King’s Bounty has been a fixture for a long time in the computer gaming world. Unfortunately, I’ve never played any of the series. I don’t know why I’ve never shelled out greenbacks for what is considered a very popular title. But I’ve jumped right in to see what the hoopla was all about. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised at what I had missed all these years.
King’s Bounty: Armored Princess is by developer Katauri Interactive and is a standalone expansion to King’s Bounty: The Legend. As I haven’t played the latter, I really can’t compare the two. But I’m sure after reading this review, you’ll get somewhat of an idea of what Legend is all about as well. What we have here is a strategic role-playing game, and if you love this type of genre, you’ll make it a must for your collection.
You are Princess Amelie, a maiden dressed in a skimpy outfit who is sent to the land of Teana. Her mission is to search for her mentor, knight Bill Gilbert, as well as retrieve eight magical stones that will save the world. To start, you can play the role of wimpy paladin, mage or warrior. You begin at level one and progress through the game, attaining higher levels, more power and better armies. At first your army will consist of peasants with pointy pitchforks, soldiers, bowmen and clerics. As you advance across the land of Teana, you’ll discover higher-level troops that you can purchase. You’ll also need lots of money to get these troops.
Teana is a tropical land divided into smaller islands. You’ll come across quests and meet all types of characters and plenty of enemies that can kick your booty off the islands if tougher than you. You’ll meet vampires, ghouls, barbarians, robots and all manner of creatures that inhabit these islands. To travel the various islands, you’ll need to fight characters to retrieve maps that will remove a fog. This helps because the game plays in smaller chunks and you don’t advance too quickly.
One of the biggest points is receiving a pet dragon. You’ll actually pick which one you want dependent on its abilities to start. The dragon levels as well, and you’ll be able to pick special strengths that make him powerful over time. The combat is played over a hexagonal grid and is turn-based. Strategy comes into play because even with hordes of troops at your fingertips, you can be hard-pressed to win the battle. Losses have to be replenished, and there isn’t an infinite supply at the various locations, so you’ll have to juggle what troops you’ll want to carry into battle.
One of the biggest problems was that the difficulty started to ratchet early in the game, and some battles were way too tough to win with the current troops at hand. Even in easy mode you have some rough times. Another problem was the availability of the troops to refill your losses. I had to make numerous trips to the various islands that I uncovered to replenish what I wanted. Over all, there were few complaints as I searched the islands and did the quests that in some cases gave me powerful artifacts, weapons and money.
Graphics are kind of dated, but since King’s Bounty: Armored Princess is cartoony in character, it can keep up with what is currently out there in the gaming community. Music is redundant but not so that you can’t enjoy what is playing in the background. There weren’t any complaints in that department. I had the feeling that the expansion assumed you were knowledgeable of the mechanics of the original game, since there wasn’t the usual tutorial. I’ve enjoyed the resume feature, as you can stop at any point and come back when you are ready. For the players of King’s Bounty, you’ll want to make the standalone one of your additions. I have enjoyed playing what turned out to be a delightful game with some good RPG action.
My knowledge of the industry mostly evolves around beta testing games, such as Earth & Beyond from EA, Saga of Ryzom, and companies like MSN and Acolade. Self taught web design is another interest I have. Family life is entertaining at times. It also can get weird as well, after you have been married 31 years.