Review by Gedio

Reviewed: 08/28/03

Am I the only one who appreciates this game?

King's Valley 2 is a highly addictive and immensely challenging puzzle game for the MSX 2 Computer. Since the MSX never saw the light of day in the states, this game was vastly overlooked by American puzzle fans who were eagerly looking for a good challenge.

Graphics: 7/10

Being an 8-bit cartridge for the MSX-2, the graphics for King's Valley 2 aren't that special. They're pretty to look at, but are not really significant enough to catch the player's attention. However, some of the animations are good, especially when you pause and your archaeologist faces the camera and starts doing pushups (Leave it paused for a while and he'll eventually speed up to Warp 5!). Since the MSX's color palette is severely limited, the game's backgrounds are littered with various shades of gray and gold, as well as blue and violet shades for the walls, which is an appropriate mix for the game's story setting. Speaking of which.....

Story: 8/10

Puzzle games usually aren't very big on stories. King's Valley 2 is no exception. The plot is extremely simple: You are an archaeologist, apparently on a dig in some ancient tomb deep within the heart of Egypt. You are apparently separated from your other members of the dig, and you must find enough ''Soul Stones'' in each of the many chambers in order to escape. However, there are many obstacles that are keeping you from your quest.

Gameplay: 10/10

This game is superb when it comes to gameplay. It is extremely tight, and the game itself is never cheap. If you die, it's always YOUR fault. YOU screwed up. The player character always does what you command him to do, and there is no delay in the response time.

Challenge: 10/10

This is one of the hardest puzzle games I've played in a while. This is mostly due to two factors: The enemy A.I., as well as the placement of items within a level. You see, ''Soul Stones'' are easy to find, but are never easy to reach. They are usually hidden behind walls or under floors, which need to be broken with various tools such as drills, pickaxes, hammers and shovels. However, each of these tools can be used only once, and there is always a limited supply. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out you used a drill in the wrong place, and then be forced to start a level over from scratch. On top of that, you cannot jump when holding a weapon or item.

The enemies don't make things any easier, either. There are mummies, Gold Mummies, Royal Guards and other menaces that will make every attempt to halt your escape. They can be taken down with various weapons that are found, and unlike tools, weapons can be re-used again and again.

Overall: 8/10

Not a bad little title for the ever-so-fleeting MSX computer. Konami made so many great games for this system it's a real shame that ones like this were so easily overlooked. I would've loved to see King's Valley 2 on the NES or at the very least, the Game Boy, but sadly that'll never be the case. The only way you can play this game now is to either find it on some online auction site, or through emulation. Still, it's well worth the effort of finding it, and I gaurantee if you're a puzzle fan, you won't be disappointed.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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