King's Bounty review - Sega Megadrive
King Maximus was a lovely chap. He travelled the land doing good deeds, helping the needy and feeding the hungry. He trotted about on the Royal Pony dispensing righteous justice with his Sceptre of Order. Meanwhile, Arech Dragonbreath, hating the twee nature of the softy, goodie-two-shoes ruler and his kingdom, decided to invade and lay waste to the four continents with his Dark Legions. To throw the land into chaos and weaken Maximus' forces, Arech has stolen the Sceptre of Order and the armies of good will not be able to repel the invaders unless it is recovered.
King's Bounty is a cross between an RPG and a strategy game. You can play as one of four characters, each of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. Once chosen, the character recruits his own group of soldiers and treks across the landscape searching for treasure, artifacts and foes to chop up. Killing monsters earns the character a bounty which pays for siege equipment, spells, information and extra troops.
Ships are the army's standard mode of transport, and as the party sails around the continents promotions and extra troops help to bolster its strength. However, to find the sceptre, it's essential to find the map which shows its location. Unfortunately the map is broken up and scattered around the landscape, and finding those pieces is a quest in itself!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
I thought this was going to be an average RPG, but in fact it's not at all bad. I especially like the straightforward combat system, and though the graphics are hardly likely to win any awards, they do convey all the information. I'm not sure that this will sell too well (considering the hefty price tag), but I like it anyway. The only thing you should watch out for is the compatibility problem with Japanese Megadrives, so think twice before buying if you don't own an official machine.
Not being particularly interested in RPG's, a game of this sort has to be pretty amazing to get me playing. Sword of Vermillion managed to do it last month, but unfortunately this one failed to grab my enthusiasm. It's quite good fun, but neither the graphics or the sound provide any sort of atmosphere and the gameplay simply isn't addictive enough to appeal to anyone other than ardent RPG fans.
Biz - 27 Nov 2009, 13:45 GMT
The King's Bounty is much beter serial than HoMM. When I said that I refer to Amiga's Original King's Bounty from 1991, to Legends and newly released Armored Princess.