The cute side of monarchy.

Role-playing survival game is willing to take risks

Being a king has many advantages, you get to tell people what to do while sitting on a throne all day among other things. Little King’s Story for the Wii let’s us see how well a monarchy can work with a boy on the throne.

In LKS your mission is to take over the world and make your kingdom #1, starting out with a rundown barn for a castle you’ll need to branch out and start clearing out territories to build your kingdom. Gameplay is similar to Pikmin meets Harvest Moon in how the world works. In your “castle” you can spend money earned from fighting enemies to upgrade the various districts of your land or improve the stats of your villagers. Each new building bought will change the landscape outside which is great for that “one more turn” feeling seen in strategy titles. When it’s time to go out into the world and conquer you’ll assemble your guard from outside. Certain buildings will allow your citizens to become a different job such as farmer or cook, some for free others with a cost; each job has a unique benefit which will help you out in the field.

As you explore the world your followers will be right behind you ready to jump into action. Characters are ordered through the charge command which will send out the lucky servant forward, if he/she comes to anything that they can interact with then they will start working/fighting/digging/ etc. To make the various lands habitable you’ll need to take out the guardian which is a boss fight with a unique monster; once a land has been cleared you can then start putting up buildings from the menu at your throne. You can tell that the character designer had some fun with some of the unusual creatures you’ll face. Even more unusual then the creatures in the world are the story.

While I’m not going to spoil the story for you the game features some of the weirdest cutscenes I’ve seen in some time. On your quest you’ll have to deal with 7 unique kings who each have a kingdom in the world. Let’s just say that you haven’t fought anything like these guys in awhile. The animation style of the cutscenes has a storybook like effect to it that I enjoyed. As evident of my last post I enjoyed LKS but it is not without its problems.

First off the game does not feature any IR functions for the Wii Mote, meaning that you will not be using the pointer for anything in the game. At first it sounds manageable until you face multiple enemies at the same time. The game’s auto target feature is horrible for picking out specific enemies when they are within a certain distance of each other, an issue easily fixed if I could just point at who I want beaten up. There are also weird arbitrary times when the camera stays in a specific position which I have no idea why that position is so important that can make getting around a pain. All this adds up to a sub par interface for the game which also comes back to bite you when you are trying to manage all those villagers. Other then the “royal guard” group there is no way to set up custom groups of villagers to be used at any time. The badge system of assigning troops to your service only makes them go to the royal guard, which then requires you to go back and find the guy who was kicked out and add him back in when you are ready to go out.

Making life even harder is that your followers will frequently get stuck on objects when you are trying to get around carefully and as an even bigger slap, if a follower falls off a small height on their own they will lose health and could even die. An issue that becomes all the more annoying when you are playing on hard mode. Speaking about health, the king has the lowest health out of everyone and one lucky hit can send you to the “life over” screen making me wish that there was a way to save out in the field.

Overall with these complaints I still enjoyed LKS, unique titles like LKS come around very rarely and is another game that I would love to see a sequel to. LKS can be added to that very short list of challenging great Wii titles and is worth a look at.