Lost Kingdoms

Card Captor Sakura? Yu-Gi-Oh? Both of these shows have a lot in common with Lost Kingdoms, card battling, and Lost Kingdoms is card battling at its best and brightest.

The first thing that is pretty much automatically abundant is the total lack of a story in the game, the story is well almost non existent, the only reason it seems to be there at all is to push the player along to weird places, it might of even worked better if you didn't have a god awful story to follow.

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Now to what actually makes this RPG great, the combat, most RPGs are the other way round, story knocks you socks off and the combat is left hanging, in this case though the battle is superb. The combat is done using various cards you pick up along the way, the character herself has no attacks, she can just summon cards, this may seem like an oversight but it leads to a level of micromanagement of the players cards that really feels nice.

The cards break down into, Weapon, Summon, Independent, Spin and Trap, then after that to various elements, fire, water, earth, wood and neutral, the Neutral cards are the strongest against all types and because of this there are only 12 or so Neutral cards in the game, with all the other elements having 30 cards per deck.

At the beginning of the game your deck will consist of some fairly worthless cards that if you hope to survive you should try and replace them quickly, over the course of the games levels you can find new cards and capture monsters in cards, but if on the course of the level you run out of cards to use you will lose the level.

Actual combat is a joy, although the elements come into it most of the time you will be using your strongest cards to take down everything, from enormous dragons to tiny man traps, all cards have their various uses, and all looking absolutely stunning.

Instead of the character gaining exp, the cards do, this is done by if they kill an enemy they get so many exp, and then more for all the gems picked up in battle, this is a very unorthodox method but once your cards get so much exp you can transform them into more powerful cards, which is a big help.

You cannot replay levels until you have completed the game, so if you miss something the first time threw, tough luck, the only way around this is to just before you finish the level is to quit and redo it, this is a very bad oversight by the developer, but it most likely there to ease balancing issues.

This game is ugly, down right ugly, the first thing you will notice is the extremely drab colours pretty much everywhere, some areas look surprising well but over all the game has a very dreary look to it, I think that the developer added the Black Fog to the story because they couldn't get the game working properly otherwise.

The only thing that saves this game graphically is the card monsters, all of them are surpassingly detailed compared to the game world, each monster is distinguishable and well done.

Even the monsters you battle look marvellous, although most of the monsters become cards when they are in cards their look changes somewhat. The effects that the monsters do are all superbly done, it's a shame that the developers didn't put as much time into making the game world as nice looking as their monsters.

Now to the sound, the sound…what can you say, it is as bad as the graphics, again the monster sounds effects are wonderfully done, from a roaring lycanthrope to a crackling skeleton the effects.

The music is dreary, maybe the developer made it dreary so it would feet the dreary world they created, but I doubt it, the songs range from bad to awful, and not much good, you may find a tune somewhere that may be at least listen able but overall the music is done so bad you will find yourself putting on the radio and turning the game sound down.

There is no voice acting in the game, but that doesn't matter because if they talked then you would have to listen to the awful story.

Multiplayer is broken down to 2 players using their deck from single player and duking it out. Players can use their own deck or use the same deck, they both have to go Katia, which is a small let down although each characters one is a different colour. The players can also beat cards, making the duels actually worthwhile if you're the kind of person who doesn't like to collect cards yourself, just beat your friends up and take theirs.

Another thing you can set is the ability turn off using non-fair play cards (read - the uber-powerful cards) this can make the game interesting but in an actual fact it ruins the tenseness of hoping your friend doesn't draw the Doppelganger card or maybe the God of Destruction.

The Cards, they make this game, and there is a whooping 100+ cards to collect, this adds hour to the initial game, you will have to look high and low to get all of the cards available but it is well worth it, some of the final cards you will come across are absolutely stunning, there are 4 legendary cards that are the strongest of their element and they really know how to rain down the hell fire and brimstone.

"A decent title that should be looked into."
- Lost Kingdoms
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 30 Min


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