Review by Pokejedservo


Remember the stories of Squaresoft a then-unknown 3rd party company that was about to file for chapter 9 bankruptcy until the now world famous Final Fantasy came in? Unfortunately games like were the reason why Square was in such a rut back then. While its fortunately not one of the most hated games ever its still doing rather ''mediocre'' with gamers. Does it deserve its rather lukewarm reputation? Not exactly...

The concept for this game was rather intresting though take a pinch of Gauntlet with a dash of 2D Vertical Side-Scrolling Arcade-styled Shooter and you have this game in a nutmeg...err.. shell. You go through 5 stages as different characters from a Knight to a Wizard then a Dragon-like Monster to a young thief. (And in the last stage you all work together. However if not all 4 of them make it through their individuals stages then the amount of people at the fifth stage will simply be less. So if the character you play as dies in one stage then you just play as the next one. As long as at least ONE of them survives you'll be on your way to the last stage.) Their attacks are exactly alike when it comes to actual use (they are all pretty much projectiles) but their styles are nicely different enough. The plotline is your basic ''Save the pretty rather Bishoujo-like Princess from a Evil Demonic yet silly-looking villianous monster'' concept thats been used for a while now.

The Gameplay at first seems very routine, despite the fact that it sets in a medieval fantasy world your just shotting various enemies with your projectile weapons like'd you do in any Sci-Fi shooter. And the fact that you can move around in the area is nice but not THAT impressive however there is one thing that is rather unique in this game as well. While you can blast all your foes of course you can also blast just about everything else. Yes before that famous X-Box game ''MechaAssault'' came in recently there was this game that lets you blast down just about ANYTHING in sight. While that aforementioned X-Box game is a lot more fun to play that certain aspect gives this game a little bit of extra flavor as well. (And personally as much as I generally enjoy Square's handiwork in the RPG genre, I do think its a slight pity that we most likely won't be seeing games like this anytime soon.) Graphics are above average and use the ''Old Anime'' style pretty well and while the music is nothing memorable like most of the future Square titles, the music for this game is not exactly all that painful either. And of course the Control is not too shabby at all either. Not exactly tight but not exactly weak either...

Sad thing is that this could've been a very good game however unfortunately it was seriously marred by two BIG flaws. The first is the ''One hit and you die syndrome'' its where for the most part your awfully easy to destroy. There have been games that could get away with that such as Contra but this one on the other hand well... doesn't. It adds more challenge perhaps but its a lot more likely to add more frustration as well. (So in another words this is another game that you might want to whip out for Game Genie for it if you have one.) The over is the fact that when all your characters die you just start all over. You get no passwords nor you get any save blocks. I'm all for a good ''quick fix'' of a Videogame as much as the next fellow but still this is getting rediculous.

Overall its just another example of a game thats not poorly designed its just that its structure can be quite flawed. I don't hate this game but I will agree with the nearly unanimous sentiment that Square has done a lot better. As for finding the game well its somewhat uncommon but at least the price is decent. So basically when it comes to underrated Square games its not up to par with the likes of ''Final Fantasy Mystic Quest'' but its certainly not a bad game nevertheless.

+ Good concept with a decent variety of characters
+ Above average graphics with decent music
+ Surprisingly pretty good gameplay and control and its really nice that EVERYTHING is destructable.
+ Its no ''underrated classic'' but its not as bad as other reviewers made it seem to be
+ This is not incredibly common but the average price is not too high
- The ''Get hit once and you die'' syndrome severely weaken it.
- No Passwords nor Save Blocks don't help either
- Square has indeed made better games (though I still think its a small pity that this is the last we'll see of King's Knight to be quite honest).

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 04/18/04

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