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Forever Kingdom Review
This time around From Software fixes some huge problems, allowing for a better game to emerge from the ashes of EverGrace.
Forever Kingdom
Platform
PlayStation 2
Publisher
Agetec
Developer
From Software
Genre
RPG
Number of Players
1
ESRB Rating
T
MSRP
$49.99
Release Date
Jan 25, 2002
GameShark Rating:
7.5
Graphics:
7.5
Sound:
7.5
Control:
7
Fresh Factor:
6
Game Life:
6.5
From Software is slowly getting this RPG thing right.

Forever Kingdom is the sequel to last year's Ever Grace, once again featuring Darius as the main protagonist. After suffering through the original, I wasn't exactly looking forward to this. Thankfully, several problems have been corrected, but some small details have been missed in the clean up. You along with 2 companions stumble across a strange girl, and before continuing on your quest to end a war, you decide to see what she's all about.

Like the original, you're provided with a bizarre (and somewhat amusing) list of armors and weapons which include pots for helmets and more. Each character has the ability to advance the level of equipped items by using Palmira Crystals. Fighting is once again done in real time, but with a peculiar twist that I can't tell if I like or not. All three of your characters share the same one life meter thanks to a curse put on you at the beginning of the game. Thus, it doesn't matter if you want to switch between characters or not, since no matter who takes damage, you all do. This leads to some rather irritating moments when you try to save yourself with a recovery item only to lose because you couldn't switch to someone else. What I do like however, is the new combo system, which plays similar to the RPG love of my life, Valkyrie Profile. Each character's Super Move is represented by a button on the controller, and as you press them in sequence, you have the chance to juggle an enemy and amass huge amounts of damage.

The first game suffered from some glaring problems, and for the most part they have been rectified. The weird jitter-cam that plagued the original's cinemas has finally gone away. The graphics have been updated to actually look like a next-generation game, and the control is a bit better. The camera angles though, have not been touched, which can cause huge problems in tight spaces. It seems like the location of choice when you're near a corner is to be behind the wall without removing the texture; meaning you can't see. Grumble.

What's really nice is the music. The original featured boring, sleep-inducing drone tracks that even elevators would wince at. This time around there is a more upbeat, epic soundtrack. It's a little overboard at times, but I'll take it over the original any day.

Forever Kingdom is a tough love of a game. You won't get into it right away, and for the first few hours you'll be finding yourself swearing more than playing. But with a little patience, and a few grains of salt, it becomes a rather fun RPG. Nothing that will ever knock the typical Final Fantasy game from the throne, but an enjoyable game no less.
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