[PlayStation 4] The Cruel King and the Great Hero Review
The Cruel King and the Great Hero by NIS America is a JRPG about a young girl that wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a great hero. Check our The Cruel King and the Great Hero review!
The Cruel King and the Great Hero from NIS America is a JRPG about a young girl that wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a great hero. The game’s story centers around Yuu, who lives at the top of a mountain with the Dragon King, the ruler of the kingdom of monsters. The Dragon King was once known as the Demon King and had been the enemy of Yuu’s father… until the day the hero defeated him, helped him heal, and they slowly became friends. On the day her father suffered a deadly wound, he asked the Dragon King to take his daughter with him to protect her. From there on, Yuu’s motivation was to become a great hero, so she was incredibly happy that after a lot of training, the Dragon King told her she could go explore the foot of the mountain by herself, not knowing he’d watch over her in the shadows. The next day, as she went back to the mountain’s foot to see the blacksmith, she noticed a young fox cub crying, and it was at that moment that her desire to help others sent her on this quest to become a hero like her father.
While exploring, the game is played from a 2.5D perspective as you navigate through the mountain and the different villages and areas surrounding it. You’ll occasionally find some blocked paths that will unlock as the story progresses, as well as some out-of-reach treasure chests that you’ll only be able to get depending on which additional character is traveling with you. You will also find lots of characters with which you’ll be able to interact, sometimes triggering Act of Kindness quests.
Those quests are basically optional side quests that you can complete as Yuu’s goal is to help everyone in need. The touchpad will allow you to open up a map that will show you points of interest as well as the destination of your currently active quest or places where you can start a new Act of Kindness. You’ll also be able to open up your menu with the Triangle button, which allows you to use Items, change your equipment, view your quests in the Scrapbook, or view things like your skills or the Monstrodex to see facts about the creatures you encountered.
Speaking of creatures, you’ll fight against lots of different enemies on your quest to become a hero. Battles are played in traditional JRPG turn-based fashion. At each turn, you’ll be able to select between an attack, a skill, using an item, guarding to reduce incoming damage, or trying to flee the battle. Your stamina will go down when you are hit, which you’ll need to replenish if you don’t want to fall in battle. Your Energy, on the other hand, will be consumed when you use your skills, but you’ll gain back one energy per turn, so you’re never too far from being able to use one of those.
Visually, the game has a great hand-drawn art style with some occasional cutscenes that feel like you are reading a book while playing. There’s even a great animation of book pages turning fast when a battle begins! The soundtrack is also a perfect fit with the game’s mood, and the game includes some Japanese voice acting during cutscenes. Once you unlock items in the Collections menu, you’ll be treated with extra details on how the game’s design was made, which is definitely a nice touch.
Upon starting the game, I immediately got curious about the story’s direction, mainly wondering if it would take a tragic turn or not. It didn’t take a lot of time to realize that this was not a dark or mature JRPG, but one that emphasizes a lighter tone that was simply about helping others, and it felt great. Even though it’s a rather simple premise, there were still lots of details for the world to feel alive, with lots of interactions with NPCs and for the different Acts of Kindness you take on as you play.
The battles were also a lot of fun and not necessarily easy because of the game’s less mature aspect. There is a nice progression where you can’t just rush in everywhere you go, and you definitely have to use your skills or items to heal yourself in certain battles. They don’t reinvent anything in terms of turn-based battles, which might be something you like or dislike depending on your mood, but putting that aside the battles do feel rewarding.
As for the trophies, the list is a rather straightforward one for you to work on towards unlocking a Platinum trophy. Most of the trophies will pop by completing the story and performing the different Acts of Kindness, while the rest will involve completing a few specific tasks, as well as reaching level 50 with the companions you can have.
The Cruel King and the Great Hero doesn’t bring anything new to the JRPG table, but what it does do, it does very well since it presents a charming story with a great narrative and satisfying battles. The Cruel King and the Great Hero is out on PlayStation 4 at a $29.99 price.
This The Cruel King and the Great Hero review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by NIS America.