Review: New Little King's Story (Vita)
Written By Matt Sainsbury on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | 09:02
So it’s fingers crossed that the Vita version of this game does better on the charts, because it really does deserve to sell a billion copies. Unfortunately history is likely to repeat itself given how few people own Vitas, but if it does fail to light up the charts, at least it's going to be one of the most loved games on the console again. Little King’s Story is pure and simple fun and nothing more – a rare breed of game that doesn’t try to be more complex than it needs to be.
The basic idea of the game is this – as a king you’re tasked with building up a kingdom and clearing the surrounding environment of demons – Oni – that are inhabiting the environment. You’ll be building structures and recruiting people into various different roles – both military and domestic, and the idea is to gather these people together into work units and direct them to various tasks.
To those few people that have played the original game – note that this is essentially the same game as the Wii version. There’s a different plot (though in a bit of self-referential humour, the game often points out that you’re doing exactly the same thing you did last time), but the environment and levels are designed the same way and you’ll be doing the same things in roughly the same order that you did last time.
Case-in-point; It’s possible to track down costumes for your subjects, and make edicts to mandate they wear a range of other silly clothes. For instance I made one soldier dress as a mummy in a gas mask, and demanded that all of my citizens wore swimsuits. This has almost no impact on the flow of game, it’s just fun to do. And that, really, is how a lot of the game works. A lot of Little King’s Story doesn’t have much to do with completing the story part of the game, but it’s possible to lose hours just playing around in the little kingdom.
There are a couple of technical issues that pull down the experience unfortunately. The frame rate doesn’t handle large groups of people so well and this is a problem when you’re in the centre of a large town, and there’s also some truly terrible translation work. Neither issue is enough to prevent Little King’s Story from being essential for anyone who likes fun games, but it would have been nice to be able to sit back and say this game is perfection.
I do get why this game isn’t the most commercially successful franchise out there – it’s a fairly aimless game and the charming presentation is an acquired taste. But it’s worth the risk for just about everyone because underneath that surface is a really addictive little package and it represents a nice diversification of the Vita’s game library.
- Matt S
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