| The Good
Character and monster design fairly decent
Battles easy to pick up
| The Bad
Loading times for button actions
Battles are mostly slugfests
Story? What story?
Rest of graphics are underdeveloped
For those who don't know, HOMM:QFTBS is a spiritual
remake of the Sega Genesis game, Kings Bounty. In this
version for the PS2, you are commissioned by the Queen to
find the Bone Staff before the king dies (or something like
that). In your search, you must recruit troops, fight villains,
siege castles, and even rent a boat to get from one place
to another. While gamers can play as one of four character
types (knight, paladin, barbarian, sorceress), each with their
own attributes, all of you time will be spent fighting with
the troops you recruit.
The one thing that HOMM:QFTBS does have going for it
is the fact that the character and monster designs and animations
are fairly good. Most of the rest of the graphics are fairly
dated, and would have only been acceptable on the PSOne a
few years ago. The animations, while decently done, can get
a bit repetitious after a while. Since most of the character
classes only have one or two types of attack, their attack
animations get monotonous quickly.
Much like the character animations, the sound effects get
old and overused quickly. Unless you change out the type of
armies under your leadership often, you'll be hearing the
same sound-effects over and over again. Also, the music is
uninteresting, at best. After and hour into the game, you'll
be turning the volume down and putting on a CD of your own.
HOMM:QFTBS starts off with a good idea - recruit up
to five different armies (consisting of anything from peasants
to knights to vampires) and attack other groups of creatures.
On the 5X5 grid, you take turns moving your teams about and
hacking it out until one group falls. Each team is represented
by one character, symbolizing the total HP and attacking ability
of that group. Therefore, it is possible for a group of 100
peasants to kill 4 Dwarves. Possible, just not pretty. The
real crutch is that the most of this game just consists of
building up enough people to overwhelm the enemy. Since there
are so few actions that you armies can do, most battles just
turn into slugfests. There are some strategic aspects in the
game, but just not enough to make the player change tactics
Another sore spot is the overabundance of loading. When the
game starts, you're trotting around on a pretty large world
map going from one place to another. But, if you want to enter
a town or settlement, expect a couple seconds of loading.
While this itself is not totally bad, when the player wants
to see the map by hitting the R1 button, or to see his character's
stats by hitting L1, expect a few seconds while those respective
screens come up. Unless you're just standing around, letting
time pass you by, expect to have to load.
HOMM:QFTBS is not a horrible game. It did escape the
horrid F grade that was
looming over it's head. The character designs and animations
can only take it so far. Without any decent story to carry
this game along, it just becomes monotonous after a while.
If you're up for something "strategy-lite", then
at least rent this. It isn't worth $50 on any given day.