A Knight’s Quest Review – Nintendo Switch

Developed By: Sky9 Games

Published By: Curve Digital

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Thank you so much to Curve Digital for providing a review code

One game that’s really had a universal impact on the action-adventure genre is The Legend of Zelda. The journey through the land of Hyrule has inspired many tropes in the genre and has also given birth to the subgenre of games some call Zelda-like. A Knight’s Quest is one of those games that takes inspiration from the Legend of Zelda and it doesn’t take long to see just how inspired it is by the series. What’s important to note is that just, because a game’s inspired by a great series, doesn’t mean that it’s going to live up to this series. Does A Knight’s Quest do its Zelda-like title justice? Let’s find out

Story

Your tale of glory begins with a young and clumsy boy named Rusty. One day while on an adventure in a dark cavern, Rusty comes across a dark purple crystal that’s seemingly encasing something. Behind this crystal sits a lustrous treasure chest that any person would immediately be dying to open. Analyzing the situation and determining that nothing could possibly go wrong, Rusty opens the chest and by doing so lets forth a powerful evil. This evil entity escapes and uses his powers to summon forth a large crystal hat’s barreling towards the earth. Rusty returns to his village to see everyone’s in pure panic as the end of the world is now upon them. In hopes of stopping the end of the world, the mayor sends Rusty on a quest to find the 3 Spirit Guardians who can hopefully help stop the looming end of time. With some help from his best friend Valy Rusty is ready to take on anything this adventure has to throw at him, at least I hope he is..

The story here is a very conventional hero must save the day style story, but with a bit of a different twist. A Knight’s Quest never takes itself seriously and often relies on slapstick humor to set the tone of the game. Even though the end of the world is coming everyone still seems to have some type of weird and wacky thing to say. I think the comedy may be a little overused here and at times it comes across as very forced humor. Nevertheless, there are some really funny moments to be had.

Gameplay

A Knight’s Quest is a 3D action-adventure game. The entire game takes place across a vast land with a ton of different areas. At first, you’ll only have access to a few, but as you progress more and more will open up to you.

While traversing the game’s world you’re given a main objective to follow. You can also take on sidequests given be certain characters which usually result in fetch quests or racing to a specific checkpoint. To find your way to one of your objectives you can go into your map and set a waypoint.

Enemies roam around the entirety of the world and appear in many shapes and sizes from skeletons to snakes, and even slimes. Combat is pretty simple as you’re equipped with a trusty sword and shield to use to defeat enemies. Battling enemies is really all about slicing and dicing and knowing when to block enemy attacks. Attacking enemies involves simply slashing at them repeatedly with your sword. You can lock onto an enemy using the L bumper. While the combat sounds simplistic it’s enjoyable for those who like hack n slash style combat.

There’s a bit more depth added to the combat as you advance further on Rusty’s journey. Enemies start as just melee fighters, but soon enough you’ll see archers and mages added into the mix to spice up the gameplay. Sometimes certain areas will lock you in using a magical barrier. When this happens, you’ll be forced to defeat a wave of enemies within a confined area. Usually, there’s a variety of enemies during these battles which makes them more challenging.

Using your shield Rusty is able to parry enemy attacks and projectiles. By timing an attack or projectile hitting your shield at just the right time you rebound it back at your enemy. Parrying is fairly easy to do, but it’s also very satisfying when you successfully perform one. If you parry a melee attack you will gain a burst of strength and be able to quickly dispatch all enemies around you. Successfully parrying a ranged attack will not only rebound it at your enemy, but it will also put a sort of shield around you that will cause any other projectiles that hit you to rebound off you.

The last aspect of combat is also vital to the game’s puzzle-solving and platforming segments. As you progress through the game’s main dungeons you’ll gain access to magic abilities. Your first magic ability is the ability to shoot out a small tornado, with the ability to use fire and cast ice as well. You won’t gain access to all 3 of these at once as they’re slowly unlocked as you continue through the game. Magic spells can be used to damage and daze enemies so you can get some easy hits on them. Sometimes during combat, an enemy will have a magic barrier circling them, rendering any physical attacks unusable. By using your magic you can destroy this barrier and then start slashing away.

Magic is also essential to solving A Knight’s Quest variety of puzzles. No Zelda-like would be complete without puzzles to complete. Puzzles are mostly found inside of dungeons and involve your typical moving crates and dodging obstacles such as spikes, giant fans, and spinning blades. Magic can be used in a variety of ways to solve puzzles such as spinning fans, burning trees/vines, and freezing platforms.

