Koei brings us the sequel to Uncharted Waters, and improves upon the original exponentially. Travel around the world, trade goods, plunder villages and enemy ships, and gain fame. This is truly a strategy RPG gem.
STORY AND GAME INFO
Uncharted Waters: New Horizons is a sequel to a classic Koei game. In this game, you take the role of one of six characters, each with their own background and personal quest. You begin in 16th century Europe, and have 20 years to achieve your personal goal. While this may all seem simple, the sheer depth of this game is amazing for its age.
In order to start your quest, you have to make money. There are three main ways to do this: trade, explore, or pirate. Trading is the easiest. There are dozens of items to buy and sell, and each city has their own rates of trade, which means strategy comes into play on what trade routes you decide to follow. Or, you could try to explore. Being that it is the 1500s, strategists and mapmakers are willing to pay top dollar for discoveries and map exploration. Finally, you can be a pirate. Attack ships and plunder villages to make your wealth--but be careful; countries won't take kindly to your plundering, and may bar you from their ports. Obviously, you don't want to attack every ship you see, but focus mainly on one or two countries' ships, and watch out for military ships Doing any of these will fill your pockets, and your resume.
Once you make some money, it's time to start fulfilling your quest. First, you need a good crew and a good boat. There are literally hundreds of combinations of boats, both new and used, at your disposal. Some are good for sailing, others for storage, and still others for battle. Or, you can upgrade your current boat. In addition, many ports have a few wayward sailors that will join your quest, for a price, and if you are experienced enough.
In addition, you'll need supplies (food and water), and goods (weapons/armor, ship materials, etc.) to weather the seas, and the other sailors on them. There are tons of items at your disposal, for a price, that will help you along your quest.
Now you're ready to go! Visit the bars and inns for information and a good night's rest. Or maybe after you gain some prestige the King will want to visit with you and enter into a mutually beneficial agreement. The choices you make determine your success or failure, so choose wisely.
The possibilities are endless. The world is at your disposal, and though your character has his/her own goals, you can create your own. Maybe you want to be the baddest pirate out there, or the wealthiest trader, or the most famous explorer. The opportunities are endless.
This game is an amazing strategy RPG filled with literally endless possibilities. No two game is alike, so the replay value is really high here.
Graphics-6.5/10. The graphics are clear and crisp, but a bit small and dated. Although they get the job done, there are many other games from this era that surpass it visually.
Sound-8.5/10. The music in this game is very well composed and very enjoyable. Not everybody may enjoy the music, but anybody can certainly appreciate it.
Gameplay-10/10. It's a shame there aren't more games like this, and more gamers out there that can appreciate this game. This game is bursting full of depth and endless combinations that it makes me giddy just thinking about it! Put down Mortal Kombat and pick this baby up.
Replay Value-9.5/10. Although the possibilities are endless, and there are 6 different characters, not everybody will enjoy picking up this game and playing it again.
Learning Curve-6/10. The game helps you out along the way and gives you suggestions, but for those who have never played a game like this, or any other Koei game, starting out can be the toughest part. In many cases, the instruction book is almost required.
Overall-9/10. There really is no other strategy RPG out there so unique and so good. Unfortunately, this game can be hard to find, and expensive once you do find it, but I think it is worth it .