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on 23 April 2017
Bought for my nephew, who loves all Age of Empires
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on 22 July 2017
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on 1 March 2017
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on 20 July 2008
Age of Empires was one of my favourite games as a child. I remember having a lot of fun playing it about 9 or 10 years ago. When AOE III was released I was slightly disappointed with it, as it seemed to be all style and very little content.

Now that I have a new PC, and the Asian Dynasties and Warchief expansions installed, the game finally feels complete. The Original AOE III felt a little dull as it only allowed you to control the European superpowers in the Americas. The Warchief's did add a little spice by allowing you to play as the Native Americans, but it still felt a little flat. Asian Dynasties on the other hand is like a breath of fresh air, bringing some much needed variety to the gamer's plate.

This game adds three new civilisations, the Chinese, Indians and Japanese. Each of these have their own unique units, architecture as well as strengths and weaknesses. The Indians for instance have their Sepoy infantry and war elephants, the Chinese their Shaolin masters and firework artillery and the Japanese their Samurai and Ninja. The introduction of the asians to the game also means there are a number of fantastic new asian maps in multiplayer and single-player Random Map. This makes a nice change from battling in the New World.

There's also a new campaign that's divided into three chapters that allows you to play as each of the three new civilisations. The first chapter takes place in early 17th century Japan, as the Samurai Warlord Tokugawa Ieysau attempts to unite the country. The second chapter will see you in command of the vast Chinese fleet of Jiang Huang as he sails to the New World in the early 15th century. The last and arguably the best chapter allows you to take part in the Sepoy Mutiny in India in the 19th century, as you battle to free the country from the British East India company.

Each chapter adds a whole lot of variety, and I personally thought that several levels contained in the new campaign were much better than those in the original AOE III. Sadly though the campaign is rather too easy and too short. There are only five levels in each three chapters, and you could easily finish the campaign in one weekend. I didn't find it as challenging as the missions contained in the Warchiefs expansion.

Overall this game is a lot of fun to play. You will often find yourself coming back for a few battles on multiplayer or single-player random map mode (which now has new game types like King of the Hill etc). The addition of the new Civilisations, combined with those in the original game and its first expansion makes it a challenging and exciting game.
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on 12 June 2008
When Age of Mythology first appeared, I thought that the Age of Empires series had reached its full potential. When The Titans came out, it got even better. The original Age of Empires III was, in my opinion, a step down from the AoM series, though both expansion packs improved the quality of the game. This particular expansion is quite possibly one of the best games of all time. It is certainly in my top three video games. Anyone who owns Age of Empires III should definitely buy this expansion.

And to the person who recommended the Chinese campaign being about the unification of China, I say this: This game is set in around 1450 - 1900 AD. China was unified under the Qin in 221 BC. 1671 years BEFORE this game begins.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 October 2007
This is a solid expansion to the AGE OF EMPIRES III, the one you will play for hours at end. Although the 3rd installment of AoE was the weakest of the series (I personally enjoyed much more AGE OF EMPIRES II), I have to admit that I was really pleased by this expansion - and cannot complain but about minor things.

After the lukewarm WARCHIEFS, which introduced Native American civilizations, this expansion introduces three major Asian civilizations (Japanese, Chinese, and Indian) - with their corresponding campaigns.
The Japanese campaign takes place during the Shogunate civil wars. The Chinese campaign (trying to avoid any...political shoals) is on the fictional discovery of the New World by the Chinese (I would have preferred it to be about the unification of China under the Qin dynasty - but, then again, that would make it quite similar to the Japanese campaign). Finally, the Indian campaign is centered on the uprooting of the British East-India Trading Company.
All three campaigns follow a scenario that will surprise you at many points (and frustrate you in some others). Nevertheless, keep in mind that this is an RTS game - so don't expect a JAMES CLAVELL novel plot twists.

The graphics are just a notch better than WARCHIEFS, the interface has received only minor retouching strokes and one can rely on finding, once more, the known exceptional gameplay. Not only are the new units carefully balanced, they can be seamlessly incorporated with the previous AGE OF EMPIRES III units. Stacking Samurai infantry against Highlanders anyone? (yes, only one can survive in the end...)

My only complain is the music: AoE's are of the games that are played for endless hours. So music is important not to be tiresome. This being the ASIAN DYNASTIES expansion, I felt that the game developers missed the chance of introducing some new and distinctly Japanese, Chinese and Indian tunes. Well, one can always bring his own music I guess...

One of the best expansions this year.

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on 7 December 2007
I think this game is not as good as the Warchiefs expansion. Firstly it is much easier and less challenging - I waltzed through this game in ultra quick time so it does not have the longevity as previous titles.

The music also has not changed from the Warchiefs which is the games developers just being plain lazy. Would have been great to have music fitting to the Empire being played and era. The music ended up being irritating after a while.

I quite liked the plot of the Chinese visiting the New World and there is some evidence of their massive fleet actually discovering America way before Columbus did.

The game is still good and fun in parts but lacks the atmosphere to make this a great game.
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VINE VOICEon 19 July 2010
This add-on allows you to play as Japan, China or India. Each has its own unique battle units and technological advantages. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the different economic abilities. Asian civilizations cannot hunt for food, they must instead construct shrines which generate food slowly. This will take a fair bit of getting used to for players used to the European civilizations, and on maps with lots of animals to hunt, the inability to hunt could be a major tactical disadvantage.

In terms of military, Japan can produce powerful units call "Daimyo", who have a halo effect of boosting the armour and attack points of any units in their orbit. China produces armies in batches from a barracks, which dispatches a mixed army of the type you want, and also has good siege weapons. India has elephants, though they tend to be expensive, both in terms of resources and population limit room.

All in all, this is a good addition for hardened fans of the game. More casual fans might find the add-on not particularly useful.
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on 18 November 2007
The campaign scenarios are okay, but nothing more; they do introduce you to the period and the units available, and to a certain extent the different strategies required, but historically, they are a bit PC, and if any player is even remotely interested in the periods concerned - read a relevant book from Amazon's listing for a more accurate understanding of the period.

That said, most gamers aren't interested in history per se. The gameplay is as before, but to me it seemed that the AI was less versatile, it was a bit like napoleon vs wellington, attack in the same old way, be defeated in the same old way. There is no opportunity within the game for manoeuvrist stategy, but an all-arms force will always prevail over single-type force. Play from defence then on to attack, and you will defeat the AI eventually; learning the technique of each new force enemy is actually the real pleasure in this expansion.

I would echo the other reviewer's comment - the music, which has been an important part of the game through all the "Ages" series could, indeed should, have been updated too.

Ultimately - worth the money if you like the original game!
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on 6 July 2011
For those who have enjoyed playing AOE2, AOE3 and TWC TAD is a must have expansion pack that allows you too take control of some new civilisations that each have a unique twist on the current system. Incredibly fun to play this has made playing AOE3 even more addictive it's amazing that I get any work done!!
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