What really sets the game apart from most other titles I’ve played is the grinding mechanic. Not too far along into the game, you’ll receive, grind boots which will let you traverse on rails. It’s like Zelda meets Tony Hawk minus the skateboard, which sounds weird, but it is honestly very fun. These rails can help you get to where you’re going faster than normal, which is great because A Knight’s Quest has you do a fair amount of backtracking.

It’s here where I have to talk about the game’s flaws because there are some issues at hand. The expansive world is great to explore, but it becomes a hindrance when you’re having to backtrack to previous locations. Unlocking new magic and abilities will give you the ability to open up new locations, but it rarely ever feels worth the backtrack to go to them.

Another issue I had with the game was the loot and items you could gather. There are treasure chest scattered about that land, holding items you can use like potions, bombs,  and items to sell for money. These items are all one use and become a bit meaningless to collect. I was always excited to gather items in a Zelda game because they were always used for something unique. In A Knight’s Quest, however, I found it to be more beneficial to gather coins, so I could buy what I wanted. There are a few important collectible items such as meteorite to upgrade your weapons, slimes and golden keys, but I just didn’t feel like there was enough.

My last issue with A Knight’s Quest was the magic as I found it to be bland. Spinning out miniature tornadoes, shooting out tiny fireballs, and sending out a blast of ice is interesting at first, but quickly becomes boring. The magic spells you’re given are simply not interesting and I feel as if they could have been so much more interesting to use had they had a more creative design.

Presentation

A Knight’s Quest is really a mixed bag when talking about its presentation. On the one hand, the different environments look fantastic, and each one is distinct from the others. The enemy designs, especially the bosses look great and have a very cartoon-like design, that makes them pop out on the screen. Where the visuals lose some of their appeals is in the NPC designs, specifically the human characters. Many of the human characters look similar to one another and when you get closer to them you’ll see their faces and expressions look emotionless. This was kind of offputting because some of the game’s characters are really well designed like the mayor, but the majority look blank and expressionless. The sound design isn’t as memorable as any of The Legend of Zelda’s soundtrack’s, but it was still nice to listen to and had some tracks that resonated with me, after the fact.

Technical Issues

Despite some significant gameplay flaws A Knight’s Quest has charm and I think I could have looked past some of its issues if the technical side of the game had been better. Sadly, A Knight’s Quest exhibits a large number of technical issues, which bog the game down from really being something special. The game’s resolution doesn’t always hold up well and when you’re walking around the starting point of the game, Rusty’s village the resolution in handheld mode becomes very blurry. When I say blurry, I mean the textures on the character’s faces are almost not visible and it looks like a mess.

The frame rate holds alright, but it’s definitely not perfect. Quite often during combat segments, or when there’s a lot going on, on-screen the frame rate will drop significantly. It was never enough to be unplayable, but it really ruined the immersion of the battles.

What bothered me the most were the glitches and bugs that popped up so often in the game. Clipping through objects and getting stuck in corners happened far too often, considering this is a fully released game. In a village called Zameris I got stuck to the wall of a building while I was jumping around and the camera zoomed in very close on me, so I couldn’t see anything in front of me. I tried everything, but it was like my movements were locked and I wasn’t able to get out. I tried for 5 minutes and then, unfortunately, had to exit to the menu. Not to mention I found other glitches that had me stuck in different parts of the game’s world for some time as well.

Summary

A Knight’s Quest is still an enjoyable adventure, but the bland magic and item system along with the abundance of technical issues makes me hesitant to recommend the game. I found the game’s core gameplay of combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving to be quite well done and the inclusion of the interesting grinding mechanic still makes A Knight’s Quest worth trying out. The story’s humor is mostly enjoyable, but at times comes across like the game’s trying too hard. If you can look past these issues and focus on the core gameplay you’ll most likely find some enjoyment with this title, but don’t go in expecting a perfect adventure.

6/10

Pros

  • Fun Combat
  • Satisfying Parry Mechanic
  • Great Platforming & Puzzle Designs
  • Hours of Content
  • Large & Expansive World
  • The Story Can be Quite Funny

Cons

  • Backtracking Can be Tedious
  • Bland Magic Design
  • Items Don’t Feel Important to Gather
  • Muddy Visuals in Handheld Mode
  • Significant Frame Rate Issues
  • Many Visual Glitches & Bugs
  • The Story’s Humor at Times Comes Across as Forced

Comments or Questions Leave Them here