King Arthur and the
Knights of Justice

Reviewed by Pero the Cat

General Thoughts:

I think this was the only game ever made by Enix America, and it has "Beginner's Effort" written all over it. It is certainly not up to par with Enix's other games, (but still better than Actraiser 2!) It lacks in almost every area, and there are times this game seems like one big glitch waiting to happen. However, one area this game doesn't lack in is its challenge.

Graphics: 6.5

The graphics are typical 2-D, adventure game fare. There's nothing really special, but I do like them. I think the bosses, especially the Dragon at the beginning and the final boss, look cool. I have two major problems with this game's graphics, though. Number one, the interiors of the castles are nowhere near as creative and diverse as the exterior areas. In fact, often they use the same background over and over again inside the castles. And they do this for EVERY castle! Very boring. Outer areas, like Shield Heights, Blinder's Way, the Dark Forest, the Wastelands and the Plane of the Dead are done MUCH better. My other complaint is that the characters themselves, meaning the Knights and minor enemies, are very small and lack detail. In fact, the Knights can kind of look silly at times! The game has some nice cinema scenes, though.

Music and Sound Effects: 6.5 The music is typical. There's nothing really special about it. I liked the theme from Blinder's Way, the Wastelands, and the Dungeon Theme, but that was about it. The music that plays when walking through the other forest areas, can get annoying after awhile, especially the "boss" music, which is often used in other areas besides boss areas. The sound effects are actually pretty good. Sword clangings sound realistic. When you walk through the Dark Forest, the sound effects are chilling. There's even some campy monster screams when fighting bosses.

Play Control: 7.0

Play control is fairly simple. You walk around, swing your sword, defeat enemies. Nothin' to it. I still have a few gripes, though. First of all, there's no variation in the play control. Not even from one knight to another, and you're given 12 to choose from. The knights walk a little too slow for my tastes, too. The subscreen system is a bit of a pain to get in and out of, too. And when I fire the shield beams, there's like a second-long delay as the knight powers up to fire, which is kind of annoying. Also, using the shield as defense does diddly-squat. The control is easy and basic, but perhaps a bit TOO basic.

Story: 5.0

Well, uh, basically, it's non-existant.. Well, there is one, and it's a little different from most adventure/RPG games, but it seems downright ludicrous at times. In fact, I think it's based on a cartoon. Here's what happens: Morgana has kidnapped the real King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and imprisoned them in the cave of glass. Merlin the Wizard realizes there's no one in the present time who can save them, so he searches the future for a worthy hero. He finds...Arthur King, and his football team, who replace King Arthur and the Knights of the Round, on a mission to stop Morgana when Merlin brings them back in time. Unfortunately, the only way home for this time displaced football crew is to find the Twelve Keys of Truth, defeat Morgana, and rescue the real King Arthur. This is certainly no heart-felt love story, or sprawling epic, like most RPGs. It's a simple plot, and it stays pretty simple all throughout. Arthur and the Knights must complete a number of tasks along the way before he can stand up to Morgana and go home. Most of the tasks don't even seem related, and I have to wonder if they were lifted from the cartoon series. However, the best part comes towards the end, when you must rescue two of your knights from the Plane of the Dead! (I'll bet THAT wasn't in the cartoon! heh heh!) Overall, it's an average plot, though, so you're not missing out on any grand epic saga by not playing this game.

Challenge: 8.5

THIS is where this game shines. This game is freakin' hard! I lost track of how many times I died! Most of the game's challenge comes from finding hidden objects, and man can they be well-hidden. You have to have good eyesight to play this game, because the objects are small and often blend in with the friggin' background! The enemies are tough, too! Half the times, my extra Knights die from being attacked by the minor enemies while out exploring. Unfortunately, I also think the challenge is a little unbalanced, due to the fact that the game seems "unfinished". For example, you have twelve knights to choose from, and they all show different stats on the subscreens, but you'll soon find out, they are all exactly the same! (Except Arthur, who is undoubtedly more powerful than the others.) And they all pretty much suck...You are SUPPOSED to beat each boss with the appropriate knight, so that you can take that Knight's Key of Truth from the boss when you finish. I find out I can't beat the bosses with any knight except Arthur! I leave behind the "proper" knight, so that he won't automatically take over the battle when entering the boss room, and just beat the bos with Arthur, then go back to the castle, get the correct knight, and go back for the key. It's much easier that way! It would've been much nicer had they made the knights skills more varied and suited to the task at hand. There are some Knight-specific goals to complete, but not many. Some of the maze areas and dungeons are also challenging to navigate. I had to map Blinder's Way, and most of the dungeons and forest areas to keep from gettintg lost. All-in-all, the game is hard, and the last boss is near-impossible to beat. I thought I never would. So this is definitely no walk in the park. Don't expect it to be.

Overall score: 6.5

Overall, this is not a really, really bad game. It could be far worse, but it's obvious that it was a "first attempt" by a new developer, and the glitches are there. For example, you could be given a bad password and get stuck (like I did), or get stuck in a wall while fighting a boss and have to wait for him to kill you off to continue. Also, the password system is a major pain. You are given passwords after completing major goals, and if you turn the game off before getting the next password, you have to do everything all over again. For example, there's one part where you must locate 4 keys. If you get 3 keys, but don't have time to finish up and find the 4th, you'll have to go back and find the other 3 the next time you play all over again. You'll only be given the new password once you find all four. This is also not a game you play for the story, and the ending is a typical and drab. However, what I did like about it was the large game world, challenging puzzles and somewhat creative areas. Maybe it was just nice to play an adventure game with 2-D graphics once again, that I had not already completed. But this is no Zelda or Secret of Mana. Players familiar with Enix's games like Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia will probably be disappointed with this title. But those who are looking for one more SNES adventure game they haven't played, and that's a decent challenge, might be interested.

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