Friday, 10 July 2015

Knights of the Round - Arcade


Sounds Arthurian, is actually boring.


There's not much to say about Knights of the Round in all fairness, as there's little in the game that makes it stand out. Perhaps I could go into detail about the setting of the game. Where in we see a pre-round table Arthur, fighting against local kings and established rulers to try and unite the country under one solidified rules, as according to Arthurian legend. (Where the hell the ancient Japanese warlord comes into this, I won't begin to guess). Taking the idea of Arthur, having reft the sword from the stone, moves on to make good the prophecy that he would one day become king. So we're not talking about Mordred or such.

Pick your poison.

Knights of the Round, wherein you choose your knight of legend (assuming your knight of legend is Arthur, Percival and Lancealot) and proceed to "civilise" the country by "selectively euthanising" opposing dignitaries. Though, on the surface, the game seems rather shallow and lacklustre, seemingly taking the idea that the combat needn't be complicated or awkward for someone to be able to play the game and enjoy it. However what initially comes across is a rather dull game with characters that bring little of value to the play style, the slow combat and the run-of-the-mill fighting system involving moving, hitting and jumping.

Jump attack, quite effective.

However, that's an initial perception. Knights of the Round actually has a little more depth than that, as it uses a secondary attack system depending upon which direction is pressed at the same time as an attack, allowing for air-moves, parrying and stronger attacks with slower start up times. There's an attempt here to further the bland "hammer the button until the enemies die or we run out of cash" approach but for the practicality behind it, you might as well just hammer that damn button instead.

Jump attack, good damage on bosses

The enemies and levels in Knights of the Round are rather similar across the game. Too steeped in the folklore and setting, the enemies are serfs, knights, other knights, more knights, some jesters and "magicians" and the bosses are usually MORE KNIGHTS or at least kings in armour. The one real deviation from all of this is the Automaton which just feels incredibly out of place despite being the solely amusing thing to turn up in the game and becomes a welcome battle rather than annoying like most of the others.

Jump attack, great for saving other knights

Knights of the Round hasn't got any real weapons to pick up. It does have food, chests (which can be bashed apart to get different rewards), instant level-ups, magical attacks and summons for horses. The levelling system improves your characters stats with each increase and at specifically significant levels, shows graphical enhancments of weapons and armour for your chosen characters. Though the actual levelling mechanic is a false economy because as you get stronger, so do the enemies you'll be facing and the bosses seem to increase at a suitable level along with yourself.

Jump attack, good for crowd control

The music within Knights of the Round is fairly standard and doesn't really push any boundaries, sound effects however have shown a larger variation with noises and sounds of enemies dying in multiple voices, rather than hearing the same noises over and over regardless of the differences in sizes of enemies. That said the clangs and ricochets of weapons on armour shows there's been some significant level of attention paid to detail for the sampling at least.

Jump attack, a good way to celebrate

The problem really with Knights of the Round is that it's been done, even by Capcom, earlier and better. As a result it leaves players with an odd feeling of playing something that should have come out 2-3 years earlier and doesn't seem to match up with other games that have been released at the same time.