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Kessen III - PlayStation 2

by Tecmo Koei
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews) 73 / 100

List Price: $29.99
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Platform: PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
  • Plan out massive troop movements and battles and watch them play out inbreathtaking graphics
  • Authentic weapons and equipment from the era to equip your men with - more than 450 different types of weapons and armor
  • Direct real-time control of troop movements, offensives, and defensive maneuvers - allied units can join player units for combination attacks
  • Incredible specialty attacks from Ninja Strikes and Katana Deathwheels, to Spear Walls, and Cavalry Charges for defeating your enemies

Frequently Bought Together

Kessen III - PlayStation 2 + Kessen II + Kessen
Price for all three: $88.61

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Product Details

Platform: PlayStation 2
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B0006G4KRC
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches ; 5.4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: February 23, 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,880 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Platform: PlayStation 2

Product Description



Out of all of Koei's myriad franchises, this is the one I have the most hope for. If you want Dynasty Warriors hacking with some extra gameplay thrown in, then this series has it. It also has a degree of strategy thrown in, but you don't have to be Napoleon to enjoy Kessen III. However, the game's attempt to pat its head while rubbing its belly isn't without hiccups.

The last Kessen let you control individual officers, but this one takes it a giant step further, permitting you to switch to and play as multiple generals on the fly. Each one commands a unit of soldiers, and the armaments, armor, steeds, etc. of your general and unit can be changed throughout the game, letting you tinker with all kinds of different soldiers, spells, and attacks. Some of your commanders may unleash giant worms on the enemy, while others may charge a foe's front with horses of fire. You'll have a lot of fun experimenting with all the different options available to you.

On the battlefield the game controls like Dynasty Warriors (with the same mindless combos), but with more destruction. Unfortunately, Kessen III can be frustrating when it comes to coordinating all your soldiers. Although I like how you have to form up your ranks to perform effective attacks, I really wanted to be able to create control groups like in a PC RTS. Kessen does well to avoid the personality-devoid regiments of most strategy games, but because of the sometimes-sloppy unit controls, the strategy portion of the title suffers.

For all you Dynasty Warriors fans out there, I suggest you spread your wings and give this game a try – there's so much more to chew on here. This series is close to breaking through, it only needs to tighten up and refine its core elements (as well as expand its linear structure) to stand out.

Like the last Kessen, this installment continues to add touches of Dynasty Warriors

: Koei has cleared up most of the fogging and pop-up for the Dynasty Warriors-like portions

A few new takes on your typical symphonic score are sprinkled in

Commanding and keeping your units together is a mixed bag

In its genre blending attempts, Kessen III pushes neither action nor strategy to the extreme


Rated: 7.75 out of 10
Editor: Matthew Kato
Issue: March 2005

2nd Opinion:
In nature, organisms that share identical genetic code are particularly susceptible to disease. Koei's lineup has staved off this fate for a while by diversifying franchises in key areas, but the changes in Kessen III are a sign that they are all slowly converging into the same species. Kessen III provides action along the lines of a group-oriented Dynasty Warriors, while still retaining the strategic elements that set the previous entries apart (plus some cool additions, like support troops). However, even with its blending of styles, it's still the video game equivalent of the History Channel – it grabs your attention and may even teach you something, but it just can't blow your socks off.

Rated: 7.5 out of 10
Editor: Joe Juba

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strategy game like no other. March 2, 2005
By J. Ng
Platform for Display:PlayStation 2
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Honestly I don't know what to expect from this game. The writups say that it's quite different form the original Kessen games and there's more button pressing than your usual strategy games. To me, playing this game feels like playing Dynasty / Samurai Warriors at large scale.


Instead of controlling a single soldier (like in DW and SW), you control a whole unit and your unit attacks each time you press the square button. Pressing and holding the triangle button charges up your unit for a unit-specific super attack. Releasing the button will lauch the attack. (If you are attacked while holding the triangle button, the damage to your unit is doubled) The circle is used for activating officer skills (these skills are similar to the previous Kessen games). The X button is used for retreating. The L1 button is use for guarding from enemy attacks and reforming your ranks. The R1 is used to launch cooridnated attacks with other friendly units near by.

While you control your unit in an arcade-like fashion, your other units can be commanded by setting targets and behaviors (like the original Kessen games). You can switch from one unit to another, whenever you feel manual intervention is needed.

