Co-Prosperity - Steam Summer Sale Day #801 Jul 2016 0
Day #7 - Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence
It had been too many tipples of Nihonshu since the West was graced with a proper Koei strategy game, certainly one devoid of Lu Bu galloping roughshod through Cao Cao's dithering, dallying ranks. Kou Shibusawa came to our rescue last year, dropping the nobly-localised Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence into our kusazuri-layered laps.
Our 2015 review found trademark Koei personality in attendance; a Sengoku grand strategy secured by a human heart. News hand-delivered as it were, orders received with encouraging enthusiasm and punctuated by the sound of gravel shifting subserviently underfoot. For a game whose core is often more managerial than martial, the mundane comes alive beneath the game's theatrically-depicted civic structure.
Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence is also no military slouch. However, an ahistorical flare dominates tactical combat, so for those expecting a series Shogun-esque module to compliment army development and territory control might wonder what the light show is all about.
Tactical superfluity aside, Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence is the grand strategy equivalent of a top-end NHK period drama. While not nearly as dynamic or divergent as a Paradox title, the game is thematically-rich, lovingly rendered and just what the armchair Taisho ordered.