A little King with big ideas.
In New Little King’s Story by Konami on PlayStation Vita, you take the role of King Corobo who witnesses the annihilation of his kingdom and, with the help of his closest troops, sets out on a mission to reclaim this fallen land and rescue the seven kidnapped princesses, returning them to safety. The beautifully rich opening scene sets you up for a journey of collecting your troops together and slaying monsters while expanding your kingdom in order to achieve a productive assembly of troops who will help you towards a successful quest.
During the beginning of the game, you’re given quite an in-depth tutorial on how to expand your kingdom and what is required of yourself and your troops. King Corobo requires a number of followers to help him construct a selection of buildings in which his followers can be assigned to various tasks. This can be in the form of becoming a farmer and soldier, among other trades. Once you’ve decided which trade each of your followers will take on, it’s simply a matter of throwing them inside the chosen building. For instance, if you wish your followers to become hard working farmers, you touch a button to fling them towards the building and they will enter it and reappear wearing a farming straw hat. The hard working farmers specialize in digging up small cracks that appear in the land, created by the hot springs. In the early days, you’ll also need to create some grunt soldiers. These guys are specialists in fighting and will cling to monsters to beat them up, but they are terribly bad at digging.
Once you’ve assigned your followers to the various trades available early in the game, you will be ready to start digging and clearing the Kingdom of monsters. King Corobo can engage in combat alongside his troops, attacking using the X button, but there is the danger of a counter attack dealing some unwanted damage.
As you progress through the game, more buildings will become available and your followers can be assigned to different tasks. Things may start with basic farmers and soldiers, but before long you will be assigning your followers in roles such as carpenters, who can build stairs or bridges allowing you to move forward into previously inaccessible areas, lumberjacks, who specialize in cutting down trees and removing tree trunks, and even mighty Knights.
Collecting up your followers and using them to charge and retreat is one of the first few basics you learn within the game. Tapping the square button allows you to make the royal guards charge and then simply using the circle button to retreat. You have to keep an eye on each of your followers health level and if their health reaches zero, they are unable to fight and are then released from the royal guard. However, during the course of your game, there is a chance to build a hospital and this allows your citizens who are unable to fight to stay in hospital to recover, for a small fee of course.
During the game, letters and quests will be posted to a suggestion box by the citizens of your village. Depending on whether you want to take the main storyline or focus your attention on the side quests is up to you, but generally speaking if you want to move forward in the story, I would suggest doing the side quests at a later date. It is quite easy to get tied up with the side quests and forget about the main story altogether.
The game has a mini map which allows you to easily see the areas of your Kingdom, including the areas which need to be unlocked using the skills of your followers. The red circles on the map highlight where monsters are lurking and a cross will tell you where you can set your followers down to dig up cracks and discover treasure.
The tutorial takes some time to get into and some players may be a little put off from embarking further on this adventure. However, once you’ve worked through the basics, you’ll find yourself building and battling away for hours at a time. As the world opens up, you will have the opportunity to explore outside of your Kingdom, slowly building up your minions and expanding your village. The monsters you encounter are strange looking, such as the Turnip-head creatures from early in the game, and destroying them will give you some much needed gold. You will also spend some time talking with the locals residing in your Kingdom.
New Little King’s Story offers a nice storyline and graphically looks stunning, inviting the player to spend lengthy gaming sessions on this handheld version of the original Wii game. However, the Vita features were not used to their best and the game didn’t always feel as intuitive as I would have liked. Many times, I felt a little lost trying to figure out what my next objective was and having to constantly remind myself where and what everyone was doing.
As soon as you begin the game, you’re invited into the fantasy world of King Corobo and his ever faithful followers by upbeat music and charming visuals. The world is filled with colorful characters and enjoyable gameplay. New Little King’s Story has made a good transition to portable gaming. It may not tick all the boxes, but provides a good deal of entertainment and a positive experience on the Vita.