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 Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom

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god of destiny
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PostSubject: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Wed Dec 26, 2007 8:49 am

Now it's released = January 8, 2008

Metachronos overall score = 7.4 / 10

Positive
# Superb visuals
# Interesting, well-designed enemies
# Co-op play for up to four people
# Nice boss battles

Negative
# A very disaponitng game, considering what has gone before in the Kingdom under Fire series
# Story is enigmatic and completely removed from the action proper
# Action gets extremely repetitive if using one playable character only
# The cameras are placed awesomly bad

The Kingdom Under Fire series experienced a renaissance with the release of the excellent Crusaders on the Xbox in 2004, and Circle of Doom takes even more chances with the franchise. Unlike its predecessors, though, the game eschews strategy elements in favor of a pure action role-playing experience, albeit with uneven results. The action devolves into tedium, the story has no obvious bearing on the gameplay proper, and a number of unnecessary hindrances break up the rhythm of the gameplay. If you take things online with friends, the pace picks up, but not enough to overlook some noticeable and annoying drawbacks.



Like much of Circle of Doom, the story guns for sophistication but ends up being relatively inconsequential, simply because there's no strong narrative thread to tie the action together. You'll start the game controlling one of five characters that fall into the usual hack-and-slash archetypes (a sixth can also be unlocked), and each experiences a slightly different story, though the manner of storytelling is the same for all of them. Within dungeons, you will find idols (which also function as vendors and, occasionally, quest givers) that provide a safe place for sleeping and dreaming. Once asleep, you enter a dreamworld where you can talk with characters that provide quests and serve up bits of cryptic dialogue that may lead fans of previous Kingdom Under Fire games to nod their heads with understanding, but will confuse most anyone else. There are no cutscenes within the gameplay proper, and none of the action seemingly relates to the tale that so slowly and quixotically unfolds in the reveries of sleep. The resulting disconnection between the game and its fragmented parables keeps you from getting engaged, because you're never quite sure why, exactly, you need to be fighting legions of skeletons and lava monsters.

You can also perform special attacks, though the method of earning them is certainly an interesting and unusual one. When you visit the dreamworld, you can take quests that open up new skills to you when completed. Learning a new skill or spell generally involves killing a certain number of particular monsters, at which point you can turn in the quest and add the spell to your repertoire. The system sounds nifty, but in actuality, it's highly problematic. Until you choose which spell you want to acquire, you aren't even sure what monsters you will need to defeat, so you can't choose missions that fit in with your current main quest progress. In some cases, it means returning to a dungeon you've already slogged through a number of times, while in others, you may need to visit an area you haven't been to yet. In the end, earning new spells can often be more trouble than it's worth, and many of them are so ineffective, it's not worth the extra 30 minutes of repeated dungeon-crawling it takes to earn them. Furthermore, you can take on only two skill quests at a time, which means you may go many hours without learning a single skill at all. It simply isn't worth it, unless you have returned to the game to play on a higher difficulty level. On the standard difficulty, however, you could reasonably play the entire game without ever needing a single special skill at all.



There is some occasional eye candy to check out, and Circle of Doom's art direction is consistently attractive, if not exactly stupendous. This isn't as obvious in some dungeons as in others--after all, ice caverns can only be so interesting. However, some levels are nice to look at, featuring colorful foliage, appropriately arid-looking deserts, and library corridors filled with bookcases and wardrobes. The game engine isn't a technical powerhouse, and you'll notice plenty of pop-in and a few frame rate jitters here and there. Yet slaughtering your enemies results in a nice spattering of blood and some nice, subtle visual effects. The sound design is also subtle, but to a fault. Many sound effects are oddly muted, while the soundtrack mixes orchestral swoons with metal grinding for varied but forgettable results.

In short spurts, Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom can be reasonably amusing, though even the most resolute hack-and-slash enthusiasts will likely grow tired of the nebulous story and monotonous battles before reaching the final boss. Considering the number of character-specific quests and multiple story threads, the campaign is obviously meant to benefit from multiple play-throughs. The problem is that the actual act of playing it isn't very rewarding, so while there are some good ideas at work, these erudite ideas are overshadowed by a good number of design flaws that keep Circle of Doom from delivering any dependable sense of fun.


boxshot = http://www.tothegame.com/boxshot.asp?picnum=us&id=5172




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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:19 am

i bet its a real time stragaty

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:23 pm

actually it's an action rpg

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:27 pm

dam close!

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:16 pm

the kingdom under fire series is popular on the xbox also

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:26 pm

cool wish I had an xbox Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:28 pm

the first two games, KUD: crusaders and heroes are found on the first XBOX not on the xbox 360. only KUD: circle of doom is on the 360

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:32 pm

god of destiny wrote:
the first two games, KUD: crusaders and heroes are found on the first XBOX not on the xbox 360. only KUD: circle of doom is on the 360

still I WANA 360!

lol

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:33 am

Do you know the release dat for this?

Looks amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:36 am

god knows EVERYTHING when it comes to gaming.

i'm thinking of renaming his account to god of gaming

Release Date: Jan 8, 2008 Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:40 am

Thanks, think I will be buying this one.
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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:57 am

if you do tell us about it Very Happy

can't wait for devil may cry 4(even if I don't have a ps3 lol)

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:28 am

here is the review

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:52 am

yey Very Happy

lol

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PostSubject: Re: Kingdom under Fire: Circle of Doom   Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:20 am

i personally expected something better from this series.

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