Friday, 19 September 2014

King's Bounty: Dark Side

I started playing King's Bounty: Dark Side. I discovered this franchise with King's Bounty: Armored Princess which I purchased because it was on sale and called, "King's Bounty: Armored Princess." I'm glad I did.

The original King's Bounty game was made in 1990 and is regarded as a precursor to the Heroes of Might and Magic games. The series reboot began in 2007 and so far there are four games, all but the last with with an expansion each. I never played the original, but I played a lot of Heroes of Might and Magic III and this game does nothing to ruin the awesomeness of Heroes of Might and Magic, so it's great.

Today I was reading some reviews of King's Bounty: Darkside just because they came up in a search I did while trying to figure out if the reason I hadn't learned the Slow spell yet was just bad luck or if they had made it scarce or removed it. Most of the reviews have a similar take on the game: It feels more like an expansion than a standalone game because it is too similar to the previous ones.

And they are not wrong. Each King's Bounty adds new artifacts and units and spells, but for the most part you are playing the same game as you played the last time. There's no big innovations or new systems. Get quests, run around the world, turn-based combat on a hex-grid. Go up levels and smash your enemies.

I really like these games and I'm glad they are basically the same as one another. The reviews mostly agree on this point too - Dark Side is fun to play and it's probably one of the better ones from the series. I've written about Final Fantasy: Dimensions as well - a game I am loving specifically because it feels like a remake of the Super Nintendo era of Final Fantasy games.

Among the reviews are a few pretty bad ones. I found one that gave the game 50 out of 100 because it felt like the developers just released the same game again. Sure, that's exactly what it feels like. But I really, really liked that game and I'm happy to play more of it. If Square released another game that was FFX with a new story and a few tweaks I'd throw fistfuls of money at them.

If you've played a lot of Heroes of Might and Magic and older RPGs you'd probably love this game. Instead of having town management you just have a hero, but your army size is limited by your level so you get a stronger and stronger fighting force as you level up. There are four difficult settings that are what they say: Easy is easy, I really can't imagine how I'd play on Impossible. Another neat thing is that the units have way more special features and abilities to use, so there is more variety between them.

I've purchased but haven't gotten around to playing King's Bounty: the Legend, the first in the series reboot. I've played through both Armored Princess and Warriors of the North, though, and they all of these games are great. There is something to be said for doing the same thing over and over.

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