Average User Score: 3.4Nov 14, 2011The American economy is in crisis, the moral fiber of our society is crumbling and THIS GAME is the way hundreds of thousands of people chooseThe American economy is in crisis, the moral fiber of our society is crumbling and THIS GAME is the way hundreds of thousands of people choose to spend their free time. If the world ends in 2012, we will have asked for it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.3Apr 26, 2011I don't know what people are talking about when they call this the greatest Total War game of all time. It's very good, but I think NapoleonI don't know what people are talking about when they call this the greatest Total War game of all time. It's very good, but I think Napoleon Total War and it's expansion "The Peninsular Campaign" were the peak of the series. Now, before going further, I'd like to acknowledge that I am not a huge fan of online-multiplayer for a few reasons. First, with my career I do not have the time to spend hours on my computer at night playing games online and second, even if I did have the time, I still probably would not be anywhere near as good as some of the nerds that love this game and I would only wind up frustrated. So my point is that online gaming is overrated for games like this as it hearkens those without a life. While I understand the multiplayer options in Shogun 2 (such as Clan Warfare) are better than Napoleon in some senses, there are aspects of Napoleon that are unique and great in their own right. For instance, I liked that while Napoleon was limited in the number of factions one had to choose from, there was excellent variation in units between these factions with exquisite attention to detail with regards to faction-specific units. Furthermore, Napoleon's variety of campaign maps/scenarios gave players the option of quicker games vs longer ones and the ability to choose the kind of terrain their battles would take place on. With the Peninsular Campaign you had the option to fight in a war of stealth, attrition and propaganda. In the Egypt Campaign, you fought against the elements of the desert and the British Navy in an effort to blockade trade. No such options/variances exist in Shogun 2.
As for Shogun 2's faults - I'll start with the whole "food shortage" problem. You can't upgrade your castles or markets as an expanding power because your people will starve and revolt. While this problem is easy to solve, it's annoying, time-consuming problem you have to work around not seen in the series' previous installments and it's a factor even when the game is set to easy. Furthermore, the "one at a time" technological development is slow and you likely will only be able to develop half of the skills you'd like over the course of a campaign [In Napoleon and Empire Total War - you could acquire more schools/universities/academic centers and develop technologies at the same time.] Then there's the aspect of trade and diplomacy - for whatever reason, the computer doesn't like to trade with you, even if you have resources they need/want and this makes your financial situation dire at times (this too happens even when the game is set to easy.) While you can spend a billion turns acquiring the "tea ceremony" technology to "upgrade" your diplomatic relations, this usually does NOTHING to help your cause when it comes to trading resources with other clans.
Adding insult to injury in a game that is already more time-consuming than it should be, if you reach legendary status before taking over Kyoto, the current Shogunate has every clan in the game declare war on you. This wouldn't be that big of a deal if it was not for clans like the Date, who are located far, far away from Kyoto and hit a brick wall once they conquer a few provinces in central Honshu - even if you have 3 large armies with excellent generals, good luck surviving an all-out attack from the Takeda, Hojo, Imagawa, Tokugawa and Hattori clans with no money to be had via trade as your provinces in the east are picked off one by one. It's just sort of sad that you can be the best clan in the game, know it and sit there powerless for a few hours while the computer delays your inevitable victory. This kind of thing never happened in Napoleon. Which brings me to another point - I think it's ridiculous that you need to buy the special edition to play as the Hattori clan - they are one of the most enjoyable clans to play with. Last, the battles in Napoleon were the best of the series because of the way they involved cannons, cavalry and rifles. Altogether, Napoleon revolutionized the battle matrix of this series and made defending/attacking when out-numbered a lot of fun. Empire was a great idea that failed on several levels ("a toilet with roman blinds") and, in the same sense, I just feel like this game could have been a whole lot better and more enjoyable. In my opinion, this game and Medieval 2 are over-appreciated while Napoleon, Rome and their expansions are over-looked.… Expand