Heading West – Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere Of Influence

The problem with Nobunaga’s Ambition is that the title is a constant reminder of the fantastic Onimusha series, which Capcom has long since abandoned. So while my heart is heavy once again, in mourning of a once great franchise, I’m also pleased to see that Koei Tecmo has announced that it will be sending Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence [official site] to the western world this September 4th. Good news for turn-based grand strategy fans!

Known as Nobunaga’s Ambition: Creation in Japan, the latest entry to the long-running (30 years!) has been renamed Sphere of Influence for its western release. Set during the Sengoku era (1467 – 1603) in Japan, you’ll be placed in the large shoes of a feudal lord, striving to unite the country under your own flag and ideals.

You’ll do this through creation, diplomacy and war. Build up your clan by expanding your land, growing your economy and dealing with other pesky landowner style busy work. Doing so will allow you to excel at the fun stuff: espionage and fighting. Spies and armies are the name of the game here and you’ll need both to take full dominion over Japan.

History buffs will delight in playing as real historical personalities, while everyone else can customise their own warlord character. The game has been out for a while in Japan, so there’s plenty of information about the game to digest between now and the game’s western launch on September 4th.

21 Comments

  1. Soulstrider says:

    Great news, though I hope it strikes the balance between ROTK 11 (micro-management hell) and ROTK 12 (oversimplified and lacking features/depth)

    • CaidKean says:

      I wish they’d give us an English-language Nobunaga’s Ambition with RPG elements much like ROTK VII, VIII and X had. I really liked being able to start as a lowly officer and scheme my way into power.

  2. Shadow says:

    I loved Koei for releasing Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI for PC for Western audiences a few years ago. They kind of dropped the ball with the expansion, which remained unreleased in the West, but still. It was an awesome effort. We didn’t get ROTK 12, but apparently that one was rather mediocre.

    So is Nobunaga’s Ambition kind of like ROTK but set in a Japanese context instead of Chinese?

    • Soulstrider says:

      I assume so, same way Samurai Warriors is just Dynasty Warriors set in Japan.

    • RedViv says:

      Basically. Nobunaga first, then the RoTK version, and the other way around for Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors.

      • blastaz says:

        Is this the first of these in English? I’ve sought of had my eye on them for a decade but never found a localisation…

        • whorhay says:

          It’s the first I’ve heard of a new release since they made a version for the SNES. This article makes it sound like they’ve been making new versions periodically and just not releasing them in the Western market. Which makes me sad, because I loved playing this on the NES and SNES. In fact I played the original again for awhile about a decade ago through an emulator on my xbox.

          • Baines says:

            I believe Souzou/Creation/Sphere of Influence is the 14th Nobunaga’s Ambition.

            That is 14th in the main series. It isn’t even count the handheld games and spin-offs like Nobunaga’s Ambition Online.

        • darkath says:

          It will be the first to be both on pc and in english.

          Games of this series were released in the west on PS2, but never on pc. For instance Iron Triangle, which is quite similar to RoTK 11 in graphics and gameplay, never came on pc (while a japanese PC version exists) but was only released on PS2.

          • CaidKean says:

            Wrong, it will be the fourth to be on PC and in English. Nobunaga’s Ambition, Nobunaga’s Ambition II and Nobunaga’s Ambition: Lord of Darkness were all available for DOS in English.

  3. postrook says:

    cool!

  4. Zaxwerks says:

    I feel like I’ve just watched a trailer for Total War: Shogun 2.8ish narrated by a very excitable man who should stop eating sugary snacks.

  5. Joshua Northey says:

    How does this relate to “Nobunaga’s Ambition: Souzou” which has been on Steam for quite a while but not in English relate to this? I was going to buy it once it was available in English.

  6. Ringwraith says:

    Now Pokémon Conquest will be a crossover of a series that was never localised to one to one that was only localised after the fact.
    It was, incidentally, sort of like a stripped down conquering of the Samurai-Warriors version of Japan, but with Pokémon, with grid-based combat.

  7. harley9699 says:

    Played the hell out of this on the original Nintendo. Know I got my money’s worth then anyway. Looking forward to how this turns out.

  8. Be_reasonable says:

    The warring kingdoms story is incredible (the real thing). I just visited the castle this Spring in Osaka. Does anybody know if it’s historically accurate?

    • whorhay says:

      The original seemed to be relatively accurate. As in they used real names for people and places. I don’t know if the battlefields were related to reality in any way, or if most of the people lived during the same time frame.

    • darkath says:

      The same way as RoTK, IIRC it use a fictionalized version of the warring state era, the characters are real, but their actual abilities and deeds are blown out of proportion for epicness purposes and the drama surrounding them is kinda romanticized.

      However all the places, factions and characters etc. are real enough to feel immersed as an history buff, like the RPS article says.

      Also if it’s like RoTK the gameplay put a big emphasis on characters, not as much as Crusader Kings, but much more than a total war game.
      Your retainers have various stats and must be used to conduct various tasks in your realm, such as collecting taxes, supervising town improvements, conduct diplomacy or leading armies.
      I liked in RotK how retainers can betray their masters which can stirr some drama in the game.

  9. Guzzleguts says:

    Previous games I have played have been very accurate, and usually offered a few starting scenarios. Not only clan leaders, but family and retainers are also based on real people. Maybe they’re a little exaggerated for game purposes, but not that much.

  10. Guzzleguts says:

    I’m so glad that I won’t have to pretend to myself that I can still read kanji! This totally makes up for the fact that I can’t play Witcher 3