Archive for October, 2015

BANZAI!-Gekokujo Review

Posted: October 29, 2015 in Update Board

Mount and Blade, its surely one of the best games to many players looking for an in-depth simulation of a medieval realm with its politics, armies, macro-micro management and the battle system.

Newer generation players might not get how the graphics seem…unfinished but games like minecraft prove that it takes more than graphics to make a good game.

When you start you will be asked questions and depending on how you fare, you will be thrust into a world of political intrigue, feudal lords and adventures that will keep you glued to your seats longer than those Civ games.

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In Gekokujo the timeline is set in the Sengoku Era (1467-1603) of Japan which is one of the bloodiest periods in its history. It is a time where the current government; the Shogunate is losing its power and influence over the local Daimyos (Lords) much like Western Europe. Gekokujo is living out your fantasy as a samurai or ninja or ronin in an era of warring states and social upheaval.

For more information on the Sengoku Period look it up here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sengoku_period

Trivia: Gekokujo is Japanese for “low conquers high” which is identical to lower and capable daimyos who would gain bigger influence and overthrow the current aristocracy or people in power.

Till now, I’ve always been fascinated by the Samurai, their strict warrior code Bushido, their martial spirit, their legacy and influence on Japan.

In Gekokujo, I automatically took on a role of a wanderer looking for a worthy Daimyo or Clan to join with and I am impressed by the near-accuracy of the map, the setting, weapons, clans, political and combat system. There are detailed locations to many cities that were known in that time.

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Exploring castle-towns and cities in the game is fun, it was great they did not name the game “Samurai Simulator” or that kind of crap.

You also get to meet famous characters from Japan’s History that will either be your employer or your follower. Fancy meeting Miyamoto Musashi, the legendarty swordsman in a backwater inn or encountering The Great Date Masamune on the field of battle. The freedom to choose your adventures in Gekokujo is endless. You can own a property, capture a castle, go to battle wielding a dai-katana in your loincloth (seriously WTF?)

For those new to the Mount and Blade Combat System there is a lot of stuff to master such as Horse Archery, ordering your men in formation and holding gunfire to the last minute(yes there’s guns!!!), the precise slice of cutting an enemy with a katana and etc.

There are training fields across the land to hone your skills with the Mount and Blade (pun ryt dar!) and the arena where you face off against 60 opponents in a Royal Rumble for cash rewards.

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Going back to the wanderer, I joined up with Clan Shimazu. As a retainer you get a wage,gear,opportunities for advancement and all you have to do is serve your lord and not get killed in battle. You will also ride/march where the Daimyo’s army goes. Going higher in rank and getting paid for hard days work equals you to start a business,get married,or even own your very own castle-town.

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Rising to the all powerful Shogun is not as easy though. Once you build up your own private army and conquer enough towns, other clans will constantly harass or engage in battle with you. Conquering Kyoto which is the capital city of its time is no small feat. In a siege expect massive casualties and bottlenecks where the ladders or entrance-exit points are.

 

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Some issues I have with this game are minor. There are some glitches and clunky movements that you have to deal with. the army AI will mostly be a charge attack to the enemy and, your private army can’t follow you when you are a samurai retainer.(tough luck)

 

 

 

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Overall Gekokujo is a game worth playing, there is a minor community of modders and fellow gamers who constantly skulk around the TaleWorlds forums for more improvements or walkthroughs. I recommend this game if you want to live out the fantasy.

Points to Learn:

Japan was a nation built out of pride,war and strife. During this time a lot of people from the mindless ashigaru or the peasantry where recruited and given little training. There were lots of brothers pitted against brothers and friends against friends. Such a tragedy is true but not as seen or told as much. We must not deny this side of the period

Food was scarce. Rice was a primary payment to the Samurai and when it ran out, civil wars erupted. Despite the romantic view that the samurai were honorable, many became wandering ronin or worse… For those that did retain that honor, every grain of rice was a blessing and it was eaten out of humility and joy.

And that wraps up another review. Comments, Suggestions and Request are highly appreciated. Thanks:)

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