Thanks to an idea from Chip of “Games I Made My Girlfriend Play”, the admins and contributors of UWG will be posting a series of community posts over the next span of days on the topic of our “guilty pleasure” games in celebration of April Fool’s Day. And it looks as if the Duck gets the honor of starting things off. And on April Fool’s Day, of all days! Score!
Well, we all have some games we’re rather embarrassed to admit that we like, right? And if you deny it, I’ll only assume that you have a game in mind you’re just keeping secret from me…. Well, I have some of these games, as well. I often have pretty decent taste in games, or so I like to believe. I love “The Legend of Zelda” and “Kingdom Hearts” and “Halo”, but I also have some games I enjoy that I’m less eager to tell you about. But, I will. Now, I have already written a post on a rather goofy game I enjoy called “Bomberman Generation” on my own blog, and so I decided to write about something different this time. And as I thought about what to discuss, yet another GameCube game came to mind because, frankly, I have a lot of bad GameCube games. This game is actually part of a very small series, of which I think there are only two games, “Lost Kingdoms II”. (And notice how it is so very unpopular, I couldn’t even get an image for it, so enjoy this photo of the console it’s played on instead.)
The original “Lost Kingdoms” was a lot of fun, but lacking in a lot of areas. In some ways, it’s better than its sequel, in some ways, it’s worse. But, seeing as the second game has so much more going on, that is the game I’ll be discussing. First off, though, a little background information. To put it simply, “Lost Kingdoms” is “Pokemon”, but instead of Pokeballs, you have cards. Yep, that’s seriously about it. I mean, no, there aren’t trainers or gyms or any of that, but it really is about the same concept.
To get into more detail, cards have different elements that are weak against or strong against other elements (Question: Ooh, where have I heard of that before? Answer: Probably every RPG in existence.). And there are different types of cards, which are all used to aid you in real-time battles. Some are more like melee weapons, where you get to slash away with a Lizardman’s sword or a Chaos Knight’s lance a few times before the card is used up. Some act independently (which is pretty cute), while others are summons, which are extra strong, but attack once. All in all, it’s pretty fun. I enjoy collecting different creatures (many of which are actually pretty darn cool), making them change into stronger ones, and finding really good cards, and there is no greater satisfaction than amassing a really powerful deck that can destroy your enemies. Well, there are actually plenty of better things in the world, but in this game, that’s as good as it gets.
But, at the same time, they’re also just…bad games. They’re fun. That’s what matters. (Except when your character won’t stop falling over when she gets hit, which happens more than it should in these games. That’s not fun at all.) And “Lost Kingdoms II” also has a lot more than the first game. It has over twice as many cards, and it adds mechanical element cards and transform cards, the latter of which allow you to transform into monsters that can attack, heal, or reach locations you couldn’t otherwise get to without them. The game’s whole concept is pretty good, I think. How can you go wrong fighting with a bunch of awesome monsters? You can’t, that’s how. But, while the first game simply was missing some features, like a good story, or good characters (actually, it pretty much just lacked characters…period), “Lost Kingdoms II” is a “fancier” game all around, giving it so many more chances to be just plain embarrassing.
They tried again with a story. I don’t remember it, but I don’t think it was good. They tried again with characters. Again, no. The main one, Tara, is a bore. Yeah, she has some “mysterious” past, I guess, but I can’t see anyone on the planet being interested before or after these mysteries are revealed. I could spoil them right now, and it wouldn’t matter. But, I won’t, mainly because I just don’t have the desire to write such a boring thing and make you guys read it. And the villain, Leod or something, is just really, really…gross. Just so icky and unappealing. Speaking of unappealing, the graphics, while being a little better than the previous game, aren’t that great. Especially concerning the people, which is usually the case, but these are seriously some ugly people. And they decided to add voice acting, something the previous game lacked, and I wish they hadn’t. I really do.
So seriously, what you do with this game is…you suffer through the story and the characters, and then you start enjoying it. Because there is a lot of fun stuff to do. So many monsters to collect. New levels to explore. It’s a really fun game, and the new monsters really add to it. The gameplay is the only good part about the game (well, both games), and just creating a more and more powerful deck of monsters was motivation enough for me to play through all the levels and collect whatever I could. Unfortunately, aside from the gameplay, little else about these games is any good. So that’s where the “guilty” comes in, while the “pleasure” comes from the gameplay. And now you know one of my deepest, darkest secrets….
The Duck is Not Really Guilty, Though