thought I'd never complete this game, and I was right.
It's not difficult to win the battles and finish the
game but there is so much to unlock and explore in
Makai Kingdom that you may never fully complete it.
Kingdom is a strategy RPG, which is a rare bird on
the PS2. It's worth noting that this version is not
much different from the Nippon Ichi series of strategy
RPGs but it's definitely the most refined version.
It's full of variety and has plenty of depth to satisfy
even the most ardent of fans. Yet it still remains
accessible for novices. The battle system has some
new additions and the overall sense of freedom has
been increased so that the gaming experience will
be different for everyone. By experimenting with different
strategies you could conceivable play this game for
years. I don't have that kind of time, being a reviewer,
but if I were stranded on a desert isle and I could
only have one strategy RPG with me it would definitely
be this one. I would also like to take along a two-year
supply of pepperoni pizzas and Coke - and a treadmill.
I'm not sure what I would do with the treadmill but
I might be able to ride it to where I store the pepperoni.
the foundation for the turn-based battle system, the
storyline chronicles the plight of Lord Zetta, the
most powerful overlord in the kingdom whom becomes
trapped in the book of the Sacred Tomes when his doomed
netherworld meets with disaster. The whole sordid
mess begins when Lord Zetta consults with the Sacred
book to see into the future and discovers that through
his own moronic actions he will destroy his entire
netherworld. In a fit of rage he attempts to set the
book on fire only to accidentally destroy his own
netherworld. What a maroon. To escape the hellfire
he confines his soul to the Sacred Tome and becomes
trapped within its pages. With no physical body or
netherworld to rule over Zetta is helpless. His friends
rally around his predicament and attempt to rebuild
his empire and free him from the chronicles.
a party of up to eight characters, each must be confined
to a specific object. Lord Zetta is unplayable and
must have the other characters do his bidding. Once
you confine a character to an object that's it. There's
no changing it, so you have to make a good choice.
There are elements of strategy at every turn so you
always have to pay attention.
offer you a large degree of freedom. You can move
your characters anywhere and you aren't restricted
by rank, points or initiative. There is no grid but
the layout of the environment heavily suggests grid-based
patterns with various squares, angles and blocky plateaus.
Characters can be placed on top of each other for
convenience but with more than two stacked on top
of each other they can be really hard to discern.
You can throw items and characters but you must be
empty handed to do so, and the character that you
might want to throw across a chasm also has to be
empty handed which requires constant disarming which
gets a little frustrating over time.
areas on the randomly generated battlefield can be
opened up by killing a key enemy or destroying an
equally important object. When these areas open up
they will provide you with special bonuses such as
paralyzing the enemy or reducing the power of their
hits. These new areas will reveal new enemies, vehicles,
items and powers.
levels are absolutely huge. They just keep going on
and on. Add the secret areas and the ability to create
a dungeon crawl and you've got a lot of game. A character
can make a wish for a dungeon and he will be rewarded
with a special battle in which he can pick up tons
of experience points that will make the rest of the
level a cakewalk. Vehicles are also available to make
shorter work of the large maps. These vehicles must
be summoned during a turn. They will take on damage
before the pilot gets hit. The vehicles can be equipped
with various weapons which you can use to defend yourself.
You can also elect to get out of the vehicle to use
powers that you can't access from the vehicle. When
the vehicle is destroyed you can jump out of it and
continue fighting normally.
battle is over when you've amassed enough points to
clear it, at which time you can exit the fight or
continue on. If you choose to continue you will accumulate
even more points and you can also explore more of
the secret areas. If you move on you can always explore
these areas later which greatly increases the replay
2D characters won't win any awards but they do have
some personality. All of the cutscenes are voiced
with really good voiceacting. There is humor and warmth
to the game that makes the experience feel personal,
something that a lot of games fail to capture. The
battlefield effects are effective and varied. It's
truly interesting to see what happens next. Thankfully
there's not a lot of repetition with the effects,
animation and music.
of the Sacred Tome is highly recommended for all RPG
strategists. I could only give it an overall grade
of 4.0 because it borrows too heavily from past games
even though it manages to push the genre into new