Romance of the 3 Kingdoms XI [import] - hands-on

Romance Of The Three Kingdoms XI - originally a PC/PS2 strategy-’em-up - is a bewilderingly complex game in anyone’s native language. Playing it in Japanese, we spent the first half hour trying to find out how to move the camera. But If you’ve got a Japanese Wii, a translation guide and a real taste for proper synapse-fizzing strategy, this will satisfy you like a seven-course meal. A meal made out of horses and men.

Imagine Advance Wars or Final Fantasy Tactics given a mug full of IQ juice and hurtled back in time 18 centuries. You’re a real-life Chinese ruler in 220CE, responsible for fine-tuning just about everything from trade treaties to the number of barns in your city - while still, of course, ordering groups of men on horses to gallop all over the faces of rival armies. It’s like SimCity combined with 15 simultaneous games of chess, and Koei has no patience for newcomers