I can?t believe that Square Enix is giving away A King?s Tale for free on PS4 and Xbox One.
It started out as a pre-order bonus for FFXV buyers, and as of March 1st it is free for everyone. It?s a fully-featured retro-style brawler video game, with a full set of achievements/trophies, and you should download it.
There?s not always this much going on, but it?s a good example of the vibrant art style
A King?s Tale is a classically-styled arcade brawler. You can move around on a slightly angled plane, and you hammer out attack combos with a couple of buttons on the controller. Different enemies are more susceptible to different combos. You also have a shield you can defend or attack with, and some magic spells to use as well.
The gameplay is amazingly competent and deep for a free game, and it has the exact right feel for a brawler. There?s few things more engaging in games, for me, than satisfying brawler combat.
A King?s Tale gets a little repetitive at times, sure, but it?s still fun and has just enough complexity and variety that you?ll have to learn a little bit about the systems to do well at the game.
The story is fun, too, even if you haven?t played the main game. Final Fantasy XV?s main character Noctis is just a child here, and his father is reading him a bedtime story. That story is the story of the game. They have some fun with this and add some clever wrinkles, and fortunately there?s not too much story to get in the way of all the fun combat.
The game is completely rendered in 2D pixel art. And it?s very good! It?s evocative of the art used in the main Final Fantasy XV game, and the old Final Fantasies as well. The animation is very detailed and has plenty of frames?though it?s not quite on the level of 2D classics like Street Fighter III. Still, it looks much less cheap than you?d think a free bonus game would look. There?s an impressive variety to the animations, and particle effects abound.
I love all the little references to old Final Fantasy games in the musical compositions here. I haven?t really played the main FFXV, so I don?t know if this is a choice stolen from that game?but it works. All of the tunes are new and original, but every now and then little strains from classic games I played as a kid creep in and tickle my nostalgia buttons.
Can buttons be tickled? I don?t know. Well. You get the idea.
There?s a lot of game here, especially for the price. I love the brawler genre, and this is a very good example of it.
I downloaded this a few weeks ago and then didn?t launch it. I wasn?t expecting anything from it at all. I honestly thought it would be on the level of a bad mobile or web game.
Boy was I wrong.
This is a great downloadable game that Square could have easily charged 15 bucks for. But it?s free. Go get it and try it if you?ve got one of the consoles it?s on! At the very least you?ll probably get some free achievements out of it. And who doesn?t love that?