guan Yu Coalition” (July 219), where Wei and Wu join forces to prevent Guan Yu from advancing north; and “The Conquest of Liaodong” (January 238), portraying the subjugation of Gongsun Yuan, the King of Yan, by Sima Yi. And while the game portrays classic events like Sun Jian’s sudden death and Zhou Yu’s scheme to sow dissension, players will also be able to create their own striking moments with the new Event Editor. Here, players can combine backgrounds, speakers, BGM, messages, and officer images into a historic recreation all their own.

In addition, the thrilling new War Chronicles Mode introduces five new short scenarios to the battlefield, including the “Anti Dong Zhou Coalition”, “The Battle of Guandu”, “The Battle of Chibi”, “The Battle for Jing Province”, and “The Battle for Wuzhang Plains”. In this new mode, gamers will take command of forces which cannot be chosen in normal scenarios -- such as Zhou Yu in “The Battle of Chibi” and rivals Zhuge Liang or Sima Yi in the heated “Battle of Wuzhang Plains” -- and each scenario will include original events, adding even more excitement to the classic scenes in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. At the conclusion of each scenario, players will be evaluated and given a score according to several factors including how many turns were used, how many orders were consumed, and how many times a coordinated tactic was executed, testing the true skills of every gamer out on the virtual battlefield.

New officer characteristics and special tactics have also been added, along with new buildings for specific topography, a calendar that enables you to reflect on previous activities in the game, the ability to trade with the great Eurasian empires like Rome and India, and the all-new “Destroy Building” ability – enabling you to sabotage structures on the map, and even set traps like falling rocks!

Also included in the Expansion Pack is the ability for players to interact with cities of foreign tribes, including the tribes of Wuhuan, Xianbei, Qiang, Nanman and Shanyue. While it has always been important to deal with conflicts in the central areas of China, now players must think twice about strategies on the borders where tense battles can now emerge. If players decide to open trade with the foreign tribes of the region, they can send envoys to develop their relations after acquiring certain geographic advantages. For example: conquering Yo Province allows friendships to form with Wuhuan, while conquering Bing Province allows strong relations to form with Xianbei. Players will also have the choice to deploy their troops to conquer these tribes. Once players form strong relations with, or successfully conquer the tribe, an Outlander Officer will join their forces. These extremely powerful officers utilize the “Siyi” formation to gain the upper hand in mountainous areas or forests. In fact, each tribe has a unique trait assigned to them -- Qiang officers can activate “Bow Cavalry”, while Xianbei officers are equipped with “War Chariot”. Strategically recruiting Outlander Officers with desired traits will be pivotal in unifying China!

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack features a variety of early purchase bonus items that will be available to freely download within the first two weeks from launch. The bonus scenario ‘The Fall of Shu Han’ will be available for players on all platforms, while the ‘Battle of Yiling’ scenario, originally a bonus for the release of Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV, will be available exclusively to Switch players. Additionally, the ‘Legends of Galactic Heroes’ collaboration scenario ‘In the Middle of an Endless Dream’ and all characters of ‘Legend of the Galactic Heroes’ collaboration DLC #1 through #5 will be available as a Switch exclusive bonus. Characters excluding Reinhard and Yang will be available for two weeks after launch. A variety of free updates will also be made available to the game post launch.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack devs talk overseas expectations, and future support

It IS the month for romance, after all

We don't often see Romance of the Three Kingdoms titles heading outside of Japan, but franchise fans around the world will soon have the chance to check out on Switch. In an interview with NintendoEverything, producer Kazuhiro Echigoya talks about what the team is expecting as far as reception outside of Japan.

In Japan and the rest of Asia, the Nintendo Switch is a huge market, so we created the English version of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle, with the anticipation of the Switch marketing becoming just as strong in the west as in Asia. Fortunately, the Switch version has been well-received in Japan and Asia, so we hope everyone in the west will also enjoy it.

It's great to see the series get some love around the world, but is this a one-and-done situation, or are future installments going to get localized as well? Echigoya answered that question with this.

