Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 012022
 

(Please forgive the same formatting differences as I continue to go without Internet. Update: Fixed!)

So what did you think of May Mystery Game Madness? Was it a fun celebration? Worth repeating? Or would you have preferred something different?

In the middle of all of our mystery games, I also finished one of my most-anticipated games of the year, The Cruel King and the Great Hero.

The Cruel King and the Great Hero is from the same team that made The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, which I reviewed for MonsterVine and loved. So when the new game was announced, I was excited even before I learned it would be a turn-based JRPG.

You play as Yuu, a little girl who dreams of being a great hero like her father. Every night, the Dragon King tells Yuu stories about her father and how he saved the world from the cruel Demon King.

With a pot as her armor and a stick as a makeshift sword, Yuu sets out to become a hero.

It’s adorable. I can’t say that enough. Not only the art style, but also little details like how the Dragon King secretly keeps watch in the background in case Yuu ends up in real danger. She has an attack where her sword ignites with fire, but really it’s the king breathing fire on it.

(When you end up in an area where he can’t follow and use that move, the sword never ignites, and the little question mark that appears by Yuu is also adorable.)

It has a turn-based combat system where your energy for special attacks regenerates each turn, adding a bit of strategy to deciding when to use special attacks, when to defend to regain extra energy, and so on. Yuu is joined by a few different party members depending on the point in the story, but only one at a time.

The story is really nice. I was worried about how emotional it might get, due to having played The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince, but while it has some emotional moments for sure, it really ends up being a pleasant, cute story overall.

I wish the party traveled as a group, even if you could only have one partner in combat, to get more interaction between them, but it’s fine.

There are also a ton of side quests, or Acts of Kindness, that you can do to help out characters you meet along the way. While these are mostly fetch quests that often require you to backtrack through previous dungeons, most of them are part of quest chains with their own storylines. They were worth doing for the stories.

And that’s good, because the one thing I disliked about this game was the backtracking. Now, I usually don’t mind backtracking, sometimes even like it. But the problem is that Yuu’s walking speed is so slow.

Once you’ve out-leveled an area, you can run. Until then, you’re forced to walk at this incredibly slow pace, hitting random encounters the whole time. There’s an item that repels enemies, but it only works on enemies you’ve out-leveled. Fast travel is also an option, but the fast travel points are few.

All of this combined means that traveling through an area you’re at relatively the right level for is tedious and time-consuming.

But again, the story (both main story and side quest stories) makes it worth it. The Cruel King and the Great Hero was a lovely little JRPG, and I can’t wait to see what this team makes next.

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  8 Responses to “The Cruel King and the Great Hero is an Adorable JRPG”

  1. This game sounds really cute! Maybe I should give it a try sometime. The way you describe the draon secretly “helping” sounds downright adorable.

  2. The art is so charming. It does seem super cute, I might check it out at some point if it comes to PC. My PS4 is sadly retired.

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