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    dkirschner's King's Bounty: The Legend (PC)

    [October 3, 2013 07:09:24 PM]
    Really happy about this one. Tons of gameplay, which unfortunately does get repetitive by the end, but it's so fun. I learned that King's Bounty was like the predecessor to the Heroes of Might and Magic series. I played one of the Might and Magic games, I think HoMM3, and was struck by how different of an RPG it was compared to what I had usually played. In King's Bounty, you have a main character and can choose among 3 classes. I chose a mage, who focuses on spell-casting and tries to stack intellect and mana. There's a standard skill tree that you spend runes to unlock. You get experience from killing enemies and doing quests and you level up and your stats increase like any other RPG.

    In battle, you act as sort of the puppetmaster, like who you are in Magic or Culdcept, where you are the main wizard or whatever and you command troops. As the Mage class, I had 5 troops, which are groups of units. You recruit the troops from NPCs on the map, or you find them, hatch them from eggs or whatever. As a mage, my strategy was usually kill enemy troops from a distance and don't let them close in. The game is long enough that you get pretty much all the talents you want, so I wound up with 3 tiers of this badass talent which lets you cast spells twice each round (each round consists of your turn and the enemies' turn). Getting it 3 times made it so I could cast spells twice per round 3 times in every battle. As you get more powerful spells and increase your intellect, casting 2x, especially being able to do it 2x for the first 3 turns, is sick. I'd usually blast away a huge chunk of the enemy army on the first turn. The troops I recruited were usually ranged, like elven rangers and hunters, inquisitors, priests, evil beholders, dwarven cannoneers and alchemists, goblin shamans and so on. I'd try to hit them really hard with initial spells, slow them so I could pepper them with arrows and magic bolts before they could reach. By the end of the game, the enemy units get pretty damn tough so if, for example, a big troop of orc veterans made it to my hunters, my hunters just get destroyed. Orc veterans have a mean ability where they can counterattack a counterattack. So if they attack you, and you counterattack, which always happens unless that character has already counterattacked that turn, then the orc veteran will counter-counterattack. Orc veterans were some of the meanest enemy troops in the game. Them and black dragons. Black dragons hit really hard and they are immune to all magic. Not good for a mage.

    You control your troops in typical turn-based strategy style, moving them on the hex board. They've got action points and some troops have special abilities and all that is very standard for the genre. King's Bounty lets you cast a spell per turn (or two with that talent) as well as use one of your Spirits of Rage. Those are basically just additional spells, but they use rage as a resource instead of mana, and that's on a little bit of a different system. It actually functions exactly like a WoW warrior's rage, where it builds as you attack and are attacked and then diminishes outside combat. But the Spirits of Rage were really cool because it's a big side quest line to get them all. I don't think you technically even have to get them all. But once you have them, there's no more quest or interaction with them besides just using them in battle. I wish they had played more of a role in the story or something.

    There are a ton of things to level up in King's Bounty. Your main character levels up, your Spirits of Rage level up through use. When something levels up, you get a choice between two random things to increase. Each Spirit, for example, has 4 spells. Any given level that a Spirit gets, you'll have a choice between, say, Underground Blades damage increase or Rockfall decreased rage cost. There must be 12 different potential options. Damage/duration increase, rage decrease, or recovery decrease. So 12 things. This person on howlongtobeat told me that when Time Back leveled up, it was like a WIN button. But my Time Back never leveled up! Then your main character will get a choice between attack, defense, intellect or leadership. Leadership determines how big your troops can be since each unit costs leadership. You can also level up items by going into them, sort of like Disgaea. You go inside and subdue the gremlins, which get more difficult the more powerful the item becomes. Then the items' stats increase if you win.

    You can also marry in the game. Some side quests net you a wife (you can only play a straight male), and different wives grant different stat bonuses. I married a frog who gave +3 intellect if I kissed her and turned her into a human. Complete use value. Wives also have equipment slots, so having any wife allows you to equip 4 additional items, which is awesome. Quests are just going and killing things, sometimes getting an item and bringing it back. They're very basic. Some of the quest stories are nice short reads, but for the most part pointless. The main quest story is nothing to write home about. All the various races (humans, dwarves, elves, orcs), are upset at one another, the orcs kidnap the human king's daughter, you go save her. Blah blah.

    The story is completely overshadowed by traveling on the overmap killing troops, finding runes to increase skills, finding gold and leadership banners and so on. It's all about exploring that map and building big armies and leveling up. The game really tapped into my completionist streak. I felt compelled to explore every nook and cranny because there may be treasures or enemies. You can dig for treasures on the overmap, and they may be anywhere, so you are VERY FREQUENTLY rewarded for exploring everywhere. There's almost always something good to get. I wish the story had been better or more interesting because when the game got repetitive and began to overstay its welcome there was no story driving me forward. I actually took a week or so break because it was getting dull toward the end. And the whole finale got plain ridiculous.

    The finale is the last thing I'll talk about. By the end, like I said, I was getting weary of fighting anymore. The battles were becoming harder and I was losing a lot of troops every time. If you lose troops, you have to run around the map buying them back, and there are set amounts of available troops, so losing them a lot toward the end was making me a little nervous like I was running out, and since I was running out of money. Also it gets annoying, or tedious, running all around the world restocking your troops. It makes losing troops very painful. Anyway, so I was trying to just avoid battles and go straight from A to B to get to the end and finish. So, I used a walkthrough on the last 2 main quests and a map to get through the Dragon's Labyrinth and avoid the maze. It surprised me that I basically skipped the last 3 areas of the game, Demonis, Dragon's Labyrinth and Murdock and I still beat the game. That was an additional 4 experience levels for sure that I missed! Anyway, Go me. Actually I almost quit at the last battle. The big orc next-to-last boss guy decimated my army and I had just a few troops for the end. I started it, saw I was in the middle of a bunch of dragons, said "Nope" and turned it off. I really hated fighting against dragons. Over the course of the day I was thinking about it and I was like, I can beat it. I went online and looked for help and read that Glot (or Glob)'s Armor, one of the Spirits of Rage abilities, made the character it was cast on invulnerable to friendly fire. I didn't know that. So I used Armageddon (damages all enemies by A LOT and your troops take 35% of the damage) twice and killed 95% of the last boss's dragon army. The Glot's Armor troop lived through both Armageddons. That troopfFinished them off and with one more round of Fire Arrows I won. Literally beat the last boss in 2 rounds. Now realize I could have gotten through all those end areas using the same strategy. But whatever. Level 26 Mage on Normal.

    I have another King's Bounty game, Crossworlds. I also have Armored Princess, but I've read that Crossworlds is Armored Princess with additional content. I'll wait a while to play Crossworlds, but when I do I will play a warrior for a different experience. Also I really hope they have changed some things in the game just for variety since it was quite long. But I'll be glad to jump back into this type of gameplay. Great game. Highly recommended.
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    dkirschner's King's Bounty: The Legend (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 6 September, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 2 October, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Awesome fantasy strategy RPG. I'm reminded of Might & Magic. --------Great game. No story, but compelling gameplay. Loved leveling up so many things. Lots of thinking involved.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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