Author Topic: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story  (Read 4349 times)

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Offline Crimm

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RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« on: August 22, 2021, 03:55:23 PM »
We're doing our 50th RetroActive on the year 2009 for Little King's Story. If you want to hear how we settled on that, check out the NWR Patreon.

Comments posted here may be used in the relevant episode. Recording will happen in Late September.
James Jones
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Nintendo World Report

Offline pokepal148

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2021, 05:26:48 PM »
This man just called me a midget! That is no way to treat your king!

GUARDS! EXECUTE THIS MAN!

Offline pokepal148

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2021, 04:19:35 PM »
I am shocked by how addictive it is to build up your kingdom. I'm supposed to be crossing a big field of sunflowers to progress the main plot but I found a forest area with a bunch of red onion enemies and I can just rake in tons of money from that. Even if you don't have the level of customization that something like My Life as a King does it still hits a similar point for me of seeing this large city area develop out of nothing.

For anyone having issues with the PC version, turning off Post Processing seems to have smoothed everything out for me. I'm still saving regularly but the framerate is much more smooth and as a nice bonus, it got rid of the shitty looking bloom lighting at night.

One minor issue I have with the game is that the areas become difficult to navigate when you've defeated the Guardian but you haven't developed it yet. There's a specific area with a sort of stone henge type structure in the middle that makes for a nice landmark that makes it easy to figure out where you are relative to everything else around it in the world but once you beat the guardian that whole structure just disappears and if you don't devote the resources to developing the area you just end up with an empty field with no landmark whatsoever that you can use to help with navigation.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 03:17:25 PM by pokepal148 »

Offline pokepal148

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2021, 08:59:42 PM »
Why did my kingdom get attacked by a freaking UFO??

Like I don't know if I want that to be explained.

How do Aliens write letters? Why do they write in l33t speak?

I'm scared.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2021, 09:22:30 PM by pokepal148 »

Offline TOPHATANT123

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2021, 10:13:53 AM »
Okay here's my initial impressions after 2 hours with the game on PC.

I would say my overall gut feel of it is it's a less polished Pikmin with an upgrade tree. I say less polished because I feel like Pikmin is so perfectly set up for what it's trying to be, it's a time management game where you've got to spread out your resources. In Pikmin you see fractions on every item that tell you how you need to delegate these resources, and it's obvious which Pikmin can do what.

In this game, it seems from my admittedly early playtime, that the AI isn't smart enough to keep doing a task if you leave them to it. If you go off screen, the town's person will stop what they're doing and run to you, resetting the countdown timer. Isn't this where the strategy comes from in Pikmin?

What am I supposed to do as the player when the timer is counting down? Did this game copy Pikmin's mechanics without an understanding of why they work? But it's still early days and I'm willing to give this game time, maybe you get an item or something that allows you to multitask. Or maybe it's possible but finicky.

Playing on PC I expected the game to use the mouse, as it's a port of a Wii game. But no it only uses the keyboard. Makes me wonder why it only ever showed up on Wii and PC. You could have put this on anything because it doesn't use pointer controls at all.

In terms of tone, setting and story. I like the idea of being a ruler, that kind of thing appeals to me. Although it's a turn off for me if it gets too silly. I bought Reins Kings & Queens on the concept alone, but I found the tone to be too slapstick for me to get invested in the decisions I made or the story in general. Little King's Story doesn't seem as 4th wall breaking as Reigns, but I wouldn't say I feel any urgency or intrigue or motivation coming from the story either. Not that kind of game I guess.

I noticed early on that the music sounded like it was public domain stuff. Checked online to find out that the entire soundtrack is public domain. Not a huge issue, as what they have fits the tone. Overcooked 1, is one of the best games on Switch and that uses royalty free music.

Your starting kingdom has a job rate of 0%. Once you reach full unemployment, there's probably something wrong with your economy. Unless you've reached post scarcity abundance.

The enemies seem to be called UMA's, not sure if it's been explained what that stands for.

I would say the most enjoyable part of the game so far has been the boss fights. The king only has 3 HP and your people can die quickly, so both boss battles I've fought have felt exciting.

On the subject of having only 3HP, make sure you save often, because if you die it takes you back to the title screen. I know this because I was having my people dig a hole and with nothing to do in the mean time I went to grab my phone. Little did I know that some monsters had jumped out of the hole and started attacking me, the guards don't attack unless you command them to, so within a few seconds the king was dead.

Offline TOPHATANT123

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2021, 07:20:56 PM »
Up to 6 hours play time now. Had an unfortunate "LittleKingStory.exe has crashed" after beating one of the bosses, so I guess I'll have to do that part again. Suppose that's the PC version doing it's thing.

It was a fun boss battle as well. Difficult fight and I was under resourced, but I felt like if I kept trying I could win, and I did. Until the game crashed. I appreciate at least that boss battles let you retry and don't send you back to the title screen like dying on the overworld does.

So I reiterate, SAVE OFTEN.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2021, 02:08:08 PM »
If I remember rightly there's no way to upgrade the king's HP either, so protecting him remains top priority. The toughest part about the game's hardest difficulty setting is that the king is stuck with 1 HP throughout, so you can't make any mistakes.

I don't know if the game ever states what "UMA" means, but the manual says it stands for "Unidentified Mysterious Animal."

Offline TOPHATANT123

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2021, 12:12:51 PM »
Yeah I'm done with this game.

PC version is randomly crashing even when resolution and graphics are cranked down to Wii levels. Had to leave my first negative steam review.

Had a couple of somewhat fun boss battles but it's got plenty of issues. The map is horrible and the game doesn't do a good job of telling you where to go. The combat is shallow and uninteresting against regular enemies. It also lacks almost all of the actual strategy elements from Pikmin.

Had I suffered to the end, I doubt my opinion would change.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2021, 01:38:19 AM »
So since it came up on James's last stream: There is a way to dodge the Mad Mask's axe. You have to do a 180 once the Axe passes you the first time. It's kind of difficult to get a feel for but that's literally his only attack.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2021, 06:09:08 PM »
This was a very memorable Wii game for me, I liked it a lot, though I don't think I've played it since its release year. I enjoyed its mix of strategy and sim, and its wacky characters and crayon art style.

I was looking back at the game's thread on here, and I saw myself mention that it was the 666th game logged into my collection, and that my copy was defective! What a coincidence! I also saw that when I bought my second copy at GameStop, the clerk said I was the first person to buy it at their store; a bummer this game was so underappreciated and didn't sell.

I also found this dev interview in the thread if anyone's curious: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/26453/Postmortem_The_Creation_Of_Little_Kings_Story.php
Some tidbits:
-They mention trying motion controls at the start, but abandoned the idea since it wasn't fun; it's unclear if the pointer was included in this, but how they wouldn't have seen that as better I'll never know!
-The opening cutscene was originally going to be a playable intro where you had the king searching for the crown, but was removed since it felt too slow.
-A two-player mode was planned but scrapped due to being behind schedule, as well as "the idea of having a network feature."

I remember that there was a remake of this game on the PSVita which was titled "New Little King's Story." They seemed to age up the king to a teenager and from what I could tell, they removed a lot of the whimsy from the game including the cutscenes. To me, it seemed like a big step down from the original.

Offline Crimm

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Re: RetroActive 50: Little King's Story
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2021, 02:42:53 PM »
Thanks everybody who participated!
James Jones
Mondo Editor
Nintendo World Report