to the dark and foreboding world of Kingsfield II. Fifteen years have passed
since Alexander's triumphant return from the island of Melanat in Kingsfield I.
Much has changed...It seems that the King of Verdite has went very much insane
and has been possessed by the very demons that Alexander went out to destroy.
Upon hearing this, Alexander uses every last bit of his strength and magic to
seal the King inside the castle in an attempt to protect the citizens of this
godforsaken land. Alas, poor Alexander dies in the process, leaving the land to
become overrun with demons and monsters. Now it seems that the mad Kings power
has grown strong enough to begin breaking the seals of his imprisonment.
You play the role of Leon, the Kings son. The burden of saving the
kingdom and all the people of the land has fallen squarely on your young,
inexperienced shoulders. You must search the land for the four Archmages that
have been entrusted with the four magical powers. These powers will enable you
to break the seals placed on the castle, gain entrance into Alexander's tomb and
obtain the mighty Moonlight sword. Ultimately, you will have to face your
father in a battle to the death. It's the only way to truly destroy all the
evil...that is until Kingsfield III arrives....
II is a quasi RPG with strong adventure overtones. The RPG aspect of this world
is presented to you in full 3D, with your characters gaining in experience
points, magic learning, strength and intelligence. You wander through this
enormous environment collecting all sorts of items including health
plants/healing items, keys, weapons, armor, spells, artifacts and other useful
Kingsfield is one of those rarities that tries to walk the fine line
of RPG and adventure...not really falling directly into either of these genres,
but touching on both to be sure.
During this review, I will be comparing this title quite often to it's
predecessor, Kingsfield I, whose story and timelines are frequently referenced
in this game.
am trying to decide how best to put this...the graphics in KF II are very good,
but not great...hmmm, I guess that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be...but
Wondering around the world of KF II is both a marvel to behold and an
exercise in frustration. The graphics are all texture mapped in what can best
be described as "earth tones". Mostly everything is done in various
shades of brown, olive green, biege, muted blues, etc. When put together, the
result is a very realistically depicted environment. When you are adventuring
outside, the landscape scrolls buy almost effortlessly, with hills and valleys
that your adventurer needs to navigate. Dungeons too are well designed and laid
out. When walking through one of the winter regions you get the feeling of the
barren, icy environment that the programmers must have tried to convey. Oh,
the light sourcing and special effects of your magic spells are just plain
awesome. The tornado spell spews out a large revolving tornado that reeks
destruction, fire spells that create large walls of flame and healing spells
that form bubbles in front of your eyes, just to name a few. The spells are
The graphics have a somewhat grainy look to them. Objects such as tree's
and walls tend to pixilate when close up. I suppose the grainy, gritty nature
of the graphics can be attributed to the color scheme used throughout the game.
The drawback to the colors is that things tend to blend into them. Finding
objects strew throughout this vast environment almost proves to be an effort in
futility, they blend in a little too well with the background! There was one
object in particular, the wizards key, that I found only by going out on a
newsgroup and asking. Even after I was told where to look, I needed to walk the
area several times before picking up the prized key. That is not my idea of
fun. Other times I found things by just being lucky enough to "stumble"
over them...not my idea of skill.
The really incredibly strange:
While the graphics are certainly a bit grainy and gritty, here's the weird
part...the longer I played the game, the better the graphics became. This is a
truly strange phenomenon that seems to be shared among several other players of
this game that I have spoken to. It seems the longer you sit in front of your
television and play this puppy, the better the graphics look. Everything seems
to smooth out and you get drawn into the realistic world of Kingsfield...go
All of the advertisements for this game stated that KF II would have better
graphics! better detail! actual character expressions! and more fluid character
movement then KF I. Wow! Sounds good right? Well, don't believe the hype. The
game appears to use the exact same engine as the first Kingsfield. Yes, some of
the characters you meet are somewhat better defined, but only marginally. Most
characters still have that blank, expressionless depiction. Now, not all is bad
though. The monster depictions are done much better and I happened to think
that the original KF engine was quite good and moved an extremely complex amount
of graphics around the screen at one time. The same is still true of this
title, only now the playing field is much, much larger. Monster animation has
been improved a bit, and the assortment or creatures is large and varied, but
again, not a significant change. Again, not a bad things since the first game
already had a vast assortment of nasties.
All in all, if you liked the graphics and animation in the first
Kingsfield, you will feel right at home with this one. Those of you looking at
this game as your first Kingsfield experience will probably be most impressed.
again, another area that the advertisements claimed to be greatly improved.
Well, the sounds sound the same to me. Creatures possess the same grunts,
growls and shrieks as before, including the "death" sound that
everything makes when you waste them. This is not a bad thing, as I quite
enjoyed the original sounds, but it's certainly not a major technological
breakthrough either. Monster noises increase in volume as you approach one.
This proves helpful in identifying secret passages, as you can often here the
creature on the other side of the wall. It also proves useful when turning a
blind corner; you sometimes know that something will be there! If you are
connected to surround sound, your in for a nice treat...the sounds of creatures
behind you actually come out of the real speakers. This kinda stuff really
helps to immerse a player into the game. Swords and all other weapons all have
a distinctive whooshing sound to them and magic spells often generate sounds
unheard of in the real world. Very nice!
