So it would appear that Sega have some sort of intermittent direct feed into my dreams, because an arcade game set in the Sangokushi era of Chinese history with epic scale battles is most definitely on my imaginary “games I’d like to make” wish list (I guess Sega’s dream-reader got cut off before the “release this outside Japan part”).
The World of Three Kingdoms is currently only available to play on location tests, the next one starting tomorrow (4th of October) in Akibahara’s Club Sega and at Yokohama Station’s Round1.
The game’s a real time action game where you lead a large troop of warriors against rival forces (player and CPU controlled by the looks of things). The cabinet itself has three buttons (attack, archers and special) with a lever for movement, and the screen’s touch-enabled so you can directly jab the skill/formation icons located along the bottom to execute certain moves or reorder your forces.
There seems to be four basic troop types – cavalry and foot soldiers, with both having a “heavy” version in extra armour. Each class comes with its own special ability; for example the lighter soldiers enable the troops to navigate steep terrain, while the heavy variant can set up a frontal defense against oncoming enemies.
Before you do all this though you need to first create your soon-to-be legendary general! It looks like there’s a fair few customisation options, with more clothing an armour opening up as you play. Armour offers stat boosts as well as making you look cool, and these pieces and be upgraded instead of just being thrown out between battles once the next piece of shiny loot drops. Player data is saved onto the now-ubiquitous IC card, although with the game essentially being in beta testing Sega don’t guarantee it’s currently stable and loketest characters won’t be carried over to the final game.
Official website’s here - http://3kingdoms.sega.jp/index.html