In case you didnâ€™t already guess, New Little Kingâ€™s Story is a remake of the Wii title Little Kingâ€™s Story. For the uninitiated, the franchise is a blend of RPG and RTS. This â€˜Newâ€™ edition expands on the kingdom building of the original by adding law creation, as well as updating the graphics with manga style portraits and an overall sharper look â€“ but some of the enhancements come at a cost, curious? Read on!
NLKSâ€™ plot is straightforward: Onii (demons) have destroyed King Coroboâ€™s kingdom and abducted his princesses; now itâ€™s up to him to reclaim the land and rescue the girls - you donâ€™t want to see them when they are angry. Youâ€™re guided through the story, primarily by the suggestion box â€“ which provides quests - and Azul, Coroboâ€™s second in command man, who tells you where to go and what to kill next.
Along with rescuing the Princesses comes a small dating aspect; you can take one of them as your Queen and hang out with them at night â€“ no innuendo intended. Interacting with them offers more of the character building questions - their feelings towards the king are affected by the answers you give. In addition, Princesses can tag along with you in battles. Although they wonâ€™t take part in the combat, they offer support such as powering up your attack for a period.
On the kingdom building front you are primarily tasked with assigning villagers jobs, expanding the town by purchasing buildings, and slaying monsters for gold. You reclaim land by killing subdemons, rescue Princesses by killing bosses, and repopulate your town with villagers by building houses, farms, and markets (each building adds a specific number of people you can employ.)
The RTS element sees you amass a royal guard of varying classes â€“ soldiers, farmers, and builders. Although all of them are capable of fighting enemies, each class is specialized in varying areas; soldiers specialize in combat, farmers can dig up holes, and builders can construct steps for accessing new areas. You can unlock a variety of different formations in either defensive, or offensive. Unfortunately, the AI is pretty poor and unless youâ€™re careful they often get stuck under a cliff or next to some steps.
Owners of the original will notice the benefits of the new control scheme quickly; the Vitaâ€™s touch screen provides quick access to various features such as the map, selecting characters for the royal guard, and targeting enemies. The only downside is that if you need to wipe a bit of moisture off the screen, the conversation will progress before you read the text.
Visually, NLKS is a step above the original â€“ mainly thanks to the PS Vitaâ€™s superior hardware. Among the numerous upgrades, character models have been improved; for instance, Verdeâ€™s pants no longer make her look like a mushroom. Moreover, the main cast now have portraits accompanying the dialogue. Unfortunately, itâ€™s not without issues. As the kingdom expands you will notice a few frame rate hiccups - nothing significant at first, but once you get to 12 soldiers it will start to lag.
Overall, New Little Kingâ€™s Story is an engaging combination of easy to master combat, bosses are a decent challenge, and building up your kingdom is as entertaining as the laws you can create. On the dating front, the princesses are enjoyable to interact with. This is a solid title for the Vita â€“ a handheld starving for quality RPGs.