| Comic Mischief, Violence
| The Good
Improved graphics and audio
Lots of cards to collect
| The Bad
Could be longer
Voice acting is weak
The story behind Lost Kingdoms 2 is set roughly 200
years after the original. This
time around, players take on the role of Tara Grimface, an
adept who carries around a runestone which allows her to turn
cards into monsters on the battlefield. As a part of a group
of thieves in search of more runestones, she becomes involved
in combat as the story unfolds. While the story is not exceptionally
deep, especially considering the length of the game, it does
a good enough job to keep you playing on.
While the game is presented like an RPG, where Tara gains
levels through defeating monsters, the basics on the game
are based on CCGs (collectible card games), where you go into
each stage with a pre-assembled deck, constructed of cards
of different types and attributes. Limited to a deck of 30
cards, you're dealt four cards, each to a different face button,
which can be used during the stage when you are faced with
enemies. You have direct attack cards, monster summons, assistance
cards and even cards that allow you to turn into certain monsters,
which is necessary to get through certain sections. To use
the cards, you need magic points, which seem to get drained
quickly. Luckily, enemies drop gems which can be picked up
to refill your magic. If there aren't any gems around, look
for the blue fairies, which when caught, can add cards back
to your deck, give you health or magic points.
Along with the basic use of the cards, players can use the
Right Trigger to discard cards back into your deck. Also,
when you use a card while holding the Z button, they'll be
summoned in a more powerful state. Since cards are based on
a rock-paper-scissors format of elemental strengths and weaknesses,
this can help in pushing a battle in your favor.
While the battles are a major part of the game, the real
backbone is the collection aspect. At the end of each stage,
you'll be rewarded with new cards, and there are a number
of chests in each stage to be opened. Also, you can visit
a card shop to upgrade your cards through experience points
that they gain during combat into more powerful incarnations.
You can also create a variety of decks, which you can always
try out in the versus mode.
Visually, Lost Kingdoms 2 is built on a solid engine
that provides a fair amount of detail. While it's no Final
Fantasy X, Lost Kingdoms 2 does look pretty good,
even with some repeated textures and some weak, and even boring,
monster animations. With everything playing out in real-time,
you'll find the game world immersive enough, even though I
would have liked to see better visual and lighting effects.
Compared to the first game, the visual package is a nice step
The audio package, while not great, is a fair grade better
than the previous incarnation. Both the soundtrack and sound
effects, while not spectacular, do a fair bit better at keeping
you going without being an annoyance. The voice acting, while
it comes in small bits, is laughably weak. Luckily, it can
be ignored for the most part.
First and foremost, Lost Kingdoms 2 could be longer.
While you can go back to previous areas, and it's recommended
to build levels, the basic story could be beaten in anywhere
from 10-15 hours. Also, the card system, except for a few
additions, really isn't changed too drastically from the original.
If you enjoyed the first game, by all means, go out and get
this game. It's better than the original, even if it does
need to be longer and the story could be more fleshed out.
If you like Magic: The Gathering or want to try out an RPG
that's different than the norm, at least give this game a