Review by jessealanlong2

"Almost Arcade Perfect."

in 1994, Capcom shocked the world, well, at least MY world, anyway, when they decided to port their surprisingly underrated hit of 1991 in the arcades called Knights of the Round to the SNES. How does this game fare in this review? Well, reader, keep your eyes here and you will find out the bottom line.

Well, when I had seen this game that was picked up from the local rental store around 1995 or so by my mom, I thought, "This is not going to be as good as the arcade game." Seeing the disappointing SNES conversion of the first Final Fight, I was not very happy with Capcom over that issue, let alone that, to find out, they did this injustice twice to me. (I have nothing against Billy and Sid being in the place of Roxy and Poison, but I wish that all four characters were in the arcade game, too. However, that is a whole other can of worms for a whole other review.) Now let us delve into the Knights of the Round.

Sure, every school child has heard of the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, but reading it in a book is nothing like actually being in the battle, right? Well, apparently, Capcom thought so, too. I would have told you about the numerous legends that surround King Arthur, but you can save the history stuff to learning in school or go watch The History Channel, History International, one of those Discovery Channels, or A&E or something if you want more of the legend.

You can choose from three Knights of the Round Table. Unlike Final Fight, though, the big guy is NOT the boss this time around. The first guy that you can choose from is Lancelot. Sure, he make look like an effeminate elf that might have been an extra in the Lord of the Rings films, but he will slice, dice, and Julianne your sorry self if you are a bad guy. The next guy is the one that all of these legends (including this one) are based on and that is Arthur. He can pack a wallop, too, but he is neither too fast nor too slow. Basically, if you do not play as Lancelot, then play as this guy. Oh, and bad guys, he is KING ARTHUR, so do not fight this guy, or you will be in for a world of hurt. Finally, there is Percival. Sure, he may look like a strange hybrid of Haggar and Cody, but this guy will put the smacketh down with that big old double bladed axe of his on all the bad guys.

There are seven stages to go through in this game. They range from a medievial fair to the castle of a very tough and brutal knight. Basically, he makes Belser look easy by comparison but you will find that out in a strategy guide of the game. You fight all sorts of knights (though the one who looks like a samurai neither has smaller samurai who are around him, nor ninja, and why one of them would even LOOK like a samurai is beyond me) in this game. There are about fifteen or so different knights that range from the little foot soldiers to archers and really big guys with pikes. Some of the knights even ride on horses, and the good news is that you can, too! Just hop on up there after you knock a knight off and then you have a new ride.

The graphics are pretty much dead on from the arcade, though the sucky thing is that some of the screens from the arcade, in particular, the one with the sword being put into the ground and then going up to an armored set of hands, are gone. What were you thinking about removing that from the game, Capcom? Also, this game also suffers from the dreaded "no more than three or four bad guys on the screen or else the game slows down" syndrome. Even though that in all of the the versions of the game (SNES, Super Famicom, PS2, PSP, and Arcade) appear identical on the first section of the first level, I would have liked for Capcom to have figured out a way around the aforementioned problem on the SNES and Super Famicom versions of the game.

Another problem is the sound department. The sound on the Arcade, PS2, and PSP versions of the game are MUCH louder than they are in in the SNES and Super Famicom versions of the game. The sounds in the game, most notably the sword sounds, are muted and they are not as loud as they should be in the game. For that matter, most of the sounds are muted, with the exception of the voices, which sound as good as any other version of the game. At least they did THAT right this time.

The music is not very much like the Arcade, PS2, and PSP versions of the game. It is still good, but it is just not AS good as those other versions of the game. Still, when you are hacking away at bad guys, do you really care what the music sounds like in the game when you hear their tortured cries of death as they meet your blades of justice? The answer is most likely no.

Another thing that I hate about this game is that you can NOT take the weapons from the bad guys and use it against them or other bad guys. This is the slight advantage that Final Fight has in this area and I am kind of ticked that they did not extend the weapon thing to this game. Also, the bad guys do not use their environment nowhere near as much as they did in Final Fight, which is kind of a letdown. Fighting games that do so are remembered as the really good fighting games.

The controls are good, though a 12 button SNES or Super Famicom control is not as simple as two buttons and a joystick. Still, they work as well as the arcade and that is nothing to sneeze at concerning any arcade to home conversion of a game. The sword swings at bad guys, they get hacked up like Thanksgiving turkeys, you move all around the screen, enough said.

The game:

Story: 3-10
The kingdom is in trouble because a band of evil knights are causing havoc everywhere and Arthur and his knights have to save the kingdom from them. Like this story has not been told before in history?

Controls: 9-10
The controls are near perfect. A slight hiccup of two with control and with using your weapon might happen here and there but it really does not affect game play often in the game.

Gameplay: 8-10
This gets two points taken off because of the limited amounts of enemies that are on the screen at one time. Still, when they ARE on the screen, they are just as determined to kill you as their arcade counterparts.

Music: 8-10
Though not as good or as detailed as the music in other versions of the game, it still holds its own in this port of the game.

Sound: 7-10
The sounds are good but in comparison to other sounds in the game, they sound a bit muted. Still, at least it is not almost completely different like the Arcade and SNES and Super Famicom versions of Final Fight. In that game, they were WAY different and NOT in that good sort of way (though Capcom redeemed itself in that department on the Sega CD version of that game). It is still good, but it is simply just not as good as its counterparts.

Replay value: 6-10
(This applies if you are NOT a fan of simply hacking a slashing scores of bad guys.) There is simply not much in the way of replay value but as for me, I like slashing and hacking bad guys over and over again. You, the reader, may not do so in your own life, but just the same, once you beat the game, then there might not be much of a point in playing the game other than to hack up more bad guys.

Buy or rent this game?

This is almost 2007, so if you CAN find this game, then chances are that they are NOT renting it, so if you have a few dollars, Euros, quid, yen, yuan, rupees, or whatever, then I would suggest that you plunk it down and buy the game.

The bottom line of the game....

Knights of the Round might not be a three dimensional powerhouse that takes the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, or PC to their graphical limits, but it is simply an old-school brawler that is done well and done right, for the most part, anyway. Still, it is far better than the home conversion of Final Fight and that is enough to make it worth playing alone. Also, if you are lucky enough to have an SNES that still works, then you might want to scour every flea market, swap meet, garage sale, yard sale, and internet auction site in order to buy the game. Also, since it is not for those systems, and that this is the SNES verison of the game, then those earlier rules do not really matter since this game was made in 1994, so back off of the anti-old-school rhetoric. We do not need any haters on this article. Thanks mom for getting the game. You had a happy pair of children at home that day.

Final Score: 8-10
Though it is a lot better of a conversion to the home systems than Final Fight or Final Fight Guy was for Capcom, it still has some issues that need to be ironed out (no pun intended). Still, at least it tries surprisingly well for being on an SNES system and it is every bit worth of owning if you like games of this genre. Some of the music might be different and some of it might not be as good, but it is still good enough for this reviewer. The sounds might not be top notch but at least they fare better than the SNES conversion of Final Fight. It might lack the replay value, but really people, the whole point of a brawler is to beat up more thugs, so just ignore the whole replay value and beat the crap out of some more bad guys, please?

This article by Jesse Long. Copyright 2006.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07


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