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  Lost Kingdoms 2
From the Company
200 years after Princess Katia's apocalyptic battle with an enigmatic force, a new evil threatens the Kingdom of Argwyll. With the Kingdom on the brink of destruction, all hopes lie in the hands of a new heroine with a mysterious past. Armed with the power of a magical runestone, she alone must summon guardian creatures to battle the invading evil force and uncover it’s terrible origins.

The Skinny
First off, let me make it know that this is the first RPG that I have played on the Gamecube (or any console for that matter). I am much more of a 1st person-shooter kinda guy. I’ve watched people play other RPGs and wonder how they could possibly be any fun. Wandering around looking for random encounters with monsters, waiting your turn to place an attack… what is THAT all about? But I figured that I would keep an open mind when trying this game and I must say that this was probably the best game that I could have chosen to be my introduction to the world of RPGs.

LK2 is a real-time action RPG with a card-based battle system. When in a battle, you use the cards that you are carrying to place your attacks… and no… I don’t mean like Gambit from the X-Men does. The card summons a creature that fights for you since your character, Tara, cannot herself attack directly. This was a very interesting concept for a 1st person-shooter kinda guy to grasp. Your cards do the fighting while you just run around and try not to get hit. Sounds easy right, well it’s not that easy. The catch is that you can only carry a certain amount of cards at one time and if you run out, you are hooped.

There are over 200 different creature cards that you can collect/trade/buy/etc, with five different categories or types. There are Weapon cards, Summons cards, Independent cards, Helper cards, and Transform cards. Each of these cards are used for different purposes. The Weapon and Summons cards are used for direct attacks on your enemies. Independent cards are also attacking cards, but these creatures will “independently” attack enemies until they run out of energy. Helper cards, as you may have already assumed, summon creatures who help you by healing you or laying traps for example. And finally the Transform cards change your character into a creature which will allow you to go places that were previously unreachable. To make it even more interesting, each of the cards have a certain attribute to them. These include Fire elements, Water elements, Earth elements, Wood elements, Neutral elements, or Mech elements. The trick to successful battling is to select cards attributes give them an elemental advantage over the enemies you are facing (Water against Fire, Fire against Wood, etc). As you can imagine, the highlight of LK2 is the battle system and it takes a bunch of planning and a bit of luck to master.

One thing that I did like (as opposed to what I’ve seen on some other RPG games) is that the travel and battle scenes are integrated, meaning that your enemies are visible all the time. This means that you are not going to get sucked into random battle after random battle. This also means that you can throw down a powerful card at an unaware monster and get a jump-start on the battle.

Beside the single-player Story Mode of LK2, there is also a Vs Mode. Sounds weird for an RPG huh! In this two-player mode, you are able to go head-to-head with a friend using the saved game data (your card inventory) from Story Mode. This is great to way to see just what kind of attack all your cards can do. Also, before the battle begins, you can bet one or more of your cards. The player that wins the battle (whomever is left with the most hitpoints after the battle) gets the card(s) that other player bet.


The Bottom Line
As I said at the beginning of this review, I am by no means a connoisseur of RPGs. I have no patience for turn-based battles and having to do a lot of reading. Being my first actual experience with an RPG, I must say that Lost Kingdoms 2 was kinda fun. I liked that you could see your enemies and didn’t have the random battle phenomenon of most other ROG games. The Vs Mode was another element of LK2 that I enjoyed. All in all, if you are an avid RPGer, you probably won’t like this game. However if you are more of a Shooter-gamer and looking to try something different, Lost Kingdoms 2 just might be the ace you are looking for.

Review ID Number: 515
  Product Details
Activision
Review Date: 2003-10-13
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 7 out of 10
 
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