Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is a long over do post. After returning from my Honey-month in Europe, I managed to neglect this page even more so then usual. Anyway, forgive me for not only failing to write anything over the past 2 months or so, but on my return, writing about a game that's release hype has come and gone like many a summer breeze.

Did you hear about "Knight in the Nightmare" jaded gamer? Did it register on your radar, you JPRG shut-ins? Did you even bother to take a break from Halo Wars to read about such a phenomenon.

I wish you did because "Knights" is something truly unique and memorable. To its credit, no matter how hard I try to describe the core mechanics of it to anybody who may be interested, I find myself unable to perpetuate a description that will truly encompass all the necessary details to paint a clear picture. How can I explain the grid based layout without describing the Law/Chaos phase system? And once that is comprehended, can I possibly make you understand the necessity of proper weapon selection in relation to the seemingly simple elemental based attack method?

The truth is, I can't. Or I could, if I was a much better linguist and had the proper funding and time for a dissertation caliber endeavour. "Knights" has to be played to be understood. And not just played, but weighed and tested. This is not a complaint, and I am not comparing it to any of the overwrought JPRG techniques that have so thoroughly brought me to power down my system in a act of defeat. It's a true pleasure to play and although the challenges are numerous and slightly repetitive, I was still enthralled till Chapter 45. A chapter can be completed in anytime between 10-30 mins, but you may want to take your time and collect all the special items that allow you to add soldiers to your force permanently in later chapters.

I am not going to get into the particular details that encompass "Knights" and instead just say it is a combination SRPG, Shooter, Puzzler and Action RPG all wrapped up in a Gothic-Fantasy with one of the largest character ensembles of any game, handheld or system. Some characters return and play a larger part in the narrative, while others make a single appearance in a chapter as it relates to particular story elements. Although wordy and a bit extemporaneous, the story stays fresh by giving the player details that occur both in the past and present. Incidentally, the pre and post chapter cut scenes work backwards from the much talked about assassination of the King (many months before the game begins) to the present events that you are actively taking part in. As details begin to emerge, the player gets a much clearer picture of the scope of the struggle taking place and the true nature of many characters you have come to consider friend/foe.

I am not going to pretend that the narrative had me on the edge of my seat, but I will say it kept a good pace along side the action and you can read or not read as much or as little as you want; which should be the player's choice no matter the genre.

Reading over this post, I can't help but feel that I haven't even come close to cracking the surface of any item of substance that goes about making this game so unique, but then again, I already expected that.