Well… I guess it was roughly as expected.
To begin with I’ll point out that, while they’ve improved a fair amount, it’s not as if it’s perfect now. There’s still art which is blatantly out of place and much lower in quality. But if compared to the first game, it’s a big improvement. System-wise it’s pretty decent. The combat system is a little simple but the management of territories is pretty decently done if compared to other similar games in visual novels.
Story-wise it’s nothing that special but I suppose it’s somewhat interesting that depending on which faction you choose to side in, the background story for the protagonist changes accordingly and to a certain extent, it feels like his personality also changes a bit. However I’ll point out that, as with every other game that tries to fit a large cast of characters, it suffers greatly from being unable to give much life to the characters outside of the main cast. In addition to that, for one reason or another, the plot is fairly disjointed. Unlike, for an example, Sengoku Rance where they’ll show some events with the enemy you’re going against, in this game your enemies more or less appear without a declaration of war, steals some territories from you and then it’s up to you to reclaim the land and defeat the enemies.
After defeating them, assuming you capture, you abruptly end up persuading them into joining your army and that’s seemingly it. This may change as I progress through the game but for now that’s my impression of it.
I suppose I’ll give a rough outline of the game system now. There’s a tutorial in game therefore I won’t go into too much detail.
First off after opening the game and clicking start, you’ll be given the choice of which faction to join. In my case I ended up starting off with Oda Nobunaga. There appears to be one labeled as ??? but I’ll leave that alone as I don’t know what it is either.
After starting off and going through the background of how our protagonist ends up joining the army as a general, we start warring.
First off, as you can see in the top, the numbers tell you various statuses. Your CP which is akin to action points (not sure what it actually stands for though), your money, amount of troops, amount of commanders etc.
On the top left you can see that each turn is split into multiple phases. You’ll be given various places to spend your CP on as you go through the phases. On the first part that you see in the picture above you’re given the choice to pay your commanders in the selected territory order to raise their loyalty and such so that they don’t cause revolutions, recruiting troops in the territory which is scaled by your popularity in the land and the purchasing of guns which can come in handy in combat. You can also choose to scout other territories, equip your commanders with items and such.
On the next part you can do things like upgrade castle defenses, form alliances, move armies, extort money out of your citizens (not recommendable) and do events with the heroines in your faction. If you’ve freshly captured some heroines then it’ll also be where you persuade them into joining your army.
Finally it’s the warring part. There’s just two options, you can send a commander to weaken the enemy defenses (you’ll be unable to send it to combat this turn however) and you can direct your commanders to attack a territory.
For time being we select a territory to attack and the commanders to attack (up to 6) then end turn.
In the first part of the combat, you choose a general and formation for your army and then begin the battle. The game system is a bit like a RPS game. Archers beat the infantry, infantries beat the mounted horses and they in turn beat the archers.
You can’t move your army left/right on the grid although you can attack left/right so it’s essentially advance until you hit the end where you’ll be whisked onto the next part of the battle. If the general dies then the battle also ends. There are various factors in the game. Rivers can prevent charges, guns can damage the opposing army from long distances, rain can prevent guns from being used and commanders themselves also have abilities which can do various things.
Assuming you’ve succeeded in breaking through the first part, the next part is where whatever is left of their army shuts themselves in their castle and you besiege them.
In this part you’re given 3 turns to break through and you have two options to choose from. The first is to surround the place. This will do less damage but you won’t receive any damage. The other option will do more damage but in return you’ll get damage. If you successfully bring down the castle, you’ll capture any commanders that don’t run/kill themselves.
And that’s it for a rough outline of the system.
Overall I would say that there’s still room for improvement but compared to their first game, it’s not that bad. They’re certainly improving as they go along. I don’t know how far their improvements will go but assuming they continue releasing sequel after sequel, it may be worth looking forward to seeing how far they can go. Keeping up the pace they could produce some pretty good games later on. In any case I’ll be playing this for a while I suppose. It’s unlikely I’ll get any further than one or two games however.