Game Journal Jan 24 2023

Two games I had some thoughts on for this game journal: King's Bounty: The Legend and Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Hearts

King's Bounty: The Legend (2009)

I knew this was a good game when I encountered a bunch of werewolves who immediately terrified all of my units, causing me to lose control of them and watch them be mostly destroyed, and barely salvage the battle when one unit came to their senses so I could cast a gosh-darn fireball.

King's Bounty (the original from 1990) is the progenitor of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. A Russian studio bought the rights to the name and made like, 5 new games with it, and this was the first of that lot. It's extremely charming. 

If you have played HoMM before, but not King's Bounty, imagine that game except you don't own any of the castles. Instead, you are just a dude on a horse with an army, and you go on a grand adventure killing creatures and casting spells and doing quests and trying not to get murdered. It's less of a strategy game and more of yet-another-take on the Dungeons and Dragons formula...for Computers (tm). 

I really like the battles in HoMM, and the feeling of leveling up enough so that previous impossible encounters become something to easily steamroll. This game is only that, so I was guaranteed to have at least a pretty good time.

What I wasn't expecting was how charming the writing in this game is. For instance, I needed to buy a cow that was good at fertilizing fields. This is what her owner had to say about her:

Apropos nothing, here's a short paragraph on a cow that shits stars. And look at that art - she definitely looks like the kind of person who would go on about her weirdly-shitting cows!

I also love all the various ways my character says "no" to things. In many other games, these would be very straightforward, but my knight...well, he's got a weird attitude:

Most of the options are weird and funny like this! Also, this game is full of weird little anachronisms and normally that would irritate me just a little, but with the tone of the game generally being mild and not-very-serious, it fits right in. Look at this witch's response when I ask her why such a charming woman lives in such a wretched place:

It's's cute!! I like it. This game is good. Looking forward to continuing playing this weird little Russian game from 2009 that I'd only heard of like, 3 months ago.

Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Hearts

Not much to report on progress here but I am still plugging away. Got a third monster finally!

My current theory is that this is not really a Dragon Quest Monsters game and is much closer to the mainline series, except for children. It's missing many of the key features of monster catching games:

  • Catching monsters
  • Naming your monsters
  • Breeding
  • Having a large stable of monsters

Instead, monsters are basically treated like party members, and sometimes you can change their form. With that in mind, I am liking the game quite a bit more. 

Mostly, this is an excuse to share some more of the extremely charming pixel art: