New Little King’s Story is a really enjoyable game with quite a bit of addictive elements. It gets very silly at times with translations I can’t tell are intentional or if it’s not actually supposed to say that. During every festival when you are ready for it to end you speak with Azul. He then asks you “Is your festival mood gone?” At one point I approach my bed, and Azul interjects, “Ah, I see, sorry about that. I forgot to explain about this” because kings don’t know how beds work.
Speaking of festivals, in this game they’re nothing more than an excuse to watch citizens spin around in circles. Harvest Moon’s festivals are always for a reason. You can invite people on dates, get special prompts from NPCs you couldn’t otherwise, or buy specialty good only available at this festival. New Little King’s Story doesn’t do this. Their festivals are completely for show and don’t actually add anything. They actually get quite annoying as once a festival begins you must waste the entire day to end it. And boy do these people throw festivals for everything. Every time you defeat a miniboss, every time you kill a main boss, every time you save a princess there are actually two parties! One for the boss you defeated and one for the princess you saved.
And let me tell you about princesses. The princesses in this game are very cool. Instead of saving them and afterwards they turn into useless lumps, whenever you save a princess you gain the ability to use their powers. You can carry around one princess with you at any time, and they don’t even take up a slot in your minion count. The only problem is, I can’t seem to figure out how to use their powers.
This comes back to another problem the game has- organization. This entire game is an organizational mess. Your troops are hard to organize, your inventory is hard to organize, the map is unorganized, the menu system is unorganized, and the instructions are unorganized.One of the most annoying problems in the game is the inability to actually sort your guard in a manageable way.
There is a list of all the members in your town and their levels, but no way to actually recruit them from that list. The only way to recruit people is to call a certain group of jobs over, i.e. soldiers, cooks, etc. , or to find them in town and recruit them personally. Both of those systems have problems. If you call a group over you can only call one group over at a time. If you have minions following you already, and you call over a group, your minions will disperse. That means if you want half soldiers and half hunters you’re going to have to call over the soldiers, choose for them all to follow you, disperse half of them manually, then find all of the hunters personally around your kingdom. Later in the game when your kingdom expands this is a huge problem. The other option is just to manually recruit every single minion. That involves the second half of the previous problem, except with every single person. There is also no way to effectively gauge the levels of your townsfolk until you actually recruit them, leading you to hire and fire multiple people of the same job just so you can find one the correct level.
As I said before the map and inventory systems are also messes. The quests are a nightmare as well, but only because of the map system. On their own I found the quest system to be quite nice. Although you received your quests through a mail list, and you couldn’t discard any mail even after you completed the quest. It just sits in your mailbox forever taking up space. I digress, the map system is awful. When you zoom out out of the map it gets rid of every single map marker, leaving you to bounce back and forth from the tiny view that can barely see anything to the enlarged view that’s actually useful. You marker that indicates where you are is also ginormous. It’s very difficult to get a feel for where you are in the world when your maker is the size of a town.
I didn’t get the fast travel system until about eight hours in which made travel infinitely more painful. I’m pretty sure you get the option to build the system by doing a lot of quests, but it didn’t explain anything about it so I’m really not sure. The fast travel system doesn’t even go to every marker. It only goes to some towns and a couple extra points around the world. Most of my time in the game was spent trying to get to where I actually needed to be and organizing my followers, which is really disappointing because I really enjoyed the good parts of this adorable game.
This game really is adorable, but not in the same ways as the first title. The art style has changed drastically, but quite frankly I think it’s for the better. The art is very bright and constantly aesthetically pleasing. The environments are nice and I really enjoy exploring them, my favorite are the shining mushroom fields. The areas are also not a chore to explore because unlike most game they actually vary. There are a ton of places to find and all of them vary from the others.
The battle system can be really unpleasant at times. When you start to get a lot of minions it becomes almost impossible to dodge any type of attack without sacrificing a bunch of them. Developers also thought it would be funny to not block off cliff edges, so your minions can actually walk off of edges and end up 15 minute walk away from getting your minions and getting back to where you were before they walked off the cliff. The inability to aim without walking also makes things difficult. It forces me to walk into enemies just so my minions will face exactly where I need them to, and if they don’t face exactly where I need them to they just won’t do their job.
I also really like that they didn’t forget about free-moving cameras. I’m so sick of games that are always forcing you to look exactly where they think is important, and you have no say in the matter at all. The only problem is that the camera is apparently not always free moving. Sometimes when I’m walking through a cavern an icon I have determined to be either a potion spilling over or a bottle magically lifting itself up appears on the top left screen to inform me I’m not allowed to turn my camera anymore. I’m still not really sure why the icon looks like a bottle…unless I’m not getting something.
Nothing is every really properly explained. In the games defense I didn’t read the guidebook, or had one to read for that matter. If I did I’m sure I could have actually known how to do some o the things I was wondering about, one of them being how to use the princesses powers. Because I still don’t know how to do that. Another thing I don’t quite understand is the alchemy system. I’ve done it a few times and it seems to take around 180 minutes for each item you fuse. Since there aren’t any shops to buy items from this can be very inconvenient when you don’t have enough equipment to deck out your minions with or enough potions to get you to the next storyline mission.
Building your kingdom from the ground up is fantastic. You get to add buildings to towns that you earn from defeating boss monsters. Slowly watching your kingdom expand across the world as you conquer it will always be fun. Citizens litter the kingdom and greet you with bows and smile as you pass. Every single citizen is basically a bum until you give them a job, so I’m not entirely sure how they managed to live so long. The castle also expands as you conquer land and meet storyline objectives, and how much it grows in each leap is very satisfying. One room is dedicated entirely to mounds of money that I can interact with so that they shower me with gold coins and bills.
There are a lot of problems with New Little King’s Story. The combat system is messy, commanding your minions is convoluted, the travel system leaves much to be desired and the map is a mess. While it has a lot of aspects that need to be polished, it’s still an incredibly enjoyable game. Watching your kingdom grow and feeling like everything you do in a game is actually leading to something is one of the best feelings.
- Pleasing aesthetics
- Addictive gameplay in building your kingdom up
- Useful princesses with nice buffs
- Hilarious costumes
- Collect materials, find equipment, combine items, build your kingdom
- Your citizens are bums (funny)
- Horrific map
- Poor minion organization
- Aiming minions is painful
- Your citizens are bums (sad)
7.5 out of 10
Article from Gamersyndrome.com