Kingdom of Paradise - Staff Review  

It's a Trap!
by Billy "madhtr" Young

Easy to Confusing
12 to 20 hrs.


Rating definitions 

   Once upon a time, Sony sought out Climax to develop a role-playing game for the PlayStation Portable. This particular game was titled Tenchi no mon in Japan, Kingdom of Paradise in North America, and Key of Heaven in Europe. The game had a lot of potential and started off well enough, but it didn't take long for things to go downhill. Sadly, this game ended up not being worth the time and effort used to release it.

   The first thing players will notice when booting up this game is that the music can, at times, be very piercing. Some of the tracks in the game are catchy and interesting, but, for the most part, the music is forgettable and overall doesn't help the game. Sound effects are noticeably off, such as footsteps that make noise in between the actual steps.

   The voice acting in the game is another section that started off well and eventually fell over. Considering the names of the voice actors, it would seem that this game just suffered from poor voice direction. Sometimes statements were turned into questions and simple statements drawn out into howls that sounded like beasts in a forest. This section was even more disappointing after reading the manual and seeing the voice talent they had to work with.

   The battle system is easy to get used to but can be confusing at times. Some enemies can only be attacked with certain weapons or chi attacks, and most of the time you don't know this. The only way you can see this is by the health bars over the enemies and you get to guess why it's not going down. Players will find that the easiest way to survive battles in this game is to either run up to enemies, attack, run away, and repeat or to just level up all of the chi to their max levels and continue spamming them.

   Graphically, the game doesn't even really stand up to other non-RPG PSP titles. At points, the game shows players what the PSP can do, but, for the most part, it keeps the game well below expectations. Sadly, this game is still probably one of the better looking PSP role-playing experiences, which is not saying much.

Battle Skull and bones

   When referring to the story of this game, one could almost say that it would be better to shoot oneself in the foot than find out what happens next. The story starts off well enough, and then people start talking and interest is quickly lost. In the end, the story is confusing and leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and even the mouths of those people near you that might have caught a glimpse of the game.

   The continent of Ouka is sadly a small world that revolves around five different clans. The biggest disappointment about this is that supposedly this world has nine continents, though none of those are shown. Shinbu, the main character of the game, is the last member of his clan, and players will not be able to help but wish he was part of the massacre.

Building This is about as good as it gets

   The weapon system in this game is really the most confusing part of it. Players start out with the ginmei sword, and are then able to level that up or purchase new swords. The bad thing is that using the other swords means that players may not utilize chi arts that make the game easier. There are also enemies later on in the game that require players to use the ginmei sword to even damage them. This is not made clear by the game and is left to the player to figure out on their own.

   While some of the character and enemy designs are decent, many are just palate swapped versions of the same designs and in many cases; they are just the same model over and over again. Enemies attack in packs and most look exactly the same, only with different weapons from time to time.

   By this point, players will realize that they haven't really found anything good about the game. That is because once the game has started, the best part is when it ends. Of course, for those who found something they liked in the game, saving the game after the ending allows one to play the entire game again with what they ended the game with. Now, this is normally a good feature, but in this case it feels more like a punishment than it does a treat.

   Now, if this game feels familiar once playing it, that would be because other people have created similar titles, only better. If there is one thing that gamers take away from this review, it should be one thing: do not buy this game unless you are a masochist and/or a perfectionist. There are better games out there; you'll just have to look elsewhere.

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