The stoic King Corobo is fighting to rebuild his kingdom after it fell to the evil Devil King. With his devoted subject, Azul, by his side and his royal guard to command, King Corobo must battle his way through seven different locations to rebuild his realm.
New Little King Story is an action-RPG simulator that borrows elements from many different genres. When you’re not vanquishing creatures, you’re building towns and managing its people.
The game starts with a tutorial that explains how to use the royal guards to protect the king, destroy barricades, and vanquish enemies during combat. This is explained by Azul as he leads King Corodo through a secret underground passageway beneath the kingdom. The tutorial, like all the others, is segmented and only explains what the player needs to know.
Once you escape the secret underground passageway, you meet up with your loyal subjects Verde, Lian, and Howser to rebuild your kingdom. The game focuses heavily on recruiting villagers, implementing town management so villagers can be useful, and collecting resources so you can purchase new items.
The scouting process is relatively easy and requires the player to speak to them by pressing the X button. If the villager seems like he/she is worth recruiting, you can scout them by pressing the Circle button. A badge keeps track of the number of scouts/guards currently in your employe.
After you have recruited enough scouts, you can explore the village for open cracks in the ground. These cracks contain gold and other useful items that can be stored in the Royal Vault. King Corodo can deploy his scouts to dig open these cracks. This is accomplished by pressing the Square button. Any treasure (or ‘swag’) that is recovered can be returned to the King’s quarters for appraisal.
Scouts by themselves have no special skills. By establishing jobs inside a village (which are structures that assign specific jobs), you can appoint scouts to be farmers, soldiers, and even carpenters. The Soldier Hut will train citizens to be grunt soldiers. As you explore the game world, grunt soldiers will help you battle the various creatures that inhabit the game world.
And while it’s important to have soldiers, you shouldn’t venture off without including some of the other job classes. The Little Farmhouse, as it’s called, trains citizens to be farmers. Farmers are diligent workers that are good at digging holes, especially the ‘cracks’ in the ground. The Carpenter’s Hut trains citizens to be normal carpenters. Carpenters can build bridges to reach other locations and stairs to climb cliffs. This class is needed to explore a good portion of the game world, so you can never have enough.
You would be forgiven if you thought that New Little King Story played similar to games like SimCity. There is less micromanaging happening compared to most simulators, and while you’re managing your towns as they grow and assigning jobs to ‘carefree’ citizens, you’re not controlling every single aspect of the village’s growth.
As King, your concerns rest on the town’s population and whether your plans for growth are successful or not. The game is divided between town management and collecting gold to expand; this involves battling creatures and returning the ‘swag’ for appraisal.
Combat is simple and involves ‘hurling’ your recruits at the enemy by pressing the Triangle button. When you’re engaged in combat, you can press the Right shoulder button to use a yellow trajectory line to help plot your aim before ‘hurling’ a soldier at an enemy. Since the game is finicky about aiming, there are times when soldiers will miss their target even though your aim is accurate. And while it’s not a common occurrence, it’s enough to frustrate even the most patient of gamers, especially when your soldiers take damage.
Your soldiers’ health is represented by green bubbles above their portraits at the bottom of the screen. King Corodo’s health resembles a green pie divided into three segments. Fallen creatures drop gold and other items that can be appraised.
You can access a Field Menu by touching an on-screen icon labeled ‘Menu’. The Field Menu keeps track of your kingdom’s money, how many items collected, your group’s stats, and previously learned game and job rules. There is also an Encyclopedia that unlocks information as you progress through the game. Additionally, you can save and load your game without any restrictions; there are no checkpoints to worry about.
New Little King Story’s graphics are impressive, but they do little to push the PSVita’s capabilities. The earth-tone background colors, the SD (super deformed) characters, and the brightly colored character illustrations seen during the intermissions look great on the PS Vita’s screen. The music is lighthearted and fits in appropriately with the game’s atmosphere. Again, the overall presentation is impressive, but it doesn’t accomplish anything new on the Vita.
New Little King Story by Konami is an enjoyable JRPG with Simcity-like qualities. And while the game expects you to manage towns, improve your citizens, and maintain a royal treasury, it also includes a vast world to explore. Now how can you argue with that?
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
|While the graphics are impressive, they do little to push the PSVita's capabilities.|
|Great music that compliments the gameplay.|
|While a simulator of sorts, it plays more like a standard JRPG.|
|Gamers looking for something different will enjoy New Little King Story for PS Vita|