A Knight's Quest - Switch Review
A Knight’s Quest is a Zelda-inspired 3rd person adventure game that has its moments, but falls short in a lot of areas. For anyone wanting to buy a game that is similar to Breath of the Wild, but doesn’t want to shell out $80, this might be the game for you – provided you’re either new to the genre, or are buying this for a younger sibling or child aged 7-14. When I saw the trailer, I anticipated a sprawling world, fun characters, challenging combat, and fun exploration. Unfortunately, I got none of that. The world was barebones, characters were forgettable and annoying (although this will be discussed later), combat consists of mashing the attack button until the enemy dies, and exploration is hindered by a far-too simple movement system, combined with levels that are far too big for the character to traverse.
I won’t stay on game mechanics for too long. There are a few annoying things like when climbing ladders and jumping, the protagonist Rusty jumps away from the ladder instead of upwards, and with the inability to sprint, it severely hampers the player’s ability to traverse the large levels. Combat is simple, with just enough flavour to keep it interesting, although as previously mentioned, the button mashing raises its ugly head once simpler enemies engage Rusty.
The gameplay shines when the player enters enclosed ‘puzzle rooms’ and must use abilities to progress. These areas offer rewards through clever thinking, careful movement, and killing enemies. However, the level design (in a mechanical sense) is truly disappointing. I often found myself needing to double back across an area simply to move a block, pull a lever, or some other task that dragged me back across a puzzle room, run through all the platforms again, and practically redo the whole entire thing again. Its game design at its worst – repetitive, mundane, and pointless. This happened numerous times during my playthrough, and is designed purely to artificially increase the time needed to play the game. It’s pointless, and I would have preferred a short, simple map, than a long and frustrating one.
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The starting area is painfully average, and immediately put me off with the Gamma being so dim I could barely see. The platforming and enemies were standard for the genre and are a good introduction for what’s to come. One emerging from the cave, the player is introduced to a bright, colourful world – something that should have been boasted from the onset… From here, things pick up. I was introduced to the town, the townsfolk, and was given the quest to find the heroes of the world and ask them to stop the evil bad guy. Of course, this doesn’t happen, and it is now onto Rusty to save the townsfolk. I found the townsfolk to be dull and uninteresting, merely acting as a way to help the player progress.
Once out in the world, NPC variety picked up, with creative characters such as somebody who asks if Rusty liked turtles. Upon prompting yes or no, the man gave Rusty a piece of poo. This sort of ‘random’ humour is rife throughout the game, and is what prompted my suggestion of a younger audience playing it. If you’re an adult and you still like the humour in this game, all the more power to you – I sometimes chuckled, like the guy who wanted milk. Relatable. But this constant barrage of ‘random wacky’ characters was something I found draining, and I just grew to resent the game more and more as I progressed.
Graphics / Art Direction
The graphics in A Knight’s Quest are a double edged sword. On the one hand; the game contains vibrant and bright colours, a large open world to explore, beautiful scenery in some areas, and detailed, fleshed out models. On the other, it is rife with 2D faces, frame rate issues with more than 10 characters on screen, and absolutely horrible texturing the further an object is.
As soon as something was further than 10 metres away, its borders pixelated instantly, and eventually just became a horrible glob of pixels even if they’re still clearly in view. This issue might be alleviated while in docked mode, but at least for handheld mode, this was a major gripe for me. But as I said previously, the world itself is truly enjoyable, and is my favourite part of the game.
Music / Sound Design
The soundtrack was par for the course. It became louder and more intense as button mashing started, and peaceful exploration was just that. However, the audio design in this game is some of the worst I’ve seen in a long time. It feels like the developers have forgotten how to code in sound effects for half the interactions. Hitting an enemy barely registers a sound, boxes quietly crumble as you smash them with a jumping dive attack and Rusty will make weird noises when he opens chests. I had to go into the menu and manually turn down the soundtrack and turn up the effects just so I could somewhat hear when I picked something up.
Final Score: 50%
A Knight’s Quest has two sides. On the one hand, it appeals to young audiences, with bright colours and simple gameplay. On the other, the humour may not appeal to older audiences, and some parts of the game are difficult to navigate, even for myself. These two sides are constantly at odds with one another. It feels like the developers tried to appeal to both younger and older audiences with the humour, characters, and gameplay, but failed to succeed at either making it more fun for younger minds, or more challenging for seasoned adventurers.
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- Belinda Cubitt