The music is best classified as extremely moody and atmospheric. Each
location has it's own distinctive score associated with it. The themes blend
almost effortlessly from one location to the next. The music is top notch and
again, a true surround sound delight.
game is huge. I'm talking weeks, for some months to completely map out and
discover everything this game has to offer huge. While playing this game, I was
never ceased to be amazed at the enormity of this world. Each time I thought I
had seen everything, another whole area would open up to me. Now all of this
might prove to be a bit overwhelming to a novice. Just trying to keep track of
where you have been and where you need to go might seem unmanageable...luckily,
somewhat early on in the game (oh, after around 10 or so hours of play), you get
a pixy map that shows you all of the areas you have already explored in each
particular town or segment. Places that you haven't explored show up quite
obviously as broken or incomplete lines in the map. You also have a world map
that is almost useless except for the fact that it shows your general geographic
location at any given time.
Progress in the game is slow. You must travel and explore the entire
world to obtain all of the weapons, objects and keys. After awhile this begins
to get rather ponderous. You begin hoping for the end to be near, only to find
a whole new previously undiscovered area that you really should look through.
The good news is, to complete the game you really don't need to find everything.
Most swords and armor, while certainly nice to find, are simply not needed. I
ended up completing the game with four different types of armor, seven or eight
swords and a variety of other weapons and junk. Most of which could have been
sold earlier in the game for some big bucks, but it was my damn innate anal
retentiveness that forbid me from parting with these treasures for fear of
needing them somewhere in the game...
Anyway, as you visit each strange new land and slaughter the creatures
you meet, your character increase in experience points; strength and magic
improve and your trusty sword, the Excelsior, grows in power and might. You also
collect gold from your fallen foes. This gold can then be used in the many
shops you find along the way to upgrade your armor, weapons or to purchase much
needed herbs and supplies.
Character interaction is very important in this game. Virtually
everybody has something to tell you. Whether this information is useful or not
is up to you to decide. A nice feature that has been incorporated into this
game is the ability to go back and review each and every conversation that you
had with the inhabitants. Along with the conversation, the name and picture of
each individual is displayed. This is an excellent feature, considering the
amount of people you converse with, you would be writing a book if you logged
them all yourself.
Next, is the excellent level design. The sheer
variety of locations and traps is staggering. Secret doors are everywhere just
waiting to be discovered and more often then not contain valuable treasures such
are magical armor or weapons. Switches need to be found to turn off nasty
pendulums, spiked maces and other traps before you can progress further. Other
traps must simply be braved with the hopes that you have enough health points to
survive the ordeal. Some locations have you wandering around mountain peaks,
with sheer drops all around you...one false step and it's off into the abyss and
Now we move on to, well, moving. It seems the game designers have
tried to closely simulate the feel for walking through this colossal dreamscape
fully armored and weapon bound. It actually feels like you are walking...the
bobbing and weaving all part of the experience. The drawback is that the game
seems to move sloooowly. There is a fix though, by pressing the "X"
button you can now simulate your character running through the terrain.
Everything zips by quite nicely now, but ah, there is a drawback...as in real
life, running puts a strain on you. Alas, after a good run it takes several
seconds to regain your breath (meaning: hit and magic points!), essentially
leaving you defenseless if you happen to run into a monster prowling
about...yikes! I suggest trying very hard to find the Fui Jin boots as soon as
possible. They allow you to run without tiring!
Which brings me to your weapon and armor selection. Talk about
variety...You begin the game with the magical excelsior sword. This sword
increases in size and power as you use it. Towards the end of the game this
sword becomes pretty damn potent. Additionally, there are AT LEAST eight swords
to to find, each with their own strengths and properties. You can also equip
yourself with bows, maces, battle axes and more. The same goes for armor. You
can also mix and match head gear, arm, leg and chest pieces of various armor
types to suit your needs. Some armor for instance makes you close to
invincible, but it's so heavy that you can't run in it and so thick you need to
use double your magic points to cast spells through it. Make no mistake, this
game has been very well thought through.
So, to wrap all this up...Kingsfield II is a fine package for any
adventure game lover. It's long (some would say ponderously long...longer even
than this review!), involved, engaging, addicting and beautiful to behold. I
did however find the storyline to be less than meaningful though and the
Japanese to English translations to be lacking. Maybe KF III will finally
address this shortcoming. Kingsfield's world is a marvel to behold, with each
new location offering it's own special thrills and excitement. I really enjoyed
playing this game, but only in spurts, which is why it took so long for me to
review this title. If you are looking for a long journey that requires some
commitment on your part, then by all means get this game. I'm glad I did.
are virtually hundreds of places to explore and discover. The variety of
monsters, creatures and characters that you meet, interact with and slaughter
are too numerous to count. The levels are complex, but well designed and the
overall gaming experience should leave you fully satisfied.
warning is that this game may not appeal to a hardened DOOM style fan or twitch
players...it is simply too long and slow. A gaming experience of this magnitude
doesn't come by too often though...I just haven't quite decided if that's a good
thing or a bad thing...
after five months of on again off again playing, I can finally say that I am
through with the game. While I am not completely certain that I have found
everything there is to find, I am putting this game on my shelf with the
satisfaction and pride that I have completed it...finally. Kingsfield II
presents a world not often found in videogames...it has it's own special aura
that draws you in and doesn't let you go...
and Slow, Long and Slow. If you have the patience to stick with this game, then
you will certainly get your moneys worth.