Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence - Ascension [official site], a standalone follow-up to Koei Tecmo's latest sim-o-strategy take on Japanese history, is now out in English. Technically it's been on Steam since March but, y'know, it takes mighty ambition to play a game in a foreign language. Nobunaga's Ambition is set during the Sengoku period of feudal Japan, having players duke it out for control of territory and resources - the usual war stuff. You know those historymen and their wars, they can't get enough of 'em.
Rob Zacny wasn't wholly into Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence pre-Ascension when he told us Wot He Thought, though a fair few fans did pop up to defend it. So what's new in Ascension? One of the big additions is 'Officer Play', where you get to be an officer climbing the ranks. Koei Tecmo explain:
"Players will be able to select from a massive array of over 2000 diverse characters, and a number of well-known individuals offer unique events, exclusive missions and tailor-made content, with special attention given to Yukimura Sanada, the famous Japanese samurai whom many of his time heralded as the strongest warrior in Japan."
Ascension also introduces siege battles and naval battles, as well as expanding territory management with 'Garden Politics'.
Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence - Ascension is a standalone game on Steam for £39.99/47,99€/$47.99, which includes a 20% relaunch discount until November 1st. Here, this trailer explains a lot about how the game works: