Makai Kingdom. When I saw the title, I didn’t know what to expect. Hoping on a simple and fun platform adventure game in which you save a princess and some fairy country from death –slash- doom, I prepared myself for a few hours of harmless entertainment. But to my great astonishment – which later turned into great horror – I was treated on a Dragonball Z kind of crap. With even worse graphics. And I’m talking about the television series.
A game can make a few mistakes in the technical department if the gameplay is truly innovating or compelling enough, in my opinion. But what happened here is even worse than the current political situation in the Middle East. For a moment I was convinced that I was playing a Nes-port (I mean, even the SNES has better graphics). But what exactly is the story of Makai Kingdom? What will happen to those freakishly characters in their 2 bit color clothes and faces made of sprites? The intromovie, which sucked ass, gave me even more questions than it gave answers. The plot of Makai Kingdom evolves around Overlord Zetta, a guy who in an attempt to save his Netherworld destroys a dangerous book. This pre-emptive strike turns against him and Zetta’s dimension is completely destroyed. (I just realized while typing this: if you change Zetta to Bush, Netherworld to USA and book to Iraq; I’m writing a political article.) Zetta himself changes into a book. Yes. You read this right. A guy changes into a book. As a book, Zetta tries to rebuild his world and this is the point in which you, the player will play an important role. But not Zetta’s role. You soon realize you can’t play with the main characters in this game.
In this strategic RPG you will have to fight yourself a way through many turn-based battles while Zetta is rebuilding the Netherworld. Fighting alongside and with a group of anonymous people you must try to get enough power out of the battles to give Zetta back his natural form. (Which makes him a bit like Sauron. Evil and not very sexy.) The characters from the storyline – which unfolds itself while you win more and more difficult battles – are available to put into your team if you succesfully complete and win some very – and I mean VERY – difficult stages and keep upgrading your characters like hell. You can put your characters on the battlefield by using the invitesystem and in here you’ll probably run into some main characters too. For the diehard RPG fan, this game is a wet dream. It’s Japanese, has bad graphics and sucks. They can easily add another 20% to this game. For the mainstream Euro-gamer, however, my suggestion is to avoid this game at all cost. If you already bought it, tie a handgrenade to it, throw it at your math teacher and look for a game that looks more like a game and less than Microsoft Excel and has less sprites and comes without a low resolution 2D isometric point of view.
Maybe Makai Kingdom isn’t such a bad game in its (limited) genre but there is a reason why games like this normally don’t make it to the European shelves. Due to its outdated graphics, bad sound (with overacting that is worse than Hayden Christensen in the last three Star Wars movies) and a gameplay that isn’t entirely bug free, I must give this game a low rating.