About eight or nine years ago, for a while, I only had one current generation console, the GameCube. (‘Twas a sad time, those days before my dear PS2. Kisses, PS2.) And for a while, no good new games were coming out. I got tired of playing the same old games, so I would buy anything that looked decent, so I could play something actually new for once. And that’s how I ended up with “Lost Kingdoms”.
“Lost Kingdoms” is fun, and I’m glad I got it, though it’s certainly not among my list of games most dear to me. In most aspects, it’s simply an average game, with bad graphics and boring characters. The story has something to do with a mysterious Black Fog engulfing villages and such, even gobbling up the entire kingdom of Bhashea. When the Black Fog comes to the kingdom of Alanjeh, the home of our hero, Princess Katia, the princess decides to go out in search of her father, who left the kingdom in order to find a way to stop the fog. Before leaving, she takes the kingdom’s Runestone, a strange object that allows anyone who carries one to summon monsters with cards.
Katia ends up exploring many different places (with some advice from a strange, old woman named Gurd), first in search of her father, and then later for I forgot what. There are a decent number of areas. Various castles, a desert, a cemetery, and even a town that was taken over by a white mist, the result of an experiment gone wrong that was meant to get rid of the Black Fog. There are even a decent amount of secret levels. But, what makes this game good is the gameplay.
As I mentioned earlier, the Runestone allows Katia to use cards to summon monsters. Pretty much every enemy in the game can also become a card you can use to fight for you. So whenever you end up in a battle, you can use a bunch of different creatures to do your bidding.
And to make things a bit more interesting, there’s a variety of different types of monsters, too. Some of them walk around on their own doing stuff, which I find rather adorable. Good job, my darling Man Trap, show that Plague Rat you mean business. Some are used as weapons, so you can go up to an enemy and slash away at it several times with the Lizardman’s sword or the Chaos Knight’s lance. Some, like the Lycanthrope, are summons. They appear once, do something, and then, go. Different creatures do different things, and some are for healing or restoring cards rather than simply violence (which in some cases, really isn’t the answer). There’s also some that attract enemies to them or make allies stronger, but they are actually quite useless. If you aren’t going to inflict harm, heal me, or restore cards, then I don’t want you.
And I think all these different monsters make the game quite fun. There are 105 different creatures, many of which are from mythology. I actually learned a lot about mythological creatures and other such things from this game. I learned about the Doppelganger, the Kraken, the Banshee, the Hobgoblin. (Well, I was aware of the existence of goblins. Just not the ones of the hob variety.)
It’s so satisfying finding new cards, too. Many are in chests or lying around. You can also buy new cards or level up the ones you have. Some you get by giving this dude Red Fairies. I love collecting the Red Fairies. I have fun looking for them, for one thing, and they’re just adorable. They are small, simple things, and when you find one, they make this noise (which is actually cute and a little spooky) and say a few things before disappearing. I love them.
So like I mentioned earlier, much of this game is below-average, but the great gameplay more than makes up for it, and I’m glad to have it. I love all the creatures. I love getting a deck of strong cards and massacring my enemies. I even like the artwork on the cards. I have gotten quite attached to this game, and it still occupies a special place in my heart. Not as special a place as my other games live in, but still somewhat special.