Little King’s Story was an absolutely fantastic Wii simulation. It was a great game with an interesting story and a pretty neat twist at the end. The only downside was, it never received the recognition and appreciation it deserved. Now, Konami are releasing a different take on the game for the PlayStation Vita.
When I first came to the New Little King’s Story demo station at E3, I was at a bit of a loss. The Sony Vita demos were all pretty open, with little to no wait. Unfortunately, that also meant they often weren’t staffed by representatives. Whoever had gotten to the station I was at had given up and I was left at a loss of what I had to do, where I had to go, or how I even controlled the game.
Fortunately, New Little King’s Story allowed me to go to the menu and trigger the Minister of Whatever’s tutorial. It’s quite a handy feature, considering the game has both standard and touch screen control options and I can imagine it’d be easy to forget what needs to be done to recruit followers and direct them to perform tasks, especially in a portable incarnation.
See, New Little King’s Story actually takes place after Little King’s Story. At least, that’s how it seemed to me. When a representative finally came around, I learned that Corobo’s kingdom from the first game was destroyed by a Nightmare. It took the seven princesses and all his land. The goal is to reclaim the kingdom and save the princesses. Which means finding followers, directing them to take on new jobs and accomplishing various tasks to rebuild the empire.
I had two options available to me from there, both of which would probably never be able to be completed in the 15 or so minutes I had to test out New Little King’s Story. One option was to start trying to rescue one of the kidnapped princesses. The other was to retake his former castle. I decided taking back a castle would probably be easier, especially since King Corobo already had five soldiers who seemed ready to fight with him.
Moving through the forest and towards the castle was pretty simple. I tended to rely on the face buttons for my brief excursion, having Corobo move around, organize his troops and throw them into fights. Corobo could also fight, but his soldier followers were far more effective. I could also tap the touch screen to send the soldiers with me out to attack, but I preferred to use standard controls whenever possible because it just made things easier to see.
Most noticeable in the New Little King’s Story demo is Corobo and Alpoko’s new look. It’s very different from the super-deformed look of the original game. It looks much more like the JRPGs people are used to playing. While I did really enjoy the look of the original Little King’s Story, I liked New Little King’s Story just as much.
The best way I can describe it is that the original Little King’s Story felt like a children’s pop-up book come to life, while New Little King’s Story feels like an illustrated fairytale for teenagers or older readers. It may not be as unique as the original game in terms of appearance, but that small sacrifice may make the Vita JRPG fans who migrated to the system from the PSP more likely to take a chance on it.