Little King’s Story on Steam is a PC port of a Wii exclusive game from back in 2009. Xseed has brought the game back to life after 7 years with varying success. The game is essentially a strategy life simulator RPG game, and while strategy usually finds a great home on PC, there are some problems with this port that may leave players wanting more.
In Little King’s Story, you play as a boy become king. This means you have to maintain and expand your kingdom, as well as quest and adventure. Building you kingdom means keeping track of stats such as population, which will grow as you build more facilities, finances, and the types of people you have in your kingdom. You can directly command citizens to do activities for you or, since the main character does not fight well on his own, you can command them to fight for you as well.
The game is split up into an RPG-style main quest with many other quests on the side that citizens of your town will request. Side quests can range from your typical fetch quest, to other far more in-depth ones. They can become a little tedious, but when spread out alongside the main story, they are a welcome change of pace.
In addition to building your current kingdom, you also must explore to expand to other new areas, with the ultimate goal of conquering and unifying every kingdom. There are 7 other kingdoms to deal with, and this is where much of the plot takes place. In addition, citizens’ different jobs become quite useful here, as they aloow the player to overcome obstacles that they otherwise would not be able to overcome.
All this is well and good, and nothing is lost here in the transition from Wii (or gained, really). However, there are many other aspects that didn’t make the transition quite so gracefully. For one, the controls here are surprisingly limited. You’d expect, in an RTS-lite style game like this that originated on Wii, that mouse controls would be a relatively obvious addition. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t include any support whatsoever, making the game controlled entirely with the keyboard. The keyboard controls, in addition, are just not very customizable either. This leaves a bad taste in the player’s mouth right from the get-go and sours the initial experience.
The graphics here to get a noticeable boost. Obviously, we see a great resolution improvement, as well as the options for both 30 or 60 FPS (but no unlocked). We see a limited number of other graphics settings, but enough to see a good improvement over the original game, with better texture resolution, effects, and shadows. Overall, the game looks nice, but nothing stunning. You can tell it’s a slightly prettied-up 7 year old game that certainly shouldn’t stress a system.
The problems here comes from two different places. First of all, it is not recommended to run the game at 60 FPS. Rather than fix the support issues caused by running at the increased framerate, the developers opted to leave it be. Because parts of the game were designed connected to framerate, if you run at 60 FPS, they just break. This can cause stability issues like crashes, or just broken gameplay outright. It would have almost been better not to have the option at all. The other problem is also related to framerate. In spite of the fact that the game is not very graphically intensive, it runs suprisingly poorly on PC. There are some definite optimization issues that have yet to be fixed, which is a bit baffling when you think about just how old the game is and what hardware it originally ran on.
Little King’s Story is a solid game, but a dodgey port. If you can get over some of the control issues, lack of improved FPS, or the potential for the game to crash, there is a charming RTS-lite adventure to enjoy. However, 7 years after the original Wii release, the game runs far worse than it should have and doesn’t fit nearly as well. It’s an option if you’ve never experienced the game before, but it isn’t necessarily the ideal one.
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