Game Details
Developer Koei Tecmo Games
Publisher Koei Tecmo
Available on PS4 · Nintendo Switch · PC
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Release Date July 20, 2023

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is the 40th anniversary celebration game for Koei Tecmo’s long-running series. Today, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening has been released worldwide on PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam following its debut in Japan last year. The localized version of Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is actually the newest version of the game with the power-up kit included from the start making it a much better value proposition than the original release in Japan. This Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening Switch and Steam Deck review will focus on how the game runs and feels on Nintendo’s hybrid system and Valve’s portable. You can read my full review of Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening played on PS5 here.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PC requirements

The Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PC system requirements are below.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PC minimum requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 or Windows 11 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-3220 or better (Windows 10) or Intel Core i3-8350K or better (Windows 11)
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 2GB VRAM (or better) or AMD Radeon R7 370 with 2GB VRAM (or better)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25GB available space
  • Sound Card: 16 bit stereo with 48KHz WAVE file playback support
  • Additional Notes: 1280 x 720 Display required

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PC recommended requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 or Windows 11 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-3770 or better (Windows 10) or Intel Core i3-8350K or better (Windows 11)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM (or better) or AMD Radeon RX580 with 8GB VRAM (or better)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 25GB available space
  • Sound Card: 16 bit stereo with 48KHz WAVE file playback support
  • Additional Notes: 1920 x 1080 Display required

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PC graphics and control options

Having already sampled Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening on PC for preview, I was curious to see how the final build was. I’ve not been able to test it on my laptop since I only have my Steam Deck now, but Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening on Steam Deck lets you only use console-style graphics options. This means you can use “prioritize performance” (for smoother performance at the cost of visuals), default (standard setting), or “prioritize visuals” with the best possible visuals. There are no options to adjust individual settings on Steam Deck. On Steam Deck, the game is also locked to 720p and “no frame” display mode. I tested this across multiple versions of Proton and by also forcing different resolutions and playing over the Steam Deck Docking Station. It is locked to 720p on Steam Deck. If this changes in a post launch update, I’ll post about it.

One thing to note is while I did confirm with someone else playing the final build that there is no controller support while playing on Windows, the Steam Deck controller support only has button prompts for the PlayStation controller. I didn’t see any option to change this and it even shows PlayStation prompts while playing on the deck itself.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening on Steam Deck – playable despite being marked unsupported by Valve

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is marked as unsupported on Steam Deck by Valve. I imagine this will change soon because it plays perfectly on Steam Deck out of the box. Videos, music, audio, and controls all work fine. I expected some of the issues I ran into with other recent Koei Tecmo games like jittery gameplay or no cut-scene audio, but it all works fine.

— Article Continues Below —
Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening prioritize quality (left) vs prioritize performance (right) on Steam Deck

Comparing the “prioritize visuals” and “performance” settings on Steam Deck reveals the former having a 30fps target with better post-processing and foliage. The latter will have worse visuals, but runs at a 60fps target frame rate. It is worth noting that the Steam Deck version has no touchscreen support at all. You can’t even simulate a mouse. I even plugged in my external mouse and tried it wirelessly with no luck.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening on Nintendo Switch – a competent port, but needs more work

On Nintendo Switch, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is worth playing only handheld. It has worse draw distance and downgraded visuals compared to other platforms with a few more performance issues, but the addition of touchscreen support makes it more playable in handheld mode. I was skeptical of how it would control and how the interface would look in handheld mode, but it has been excellent on the OLED model in portable mode. This is the first Nobunaga’s Ambition game to be localized for Switch, and it is a great entry in the series. I just hope Koei Tecmo considers localizing the other entries that have been released in Japan in the future so Nintendo Switch owners don’t need to wait too long for the next game in the series. I’d love to have a localized Switch version of Sphere of Influence.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening docked (left) vs handheld (right) on Nintendo Switch

Should you play Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening on Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck

If you’ve never played an entry in the series before, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is excellent, but it isn’t as accessible to newcomers. If you’re willing to spend time learning through experience after the basic tutorial, you will find a lot to love in Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening. On Nintendo Switch, I wish the visuals and performance were both a bit better, but it plays great in handheld mode thanks to the added touchscreen support. On Steam Deck, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening absolutely shines, and I can’t wait to sink dozens more hours into it over the coming weeks as I play more of the game and the DLC scenarios. I hope Koei Tecmo considers patching the localized version to add the Japanese voiceover option because it seems like a weird decision to only release a game like this with English voices.

I’m glad that Koei Tecmo ended up waiting until the Japanese version would get its expansion (PUK) to localize this expanded version of the game for the West as Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening. It is a much better game with all the new features and content, and is a joy to play on the go. Now I just hope we don’t need to wait over half a decade for the next entry in the series.

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening is out now worldwide for PS4, Switch, and Steam. Check it out on Steam here and Nintendo Switch here.

— Article Continues Below —

Switch and Steam Deck review: This Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening Switch and Steam Deck review focusses on the Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck versions of Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening that released alongside the PS4 version worldwide.

A copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher for this review.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Nobunaga's Ambition: Awakening
8
Previous articleNobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening PS5 Review
Next articleThe Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails Characters and Gameplay Trailer Released
nobunagas-ambition-awakening-switch-steam-deck-review-pcNobunaga's Ambition: Awakening is a great release in Koei Tecmo's long-running series, and one that feels right at home on both Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch thanks to smart controller support and touch controls on Switch. While the game needed a bit more work on both systems, I've enjoyed playing through various scenarios in handheld mode on Switch and also on Steam Deck.