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Little King's Story for Wii
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Review Scores

VGChartz Score
8.8
                         

Ratings

     

Alternative Names

Ousama Monogatari

王様物語

Developer

Cing Inc. / Town Factory

Genre

Strategy

Release Dates

07/21/09 Xseed Games
09/03/09 Marvelous Interactive
04/24/09 Rising Star

Community Stats

Owners: 288
Tracked: 7
Wishlist: 39
Now Playing: 19

Review: Little King's Story

By Karl Koebke 25th Jul 2009 | 8,662 views 

Quick, go buy it before it's delayed again!!

It has certainly been a long wait for North American Wii owners, but now they can finally get their hands on Little King’s Story. Delays have made it tough; I still remember when I thought the game would be out in May. Well, it is finally here, but was it worth the wait?

Little King’s Story lets you control the titular little king, a diminutive child who is led by mice to a magic crown. Putting on this crown gives the little king the power to command others. You take command of the kingdom of Alpoko, a small area right in the middle of the world as you know it. Other kings surround you on every side and it is your destiny to conquer them all in the name of Alpoko and yourself.

 


Accompanying you on this journey are your three advisors. Howser is a bull knight who has scoured the world for a king worthy of the title 'King of Kings' - a king who can unite all the lands under his rule. He is convinced that you are that king and sets you on the path to world domination. Howser is also the man to go to whenever you want to upgrade your kingdom or take on a quest. There is also Liam, the advisor on everything and anything. He serves as the game’s information desk and helps you learn to master your kingdom and your followers. Liam and the king seem to have been friends before the little king started his reign, but this is only mentioned in passing and is not really explained. Your last adviser is Verde. She keeps record of all the things that go on in your kingdom and is the place you have to go if you want to save your game. Being a woman in close proximity to the protagonist she predictably has romantic feelings for him.

Little King’s Story has some of the most unique characters in any game, but they are not among your advisers or your adoring public, instead they come in the form of the kings you face to unite the world. Each kingdom is unique, with its own zany aesthetic and enemies. You have a kingdom full of drunken partying, a land of tasty cakes and snacks, and one full of people who just sit around and worry their lives away. What really solidifies the theme of each of these kingdoms are the crazy, over the top rulers. Each is hilarious in his own way and it is unfortunate that you get so little interaction with each one. There is little to no character development in Little King’s Story and the story seems haphazardly thrown together at times. This fits very well with the gameplay and the story can be extremely funny, but it is not the kind of story that compels you to beat the game just to see what happens next. Luckily this is not a big downside because the gameplay is fun enough that you will not need another reason to continue playing the game.

 



On your quest to conquer the world there are obviously going to be some snags and obstacles in the way. Nobody ever said that world domination would be easy, just ask Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great. Facing these challenges on your own would be impossible since your king is pretty weak and dies after only three hits, so he has to enlist some helpers. By pressing the B button on the Wiimote while walking around your domain you can force any of your subjects to take up arms under your command. These commoners will then follow you wherever you may lead them. Once out in the field you can send them out with the A button and they will run a short distance whichever way the king is facing and if you need to call them back you can get them to retreat with the B button. Pressing the Z button gives you a line of sight for the king that makes it easy to tell where your subjects will be sent. The only thing that I disliked about the control scheme was that there was an obvious use for the IR pointer to point out where you want to send your troops that was not utilized. This became annoying when I could not get my king to send a follower to a skinny tree because I kept messing up the alignment and all I could think was how much easier it would be if I could simply point at it.

After you have collected some money you can start purchasing upgrades for your kingdom. These range from buildings that allow your followers to take up new jobs such as grunt soldiers and rainbow wizards, to homes that increase your kingdom’s population, and buildings that are there just to keep your subjects happy. At first this seems like a way to meld a Pikmin style game with that of Civilization or Dark Cloud, but sadly it is too simple for either of those. You have no power over where these buildings go and each one can only be built once so it is more a case of buying upgrades for your kingdom than managing a city. As I mentioned, there are buildings that help keep your subjects happy, and Verde can give you updates on how many of your people are your fans or how many want to elect a new king (silly commoners), but throughout my time playing the game I never noticed the number of disgruntled peasants changing, so I saw no reason to manage it. Perhaps it is just extremely easy to keep your citizens happy and you can do it without having to think about it, but it made that portion of the game seem shallow and meaningless.

 

 

The real meat of the game is going out into the world to fight enemies, explore the wilds and conquer neighboring kingdoms. You have many different jobs for your citizens that make them useful and it is important to always have a variety of subjects available to handle certain tasks that only they can complete. Builders, Miners, and even Chefs are necessary if you want to travel unhindered. Combat usually comes down to simple pattern recognition. Wait for your enemy to attack and then after they do you send in all of your warriors by repeatedly pressing the A button. If the enemy starts fuming that means he is about to strike again and you should order the retreat. There isn’t a lot of strategy necessary beyond that and for most fights you can send in all of your troops without worrying about who is better or worse at fighting, but it is important to remember not to send in your more delicate citizens with very specific uses, such as Carefree Children who are only necessary when you need someone to climb a tree. One annoyance with the gameplay is how easy it is for your commoners to get stuck. This is not a problem at all in the early stages of the game, but once you have three columns walking behind you it is frustratingly difficult to walk up a flight of stairs your Builders just made for you. This is fixed later in the game by allowing you to set your subjects to walk in a single file line behind you but even this does not work sometimes.

