E3: KOEI Shows Online, Mobile Games
05.18.04 - 8:50 AM

KOEI made a very subdued showing at E3 this year, presenting two online titles, Uncharted Waters Online and Nobunaga’s Ambition Online, along with three JAVA-based wireless games, Uncharted Waters, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Nobunaga’s Ambition.

Uncharted Waters Online is set in the 16th Century, the age of exploration. You take on the role of a seaman exploring, trading, defending, or even pirating around the world. As an adventurer, you can discover new lands, artifacts, treasures, and creatures, while your merchant roles will involve trading commodities and making shrewd investments in different ports to stimulate economic growth. The combat aspect of the game will allow you to act as escort or pirate, building a fleet to do battle with others in the world. Unique additions to this title will be the ability to crew your ships with other players in the world, as well as sailing under the banner of England, Portugal, or Spain, affecting their status on the world stage.

In Nobunaga’s Ambition Online, you choose one of seven different characters – Samurai, Ninja, Mystic, Alchemist, Monk, Blacksmith, or Shinto Priest – and take a side in one of Japan’s most bloody conflicts. In-game, you can ally with 7 other players, fighting spirits as well as taking part in major battles. There is also an item crafting feature, commerce system, and a wide skill system.

The three mobile titles seem to be almost direct ports of their original incarnations. Uncharted Waters lets you explore the world via ship during the age of discovery, while you choose whether to adventure, trade, or pirate. Romance of the Three Kingdoms lets players take the role of a warlord in Feudal China attempting to unify it via strategic military battles. Finally, Nobunaga’s Ambition puts players in the role of a warlord attempting to conquer and unify feudal Japan during the age of Nobunaga. All three are available on KOEI Wireless Game Services in Japan.

Uncharted Waters Online will be released winter, 2004 in Japan on PC, while Nobunaga’s Ambition Online is currently available for PS2 and PC, both for 7,140 Yen (about 62 USD). None of the titles have a confirmed North American or European release date.

Damian Thomas