Learning about history is always a treat, especially when it has to do with heartbreak, sacrifice, and overcoming adversity in order to see victory. It’s this very story that creates such a powerful resonance in Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi, because you’re watching as history unfolds right before your very eyes and you’re in total control of it all. Anyone who has dabbled with the series will know that there’s quite a lot to do in the game, from claiming territories, establishing strong diplomacy with your neighbours, to dealing with political affairs. Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi is Japan’s version of let’s say Civilization 4 or even the likes of grand strategy classic Europa Universalis, where a lot of your time will be spent investing in growing your territory and maintaining economic balance. Just picture yourself running an entire country and that’s pretty much what you’ll be looking forward to in this game, because that’s mostly what you’ll be tackling.
There are no level ups or boss battles, though if you want to you could say that negotiating with other territories and fighting for expansion is a boss battle in of itself. Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi is a game which caters to those who love learning about how to rule a country but more so, learn the essential fabrics of what govern a country, what makes it tick, and how to firmly establish your footing in a nation that’s constantly evolving. It’s all very fun as well since you get the chance to uncover the many historical truths about Japan’s struggles with war, and how they managed to conquer adversity through years of constant ups and downs. Welcome to Japanese History 101. Govern the people and restructure the country!
What to Expect
As you’d expect from any grand strategy game, Nobunaga’s Ambition places a great deal of emphasis on growth and expansion, through economical and political means. It’s not just about generating a large sum of income to sustain the nation but also needing to pay attention to the influx of trade, the people who are running your country, and ensuring that your economy is prepared for the worst should something ever occur (which it will by the way). Your influence will play a major role in just how much diplomacy you’ll have, how many people will respect you, and how you’ll perform in war if other clans feel the need to attack. One new feature that you’ll find in Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi is the Resolve system which takes into consideration the decisions you make throughout the game, as the system introduces a set of aspirations, all of which will decide how an officer will act in a given situation. One example to better clarify this new system is officer Shingen Takeda, whose resolve is known as “Law of Kai”. His resolve revolves around the idea that everyone should be treated equally in any given situation. By successfully abiding by the officer’s request, you’ll unlock bonuses that can create an enormous amount of benefits such an increase in gold or attack damage.
Those familiar with the Council System will be happy to know that there have been some alterations made to further compliment the new changes, such as now allowing each attending officer the option to approve new policies. By allowing this, it grants the officer the ability to have their own aspirations which will help to better influence their decision with regards to certain policies in place. In this game, it’s all about strategy and using your intuition to create advantageous scenarios for your clan and overthrow enemy units. With an abundance of other features in place for you to dig into such as the Planning Phase feature, Civic Development Systems and more, Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi is a game that will certainly have you immersed for a great deal of time.
Ruling a nation isn’t easy and so when it comes to Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi, it’s important to really understand how running a nation works. Fortunately, the game does a splendid job of introducing players to the game by giving you a breakdown of the mechanics and how to properly use them in the given situation. You’ll come to better understand how roles work for every officer and how to properly manage your time effectively to ensure your economy stays in top shape. As we mentioned earlier, you have what’s called the Planning Phase which allows you to pause the game and really think about your plan of action before putting it into play. After doing so, you’ll enter the Execution Phase where everything is played out in real time, and you get to see your plans flourish right before your eyes. It’s a beauty to behold, when all of your strategies start to finally manifest and all the facilities you’ve created start to generate a nice stream of income.
It’s not all easy of course since these facilities require a lot of your attention, especially when dealing with outside trading, commerce, farming and military related issues. So much happens simultaneously that you’ll often forget that you have to build better relations with your neighbour but also have to ensure that your trade flow doesn’t go into deficit, as that would affect diplomacy in the long run. So ultimately, it’s all about trying to not only create harmony but make things easy for yourself by not expanding beyond your means. Starting off small and trying to build around that will definitely assist you in the long run, and once you’ve improved production rates with trade routes then it becomes much less demanding since you’ll be able to delegate tasks more efficiently.
It’s also not just about picking the top officers either because quite often you’ll have this idea that choosing a top rank is going to provide great results, but they come with a lot more responsibility. So pick and choose your officer’s wisely as they will essentially be the ones who will help to better govern your domain. It’s all about paying close attention to the small details because that’s usually where a lot of the growth happens. By small we mean things like ensuring you micromanage your farming infrastructure and always have a stream of products coming through, since it directly affects everything around you. Having the right council is paramount to success.
The battles will obviously be a hindrance at some point, but unless you create a constant streamline of trade between neighbouring districts, those battles will cost you a lot more. Why? Well if you don’t build enough strong relationships with those around you, you’re going to have very little assistance when it does come time to actually fight and remove any threats. It all works in harmony: you feed me and I’ll feed you, you protect me and I’ll protect you. Have that in mind at all times and everything will eventually pan out.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
There really isn’t much to expand upon since the game really revolves around your decision making, and how you can properly establish trust with those around you. How the game will turn out is directly related to your actions and so, always trying new things will keep the game feeling fresh. As stated earlier, Nobunaga’s Ambition Taishi is a strategy game and so in terms of hours invested, that will also depend solely on you and your performance. Hundreds of hours could easily be dropped into this game without dropping a sweat, while others may just play for small spurts and still get the same experience. So go at whatever time you feel, but just make sure that you have everything organized because one small error can lead to some devastating results for the economy if you’re not careful.
Nobunaga at his best.
Wonderful strategy mechanics such as the new Resolve System.
Hours just poured into such a fantastic game.
35th anniversary baby!
May be real slow for those not into the genre.
Honey's Final Verdict:
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!