New Little King Story – Review

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You might not have heard of Little King’ Story before, but the ‘New’ in the title should tell you that this Vita-release isn’t the first game in the series. As for why the original adventure passed you by? Well…

Little King’s Story started as a Wii-game where you controlled a king-to-be trying to build, manage and let thrive his very own kingdom. This meant dragging lazy bums (read: villagers) around, trying to get things done and vanquish monsters. Aside from being released on a console that was already dead by that time (the second wind delivered by Xenoblade and The Last Story had yet to arrive), Little King’s Story was a great game. It was cute, it was fun and it was addicting. it also lacked some much needed advertising. Fast forward to the present and New Little King’s Story attempts the challenge once again, this time on Sony’s latest.

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Not much has changed from the previous game. Your kingdom is once again in ruins, which means you’ll have to start out clearing land from cutesy monsters, while making sure the local peasants are accommodated in their every need. So you’ll start by building a farm to train farmers, barracks for soldiers and a suggestion box for your loyal subjects to pester you with. After some time passes you’ll set out to save seven princesses, who, for once, aren’t in another castle, but stuck in seven mysterious pillars of light.

Every once in a while a boss comes along and defeating it unlocks new areas. Initially it can all be rather frustrating. After all, you’ll see a vast world, waiting to be explored, yet most of it has been locked of until later in the game.

New Little King’s Story is a charming game, one that relies on old rpg values (albeit not turn based), an interesting story and simple, but powerful mechanics. Press square and your squad charges whatever you’re facing, be it treasure waiting to be dug up, a path that has to be cleared or an enemy for them to clobber. More powerful enemies require a bit of a tactical mind, keeping encounters fresh.

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While all the above sounds constructive, there’s also a negative side to things. You see, when there’s a lot going on on your screen, the game will lag noticeably. This’ll especially happen once your town has grown in size, or when a lot of enemies are creeping towards you. Then there’s the fact that no matter how unique the game seems at first, it’ll become stale after the first three to four hours. Doing the same things over and over again doesn’t help much, not when you’ll have experienced everything the game has to offer within such a short timespan.

Then again, even with its flaws, New Little King’s Story remains one of the better, more unique games on the Vita. It won’t sway many people into buying the handheld, but it’s a must have for any current owner looking for a decent family-friendly roleplaying experience.

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