I'll be frank here, I was never big on complicated games. However, I was a fan of the Dynasty Warriors series produced by Koei. Romance of the Three Kingdoms VII was the newest sequel related to Dynasty Warriors and I figured I would give it a try. What a wonderful decision.
The game is based in China during the collapse of the Han Dynasty (late 200s - mid 300s A.D.) You can either create your own character or choose one from over 500 historical people ranging from lowly officials to emperors and most everything in between. There is no set objective in this game. You could either live your life as a wanderer watching as wars erupt all across China or fight your way to the top and conquer the land. There is nothing you need to fulfill, however, your character can die so it is wise to not stall for years if you are attempting to settle the chaos.
1) Excellent replay value - I have been playing this game for years and still continue to simply because there is so much you can do. I've played as son of the most powerful leaders and son of a wandering sage. You don't even need to be related to anyone, the character creation allows for many variables which I will go into next.
2) One of the best character creation systems Koei has come up with - There are so many choices you can make. You can choose to be a mighty warrior, a brilliant strategist, a charismatic hero, whatever you like. There are dozens of skills to choose from to make your character a better asset to your leader/army.
3) Keeps the strategy in strategy game - Like I mentioned before, I was not a fan of complicated games. However, this game is easy to pick up while still requiring some strategical decisions. You could conquer 99% of the land, but if you appoint bad officials to watch over your territory, you could be in big trouble. Same thing goes for wars, if you send a bunch of weak armies against highly skilled warriors, kiss your land good bye.
[Just as a note, these negatives don't really bother me as it is supposed to be a strategy game and when this game was made, you would be hard-pressed to find a flawless one, much less a fun one.]
1) The visuals - They suck. The layout is pretty lame and requires a lot of button pushing (not mashing), the battlefield has weak 2d graphics, pretty much has graphics you would expect on something like the SNES.
2) The audio - Also sucks. It is just some traditional Chinese music, fits well with the theme, but gets old pretty fast.
Overall, I highly recommend this game. If you like good graphics and fast gameplay, stay away, but if you like months/years of steady strategical play, this is the game for you.