If you're not familiar with the game company Koei then I recommend dropping what you're doing and go buy a copy of Dynasty Warriors 2 or 3 and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening button mashing hordes of enemies.
Koei has produced a great number of strategy/historical combat games - Romance of the Three Kingdoms I-??? and the Dynasty Warriors series being the most popular. They are usually pretty good games but after playing their games for over a decade, well, they're pretty much the same. I wasn't really all that thrilled to play Bladestorm - the newest Koei release set during the Hundred Years War - but fired up the demo because I needed something to play. I was not only surprised not only how good Bladestorm is but how much fun I was having. Add to that I can't wait to get home and play the demo some more and I think Bladestorm might be a winner.
The long and short of the game is you play a mercenary lending aid to either the English or the French or possibly both. As you battle across France you gain fame and fortune and troops and skills and loot'n'booty and other kick ass stuff. I think I enjoy the fact unlike Dynasty Warriors where you play a super warrior whomping on everyone in Bladestorm you have to command and rely on the troops you are with. Troop commands are straight forward - RB to attack and Y, X, B for special attacks - and once I got the rhythm down I was doing some serious damage to the enemy.
This wouldn't be a Koei game without mountains of micromanagement. Each troop type can be trained and equipped with various skills and all sorts of mumbo-jumbo. I'm sure there's more but hey it's only the demo.
I look forward to picking this one up.
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