As long as there is a big market for the Switch, I think we will continue to release future entries for it, and release it concurrently with other versions.

Koei Tecmo shares shipment figures for Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy and Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV

Big numbers for big games

Earlier today, we found out that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has shipped over 3.5 million units, making it the biggest Warriors title in the franchise's history. Along with that info, Koei Tecmo also shared some shipment figures for some other games.

We learned that Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy has shipped 220k units so far, and that number just includes Japan and Asia. As for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle, that has moved 100,000 units in the same regions. Both titles launched in Dec. 2020, so they're moving along quite nicely.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack gets a new trailer

How romantic!!

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack is set to release on Feb. 11th, 2021, which is right around the corner. Need a refresher on what this package includes? Watch the trailer above, and then dive into the press release below.

ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack is loaded with new possibilities, including trade with great Eurasian empires including Rome and India, allowing for even broader strategies to unfold on a path to unify China. It also introduces cities of foreign forces onto the map. Armies will now need to deal with intensified border clashes, upping the stakes in every skirmish.

In addition, new geographical advantages will be assigned to each province, so the strategies you are able to choose from will vary dramatically depending on which provinces are conquered.

New officer characteristics and special tactics have also been added, along with new buildings for specific topography, a calendar that enables you to reflect on previous activities in the game, and an all-new campaign entitled “War Chronicles Mode”.

A free additional scenario, “The Fall of Shu Han” will be available for two weeks after the game’s release on all platforms.

A free additional scenario “Battle of Yiling” will be available for two weeks after the game’s release on Nintendo Switch™.

ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack will release on 11th February 2021 across Europe digitally on the PlayStation®4 Computer Entertainment System and Windows PC via Steam®, and will also make its series debut as the first ruler-based Romance of The Three Kingdoms game on Nintendo Switch™.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack Bundle - New scenarios, Event Editor, and Officer Characteristics

New Scenarios and Event Editor

Some of The Three Kingdoms most epic moments are being added to the historic simulation franchise thanks to four new Scenarios, enabling gamers to play as unique warlords who were active during several stages of the time period, and depending on the forces chosen, players will be presented with completely different paths in their attempts to unify China. The four new Scenarios include “The Intentions of Two Yuans” (October 191), a story that depicts how the ambition of warlords clash after the Anti-Dong Zhuo Coalition collapses; “The Battle of Chibi” (October 208), the biggest turning point for Romance of the Three Kingdoms; the “Anti-Guan Yu Coalition” (July 219), where Wei and Wu join forces to prevent Guan Yu from advancing north; and “The Conquest of Liaodong” (January 238), portraying the subjugation of Gongsun Yuan, the King of Yan, by Sima Yi. And while the game portrays classic events like Sun Jian’s sudden death and Zhou Yu’s scheme to sow dissension, players will also be able to create their own striking moments with the new Event Editor. Here, players can combine backgrounds, speakers, background music, messages, and officer images into a historic recreation all their own.

New Officer Characteristics

In addition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack features all-new Officer Characteristics to help make each officer play and feel more unique. Abilities highlighted include: “Plunderer,” enabling an officer to obtain gold and supplies when enemy units are defeated; “Adamant”, which will greatly decrease attack damage from buildings; “Guard” ensures that prisoners affiliated with a base where the “Guard” officer is governor will not escape; while “Ministrant” officers are more likely to added to a coordinated attack, regardless of relationships.

Early Purchase Bonuses

Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV: Diplomacy and Strategy Expansion Pack also features a variety of early purchase bonus items that will be available to freely download within the first two weeks from launch. The bonus scenario “The Fall of Shu Han” will be available for players on all platforms, while the “Battle of Yiling” scenario, originally a bonus for the release of Romance of The Three Kingdoms XIV, will be available exclusively to Switch players. Additionally, the “Legends of Galactic Heroes” collaboration scenario “In the Middle of an Endless Dream” and all characters of “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” collaboration downloadable contents #1 through #5 will be available as a Switch-exclusive bonus. Characters excluding Reinhard and Yang will be available for two weeks after launch.

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