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A great start to a monochromatic retro experience!

  • Waxius
  • 08/14/2017 06:18 PM
I never owned a Gameboy growing up, so I missed out on quite a few big titles during that period of time like Final Fantasy Adventure, Metroid II: The Return of Samus, or Gargoyle Quest. I imagine that King of Grayscale would have fit right in nicely along with those games.

The story is fairly simple and straightforward. Ashe and Lucian are sons to an aging King Demetri. The King would have the throne passed to firstborn son Lucian, but Lucian is ambitious and has not learned humbleness and compassion. Upon learning that he will not be named as successor, Lucian has Ashe exiled and has done something horrible to Demetri (whether kidnapped or killed we don't know yet!)

As Ashe, it's up to you to rally the lesser villages and build alliances to one day take back the kingdom and hopefully rescue your father.

As you travel the world map, you are forced to stick to the road and pass through forests and towns in a set order. Besides the battles necessary for the plot, you can avoid most battles by moving around enemies on screen. When battle does occur, the game uses the RM2K/3 side-view battles.

The battles are not difficult, as long are you are properly equipped and spend just a moderate amount of time grinding for cash, you'll not have any trouble. Save the game often because a plot battle could appear at any time! Fortunately, as you level up, your stat increases are quite substantial, so you are easily able to out-pace the monsters you are fighting.

Grinding is also easy. There are battlegrounds spread throughout the world that allow you to fight over and over for exp and gold, so there's no excuse for not being able to buy the equipment you need. Also, staying at the inn costs you nothing, so you are free to grind until your heart's content.

As you visit new places, you'll meet new characters ready and willing to join your party with little or no effort. Because you can only hold 4 at a time, your excess party members will be waiting for you at the inn/tavern.

Graphics and Music
Staying true to Nes and Gameboy style graphics, King of Grayscale takes the Final Fantasy I tilesets and uses them to good effect. The worldmap, towns, and enemies are all familiar and nothing is out of place.

The same can be said about the music as well. You won't find any orchestral arrangements here. This is 8-bit NES and Gameboy style music all throughout. Most of music selections remind me of early Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior, but I also detected a hint of Megaman and Metroid in there somewhere, though I could be wrong.

Final Thoughts
Even though it is not a complete game just yet, there's enough enjoyable content to play for 30 or so minutes. The story so far is simple, there isn't any deep conversations or long exposition, so you get right into the action. King of Grayscale takes me back to the days of NES, wishing for a Gameboy that would never come at Christmas.


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Thanks for the review, Waxius. I'll be sure to keep on this one, it's actually a lot of fun to work on!
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