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Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager - PC Review

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

King's Bounty - Retro Reflections

This particular post is a fun one for me.

I recently reviewed King's Bounty - Legend. But this game had much older roots than this release a few years ago. It was a PC game initially - one I don't really recall. However, it was among a handful of strategy games I got on the Sega Genesis years ago. It was on the Sega Genesis where I really discovered my love of strategic games. Shining Force, Warsong and King's Bounty. I had actually beaten King's Bounty - Legend about 3 weeks ago. So why the long wait to post about it and this Retro Reflection? Twofold:

1) I really wanted to get through the Potato Sack - no small undertaking.

2) I had gotten King's Bounty and Warson as birthday presents from my parents years ago. Well, today's my birthday - so I thought it would make this particular retro reflection particularly relevant.

So, I fired up this game again, after all these years off. My initial thoughts? Lordy this game was ugly. :P The terrain and textures are all right out of the 8-bit NES era. Low-budget NES era. The music? Nowhere do you hear the symphonic sounds of King's Bounty - Legend. The score in this game is horribly repetitive and honestly, just a hint grating. But the game? The game is deep strategic fare, and that aspect still holds up rather well today.

There are clearly elements from the Legends version that were found back in the Genesis version. From what I've read, there was no overhead wandering in the original PC game, but here you wander, find items, and combat monsters. Leadership still dictates the numbers of your army. There are some quests, some spells and troops you can slowly increase in number. The size of your troop, just like in Legends, is not only their health, but combat effectiveness. It's a great system overall that holds up quite well.

Surly many improvements were made since then - especially to the numbers system. In Legends you deal damage, and if you are fortunate, kill enemy numbers. Here, all it reports back are the soldiers killed - seeing a damage score reported or some indication of remaining live would be nice (the giant in my retro video is a good reflection of this).

The password system stinks. Seriously, things like 0 and O should be easier to tell apart. This was not the best strategy game I played back then (I'd probably tip my hat to the well-known Shining Force games, or the far less-well known Warsong), but overall it was fun to play it again - a birthday present from a long time ago.

Below is a brief video I made, so you too can share in the strategy, as well as the rather horrible music and graphics. I may not be posting quite as much over the next few weeks - I have a lot coming up. My dad's visiting from Florida and we're going camping shortly after that. I'll try to get a few small things up and going once in awhile - but my torrid every other day pace is going to come to a temporary end. I should be back up to full steam though after camping, so like the 3rd week of June. Have fun until then, and maybe after my birthday I'll even have a few more games to report on.