Kessen III

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Kessen III
Developer(s) Koei
Publisher(s) Koei
Director(s) Kazuhiro Fujishige
Designer(s) Osamu Mieda
Platforms PlayStation 2, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) PlayStation 2
    PlayStation Network
      Genre(s) Real-time tactics
      Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

      Kessen III (決戦III) is the third and final known Kessen title by Koei for PlayStation 2. The game is based on the life of Oda Nobunaga.[1]

      Historical background

      The game's time frame is roughly between the years 1550 to 1590. Contrary to many stories and portrayals that depict him as a villain or demon, Nobunaga is depicted in a more virtuous and ultimately tragic light, making Kessen III rather unusual in relation to other video games based in the same era. It is a heavily fantasized and romanticized depiction of his life, although unlike games such as the Samurai Warriors series it goes into more specific historical details. For example, the existence of the Ashikaga shogunate and Nobunaga's relationship is covered herein but completely omitted from the Samurai Warriors games.

      The game paints a positive picture of Nobunaga's life, and then enters a "what if" scenario showing what might have happened if he had survived the betrayal by Akechi Mitsuhide. It describes Nobunaga regaining his power base, and then defeating shogunate forces led by the Akechi Clan and other clans of Western Japan on the shores of Kyūshū, with Nobunaga presumably becoming the new leader.

      Tokugawa Ieyasu is in this game, presented as Nobunaga's mild mannered and dedicated ally, but is shown flying into a rage when he learns that Nobunaga survives his betrayal, believing that he was going to carry out Nobunaga's destiny. Toyotomi Hideyoshi is also shown, under the name of Hideyoshi Hashiba. His unlikely charisma inspires his troops after he is wrongly told of Nobunaga's death, which leads his friend to comment, "Maybe he would be the one to unite Japan, if Lord Oda was dead."

      The game also allows battles against other notable daimyo, like Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen.

      There is a certain level of inaccuracy, due not only to the fantasy element, but also due to the appearance of Miyamoto Musashi, who had not yet been born when Nobunaga committed seppuku.

      Gameplay mechanics

      Kessen III refines the mechanics of the previous games even further while introducing new core elements. The flow of the game begins with the player selecting a mission from those available on the map. After being briefed on the mission's details, the player then selects which units to bring into the battle before issuing basic marching orders. During the battle itself, the player is in control of an individual unit and can switch between friendly units at any time, while the other units are controlled by artificial intelligence. Battle commences when friendly and enemy units encounter one another and unit health is measured by the number of troops remaining in the unit. Troops also have specific skills related to their particular type (cavalry, spearmen, ninja, etc.) and officers can learn powerful special skills and abilities such as defensive strategies or attack magic that can turn the tide of battle.

      All officers have access to a special skill called "rampage." When used, the action zooms in around that officer, and the player enters a short, timed mini-battle against troops from an enemy unit. During a rampage, the player can earn bonus experience, gold, and restore lost troops to the unit by picking up the proper items dropped by defeated soldiers. After 100 soldiers are defeated, the enemy unit's officer appears, and if the player can defeat them, the officer under the player's control may receive even further bonuses.

      Battles end when the primary objective has been achieved. These objectives may include wiping out all enemy units, destroying a specific target, escorting a unit to a particular location, or making an escape. Grades on performance in battle are given at the end of each stage, and are based on how many enemy officers were defeated, the number of friendly officers were kept in battle, and the effective use of troop skills. Better grades yield items that can be used to outfit friendly officers, or gold to buy such items from merchants between battles. Battles are typically lost when Nobunaga's unit is defeated, time runs out, or a special mission requirement could not be completed.


      The storyline of Kessen III is very detailed and makes frequent use of cinematic sequences rendered using both the games own graphics engine and full motion video. These sequences are typically played at the start and end of each chapter, before and after battles, and during special events that take place during the course of a fight.

      Main characters

      Nobunaga's forces

      Other forces

      Major battles


      Aggregate scores
      Aggregator Score
      GameRankings 75.04%[2]
      Metacritic 73/100[3]
      Review scores
      Publication Score
      Edge 7/10[4]
      EGM 6.67/10[5]
      Game Informer 7.75/10[6]
      GamePro 4/5 stars[7]
      Game Revolution C+[8]
      GameSpot 7.4/10[1]
      GameZone 8.3/10[9]
      IGN 8/10[10]
      OPM (US) 3/5 stars[11]
      X-Play 3/5 stars[12]
      The Sydney Morning Herald 3.5/5 stars[13]

      Kessen III was met with positive to average reception upon release; GameRankings gave it a score of 75.04%,[2] while Metacritic gave it 73 out of 100.[3]

      See also


      1. 1.0 1.1 Massimilla, Bethany (February 28, 2005). "Kessen III Review". GameSpot. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      2. 2.0 2.1 "Kessen III for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      3. 3.0 3.1 "Kessen III for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      4. Edge staff (May 2005). "Kessen III Review". Edge (149): 87. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      5. EGM staff (April 2005). "Kessen III". Electronic Gaming Monthly (190). Archived from the original on March 8, 2005. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      6. Kato, Matthew (March 2005). "Kessen III". Game Informer (143): 130. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      7. Funky Zealot (February 22, 2005). "Kessen III Review for PS2 on". GamePro. Archived from the original on February 23, 2005. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      8. G-Wok (April 8, 2005). "Kessen 3 Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      9. Knutson, Michael (March 8, 2005). "Kessen III - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      10. Lewis, Ed (February 16, 2005). "Kessen III". IGN. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      11. "Kessen III". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. April 2005. Archived from the original on March 5, 2005. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      12. Marriott, Scott Alan (April 11, 2005). "Kessen III Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on April 14, 2005. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
      13. Wilcox, Mike (June 11, 2005). "Motor mart art". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 9, 2015. 

      External links