Review by WillyFourEyes
"Before Square made RPGs, there was King's Knight. Not exactly good news for Square."
Long ago, in the dusty video game era that most of us know as the '80s, when I was about 8 years old, a company named Square Soft made a video game called King's Knight. At first, I believed that this was going to be a strange but fun RPG, and when I popped the cartridge into my Nintendo, I started playing, one of Square's first....vertical-scrolling shooting games. Scratching my head, I played through the game, hoping to rescue the princess from the evil dragon (before it became taboo to even suggest making a game with that story line), made it to the end, and promptly gave up. After about 12 years, I still haven't written a decent review for this game, so *deep breath* here goes...
The most I can say about the graphics is that they're ''okay''. They're not particularly good, but at least they don't suck. The map graphics for each of the five levels are okay, but the character and monster sprites are jumbled and ugly.
There's not much sound in King's Knight. While travelling through the game, you hear about three different songs - one for overworld fighting, one for underground fighting, and one where you die (which seems to happen quite often in this game...I don't know why). The tunes themselves sound quite uninspired, usually playing the same two or three chords over and over again, and repeating them throughout the entire level. You'd be better off listening to music in your CD player.
Far and away, this is the worst part of King's Knight. There are some good points, such as being able to power-up your character by collecting items, and being able to control four different characters throughout the game, but these are outweighed by the fact that the enemies come at you in insane hordes and shower you with projectiles, bringing a quick end to your quest to save the princess. Provided you make it to the end of at least one of the first four levels, you head through a castle to fight the game's only boss (a big bad dragon), and it all goes downhill from there. In order to pass this stage, you need to have found all of the spells for each character's level, AND you need to have the right person at the head of your party in order to use it. This is very cumbersome to do, since you never really know which person is used to cast a spell, or where they're supposed to use it...and to top it off, if you should get knocked off at any point on that final level, you get the infamous ''Game Over''. Trying to maneuver around enemies on any level is hard to do, since your characters seem to slide around whenever you press the Control Pad. This problem is magnified even further on the final level, where you have all of your characters bunched up together, making it near impossible to dodge incoming bullets.
King's Knight, even for its time, isn't one of the best games to have in your collection. If you absolutely NEED to see what kinds of games Square made before Final Fantasy, then you might want to play this. Otherwise, skip it.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/14/02, Updated 01/14/02
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