 



If this was all there was to the game it would be fun, but would get repetitive. Luckily there are some incredibly inventive boss fights that help to break up the gameplay. These vary from answering trivia questions, to playing a game of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, to racing up a mountain. These were all a lot of fun and it was surprising how different every single boss fight was considering that they all still used the very basic mechanic of sending out troops and then having them retreat when danger approaches. My only issue with the boss fights is that one in particular seemed mostly based on luck and was annoying to try to beat. Overall the gameplay of Little King’s Story is definitely the star of the show. It is deceptively simple to get into but I still died more times than I wish to share. Enemies that can eat up a follower in a single swoop are relatively common and you will lose a lot of your unfortunate subjects before the game is through, but even though you may have a hard time you rarely feel like you've been cheated and you always learn a new trick from your mistakes.

Visually Little King’s Story is cute and cartoony, which suits the gameplay perfectly. Even the dreamy haze that you can sometimes see around characters fits into the setting well. The variety of environments is admirable as every kingdom has its own look and you will never mix up the Jolly Kingdom with New Island. The kingdoms also differ greatly in the enemies you encounter, though sometimes this difference is only in whether the little Oniis throw cakes or beer at you. Having the game centred around conquering these crazy kingdoms works well because each one is a surprise and completely epitomizes whatever characteristic is its namesake. Characters are extremely varied, except for your subjects who only differ by their facial features, but the camera was always too far away for me to get a good look. I guess this fits well with the gameplay since you wouldn't want to get attached to people who die off so easily, but I would have liked a little more individuality in their looks. Unfortunately there are some noticeable framerate drops when things get hectic or you have 30 people following behind you. Although these were noticeable they only got to the point of affecting the gameplay once. The cut scenes are all done in a style that makes them look like an oil painting and fits well with the fairytale theme of the title.

 

 

Sound design in the game is simplistic but works very well. There is no voice acting per se, because all of the characters speak a language other than English that seems to contain some Japanese words as well as English at times. During cut scenes this works well and you can kind of tell the inflection of what the person is saying, but when you talk to people in the field they have a few stock sound effects that they will say regardless of the text that accompanies their speech, so the illusion that they are speaking another language is short lived. The music is all classical, which works well. I never really thought that I would enjoy hearing 'Row Row Row Your Boat' while playing a video game, but the instrumentals are well put together and feature at the appropriate times. The classical music works especially well during boss fights to which it adds an epic feel.

My first play through of Little King’s Story took me 21 hours by my count and 18 hours by the count of the save file on normal difficulty. For those who are not mathematically inclined that means I spent 3 hours dying and losing progress. Most times this did not annoy me, but after you explore the world for an hour and suddenly lose all your minions to a larger than life frog you will lament the decision to have only one place at which you can save your game. There are three difficulty levels and a fourth one is unlocked after you beat the game at least once, so there is some replay value for those who really love the gameplay. There are also an impressive number of side quests and collectables scattered around that could probably lead to another 10-20 hours of things to do.

 

 

Little King’s Story is a hilarious and engaging Pikmin style Real Time Strategy game that has some of the largest ups and downs of a game I have reviewed. There were some times where I literally threw the game case across the room because I failed something for the 10th time in a row, but there were also boss fights that were so inventive and memorable that I totally forgot about the annoyance I had felt before. I am happy to report that Little King’s Story was completely worth the wait, so if you have forgotten about it thanks to all of the delays it's safe to say you can put it back on your wishlist now.


VGChartz Verdict


8
Great

Read more about our Review Methodology here

Sales History

Total Sales
0.02m
Japan
0.14m
NA
0.11m
Europe
0.02m
Others
0.29m
Total
1 n/a n/a 4,918 4,918
2 n/a n/a 6,398 6,398
3 n/a n/a 4,348 4,348
4 n/a n/a 3,507 3,507
5 n/a n/a 3,081 3,081
6 n/a n/a 2,642 2,642
7 n/a n/a 2,440 2,440
8 n/a n/a 2,378 2,378
9 n/a n/a 2,205 2,205
10 n/a n/a 2,050 2,050

Opinion (266)

Gammalad posted 26/08/2014, 08:34
Probably in my top 5 favorite Wii games. I hope Marvelous AQL does something with this IP one day.
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ROFLMAO posted 01/07/2012, 04:41
Very reminiscent of my favourite game, Pikmin, with a mixture of other fantastic things in there too. It is one of the best original games on Wii, very sad that it didn't get more sales.
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ROFLMAO posted 01/07/2012, 04:41
Very reminiscent of my favourite game, Pikmin, with a mixture of other fantastic things in there too. It is one of the best original games on Wii, very sad that it didn't get more sales.
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RedInker posted 09/05/2012, 02:55
An amazing game. I'm replaying it for the first time since it's release and it is filling me with joy again like it did on my first play through. Shame it's sales didn't reach the numbers it deserved.
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spurgeonryan posted 02/11/2011, 02:17
Someone gave it a 0.0? I wonder what the average price was when it was bought?
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kingofbubba posted 30/06/2011, 05:46
It was pretty good. There were a few things that I wish were done differently, but over all it was fun and worth the playthrough
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