Officer Skills:

One neat officer skill is "Rampage Mode", this lets the officer attack the enemy ranks alone (similar to the previous Kessen's "Raid" skill). This time it zooms into the map and the gameplay changes to something similar to Dynasty / Samurai Warriors where the controls are similar. Square = normal attack, Triange = strong attack, Circle = Kessen Attack (similar to Musou). The object of rampage is to kill as many enemy soldiers within the time limit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kessen 3 January 10, 2006
A Kid's Review
Platform for Display:PlayStation 2
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
As a Dynasty Warriors Fan I thought this game was just hack and slash. Nope, this game is both strategy and hack and slash.

The story begins in late Japan during the late 1500's. The main character is Nobunaga Oda. He is the leader of the Oda clan. This basically about his rise to power.

This game is for gameplayers who love strategics. You can shop for diffrent kinds of troops, armor, horses and accesories.

The point of the game is to place your units correctly to defeat your opponent.

Dynasty Warrior fans will adore this game!!!!!!!!!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Game February 21, 2008
Platform for Display:PlayStation 2
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
This is a wonderful game. Control many units and fight your way through the enemy line's. A mix between DW4 and other Kessen games. You can be taken away with graphics and break the t.v with the controller as your forces fall apart in front of a charge. Very welled made game with an easy control.


You fight as or for Nobunaga Oda. A young and powerful ruler trying to control Japan. You start in the small nation Owari until your control all of the Japan. Fighting with a few allies you start to gain land and officers come to you. You get betrayed, routed, and come back from nothing to fight.

Fight !

Fight soldier fight ! Your unit fights to your orders. Normal attack, strong attack (Arrow volley etc.) You fight controlling different units as you please. The soldier do look like lot's of clones but you get over it. The battle system is well. Your units starts fighting in line put after pressure lines break and men become men and fight for THEIR life not the unit. You can control your unit such as retreat, officer skills, rally, rout, etc. Very neat.


You are the Oda forces. You fight with swords and spears and later muskets and ninjas. Always buying new units you fight for the land. Simple battle control square and triangle repeat repeat. To defeat the enemy. Your unit grows from 2,000 to 11,000 men as you crave it out to your likings.


Nice story always waiting for movies before and after battles. Back stabbing, ambush, battle. Just great. Light language Good for 10 years old or for more mature younger kids. One thing I don't like but getting better at is knowing who is who. Nobunaga I know thats me. "Midsubishe Akechi is revolting!" who's that. Along with other confusing names.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kessen is back!!! March 10, 2005
By aragorn
Platform for Display:PlayStation 2
Durability: 4.0 out of 5 stars    Educational: 1.0 out of 5 stars    Fun: 4.0 out of 5 stars   
i'm a big fan of the kessen games. this game, however, is diffrent. They've combined the strategy of the kessen games with the action of dynasty warriors. the controls seem simple, but don't worry about it, because you'll learn to love this game just like the others. and, as an added bonus, they put in TONS more levels, which was the only thing that dissapointed me in the first two games. Though the game may have simple A.I. and simple gameplay, I still like it almost as much as the first two. i hope you like it!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great graphics, great gameplay August 21, 2005
Platform for Display:PlayStation 2
Fun: 5.0 out of 5 stars   
Kessen 3 is the latest in a long line of games that places you in feudal Japan of the 1500s, experiencing the chaos and battle that marked that era. If any gamer alive has not fully memorized every name and battle from the 1500s Japan era, they have only themselves to blame by now!

In Kessen 3, you are working at the "general" level, telling groups of troops have to organize to attack. It's the same concept as Risk - but instead of moving markers, you actually get visuals of groups of fighters doing your bidding. You can complain that they seem to be clones working in unison - but it's still a vast improvement over previous games. I really love how groups of horses look running along together, but they all manage to stop on a dime.

The graphics and cinematics in Kessen 3 are rather impressive. It's like playing a movie more than simply planning your moves. The characters have personality and motives. The voice acting isn't always great - it's a shame, really. Hopefully in future games they will invest a bit more money in the voices, since a well done voice set can really elevate a game to a work of art.

Gameplay begins nicely with a tutorial and moves you along into the more advanced aspects of the game. You get both the overall "arrange troops to plan out a coordinated attack" aspect as well as the one-on-one soldier assaults with your main characters.

This game is certainly more complex than, say, PacMan. But it is well designed as far as a strategy game goes. Yes, it uses a few of your little grey cells to get the hang of planning. I find it amazingly satisfying to be able to plan out and implement an attack, and watch it succeed. After all, if you don't use those brain cells, they'll atrophy. It's best to keep them shined up and in use!

Highly recommended for strategy gaming fans, and a perfect way to learn first hand about some key events in Japanese history.
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Platform: PlayStation 2