• Publisher: Koei
  • Release Date: Sep 26, 2001

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The storyline is engaging, and commanding an elephant to tromp through units and trample people is pretty hard to beat.
  2. 84
    Builds on its predecessor by bringing the player even closer to the action.
  3. Unlike the original Kessen, KII is far more accessible and the fantasy element gives the whole show a far more epic feel in the style of TV’s Mahabarat (okay, it’s a Hindu show, but you get the idea).
  4. About as visually-appealing, user-friendly, fun and deep as Koei can make a strategy simulation without watering-down the formula completely, which makes it ideal for newcomers to the genre or the "Kessen" universe.
  5. When it came down to it, I began to wonder if all the info and options available to me made a difference in the outcome of the battles at all. Definitely play Kessen II to blow up guys with meteor showers; just don't expect to do everything with your new abilities.
  6. 78
    More about style than substance. Nevertheless, the style excels, and there's still enough substance to give strategy gamers something worthwhile.
  7. A game that is visually striking, with massive spell effects and a histrionic storyline, but one that may not appeal to fans of realistic war simulations.
  8. The gameplay is ironclad; however, a few presentation problems hold the title back. [Dec 2001, p.250]
  9. If DW3 was the video game equivalent of "Braveheart," then Kessen II is Kuroswawa's "Ran" -- just a little more meat in your dish.
  10. 60
    The difference between the sheer energy in the cinemas and the painstaking gameplay is so striking that it feels like you’re fighting battles less to win them than to see the next visual treat.
  11. If you’re a serious strategy aficionado who expects more than to be seduced by lush eye candy, you’ll lament the restricted control system and the over-emphasis on storyline at the expense of intricate gameplay.
  12. 60
    The controls are too simple to make you want to play the game for very long.
  13. Inconsistent voice acting and poor plot development. [Dec 2001, p.168]
  14. If you are looking for a historical strategy sim you will be disappointed with Kessen's superficial treatment of military planning. But if you are seeking eye candy and a trite but entertaining story you'll likely be thrilled with this title.
  15. Despite its initial luster, it becomes tedious rather quickly.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Harley(Pogo-the-monkey)D.
    Nov 13, 2002
    Absolute brilliance the fights are brilliant the spells are great and the plot is very good! cant i please give it 11 out of 10? (to be perfect i wish they had summoning abilitys like ff10 and summoner 1/2 now that would make it perfect!!! Full Review »
  2. Jun 5, 2012
    What a fail of the a game. Just look at the damn graphics absolutely horrible. Graphics are everything fora game and this game doesnt have it! Long live Graphics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Full Review »
  3. Wargamer
    May 16, 2008
    If you've finally grown tired of mashing your fingers into oblivion on Dynasty Warriors, you could do a lot worse than jumping ship and moving into the RTS genre via Kessen II.

    Kessen II's plotline is a romanticism of the 3 Kingdoms Era. The plot revolves around Liu Bei (the player's faction) and his love of Diao Chan whom he fawns for at ever oppertunity. Eventually, Liu Bei notices there's a war on as well.

    Aside from the occasional wince of embarassment from Liu Bei, the game provides a solid plot and excellent gaming. Your armies have a massive array of abilities (particularly on later stages), and there is a lot of replay value due to varying difficulties and an unlockable faction.

    However, there are downsides; you are heavily restricted in terms of deployment, and you pretty much have to play out a pre-chosen strategem on most missions. The game also slows to a crawl when you've got a lot of abilities kicking off, and frankly some of the battles are more "annoying" than challenging.

    Nevertheless, Kessen II is a good, solid game. Regardless of how many Dynasty Warriors titles you own, or not, there are many hours of enjoyment to be had here
    Full Review »