Review by ajitzcyanide

"Nothing complicated, but a solid beat 'em up, nonetheless."

Ahh... the fabled story of King Arthur and his sword, Excalibur. I've always loved tales about medieval times, so naturally, I'm partial to this one. However, that really isn't even a deciding factor as to whether I dig this game or not. It's still a decent fighting game, overall. Anywho, enough of my rambling, let's get down to the rating:

Story:
Well, we all should already know this one. King Arthur.. his knights.. sword Excalibur.. fighting evil.. what else is there to say? But don't fret, because most beat 'em ups don't focus on the story, anyway. Besides, who needs a good excuse to kick some butt now and then? ;)

Graphics:
Very nice. The characters and backgrounds are both colorful and detailed. Characters/sprites are animated well. I always really liked how when you hack n' slash in this game, you really hack n' slash! Nice work. Like Yee Seng Fu said in his review, some characters are recycled with different colors, but not to the extent where they all look like a cloned army. Almost all (if not all) beat 'em ups use this technique, anyway.

Sound:
Not bad. They all scream when you hurt em. Metal clanks when you hack at it. Horses 'neigh'. As Yee Seng Fu said: the main characters each have their own victory quotes, which adds at least SOME diversity. Music sounds, and is, a bit repetitive, but there aren't any annoying tunes, so that's a plus. Overall, sound is a bit muffled, but doesn't take any of the effect away from the game. One thing: Scorn's laugh. I bet you'll get a kick out of it.

Gameplay:
Here is where the game goes gold in my book. While basically just another beat 'em up, Knights of the Round has it's own extras that make it stand out. First off, the unique level up system that gives a little bit of gratification. Points in this game also count as experience. Naturally, as in any game that uses experience, the more you gain, the higher the level you are. With every other level up or so, your character changes appearance, and this really adds spice. Armor and weapons get better/cooler looking, but I'm not sure if your actual defense and offense are raised.. maybe one of the other reviewers knows. There are three characters to chose from. They are: Arthur (the good all-around one), Lancelot (the fast and weak one), and Percival (the slow and strong one). While not much diversity in selection of characters, they each have their own fighting styles and attributes. The overall challenge of this game isn't too big, but some bosses can get annoyingly cheesy in attacking you. All in all, if you are good at this kind of game, you will most likely finish it after playing a few times. One thing I didn't like about Knights of the Round, is that it's way too short. The game is only about 7 (give or take) stages long, and none of them are really deep. Usually when this kind of game is ported from the arcade, some additional features are added, such as stages or characters. None of that here. Only a simple option menu. Another thing I didn't like, is that you have 2 lives per continue. When cheesy bosses have their way with you, you'll be using up those continues pretty quick. As with most beat 'em ups, replayability isn't all that high, but I'm sure you'll come back to it now and then. I do.

Overall:
Knights of the Round is a solid fighting game. Decent graphics and sound, and solid gameplay, make it one of the best of this genre (at least in my opinion). While some additional stages/features would have been nice, it's a darn good 16-bit port of the arcade game. Definitely worth checking out.

Buy/Rent:
If you can get it cheap, buy it. It's always fun to hack at the drones of evil now and then.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/07/02, Updated 04/07/02


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