King’s Field IV was developed and published by FromSoftware in Japan in 2001 for the PlayStation 2. It was later released as King’s Field: The Ancient City in North America in 2002, and in Europe (as simply King’s Field IV) in 2003. It is another first-person RPG and is the fourth and final game in the King’s Field series.
King’s Field III is the second sequel in FromSoftware‘s classic first-person RPG series and was first released in Japan in 1996. It was published in North America by ASCII Entertainment under the title of “King’s Field II” (because the original King’s Field was only released in Japan).
For my money, King’s Field III is the best of the three PlayStation King’s Field games, with larger, more interesting environments, and a bigger scope than the previous two games. The graphics are still borderline laughable, and the controls are still cumbersome, but the gameplay has evolved reasonably well in the space of a couple of years.
FromSoftware‘s King’s Field II was initially released in Japan in 1995 and it is another first-person RPG with open world exploration, dodgy graphics and challenging combat. It was later published under the title “King’s Field” by ASCII Entertainment in North America and Sony in Europe in 1996, which does cause some confusion as the western titling ignores the actual first game in the series. For clarity: the official English language “King’s Field” is actually King’s Field II – the sequel.
With Elden Ring currently wowing gamers I thought I’d take a look at the series that began FromSoftware‘s journey into the action RPG genre, and that would be King’s Field – released in Japan only in 1994 for the Sony PlayStation – and, to be honest, it couldn’t be any further removed from Elden Ring in terms of presentation…
I’ve played a lot of RPGs in my time, and I would go so far as to say that it’s my favourite genre of video game, but King’s Field came as a bit of a shock to me. Yes, King’s Field was an early 3D RPG on the PlayStation, releasing the same year as the PS1 was launched, but it post-dates Ultima Underworld by two years and is archaic in comparison.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is a – gasp – turn-based RPG based on the popular South Park animated series. It was developed by Obsidian and published by Ubisoft in 2014. It was co-written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of South Park, and is a hilarious level-grinder with tons of detail, loads of quests, graphics that are identical to the TV show, and all the voices that South Park fans have come to know and love (most provided by Stone and Parker).
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was developed and published by Nintendo for the GameCube and Wii in 2006 and is an unusual, beautifully-produced game with stunning visuals and evocative gameplay. It was the final first-party release from Nintendo for the GameCube.
Twilight Princess features involving, varied, and ever-evolving gameplay, with a more mature-looking Link in the title role (possibly in response to criticism of its predecessor, 2002’s The Wind Waker, due to its cartoony, cel-shaded graphics). The story involves Link trying to stop Hyrule from being engulfed by a corrupt parallel dimension called The Twilight Realm.
Released in Japan in 2000 as Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, this PlayStation exclusive JRPG was re-titled as Dragon Warrior VII for its North American English language release in 2001. It was developed by Heartbeat and was the last Dragon Quest game to be published by Enix, before merging with Squaresoft in 2003 to form Square Enix.
The PlayStation version of the classic Blue Sky Productions (later Looking Glass Studios) first-person RPG is unfortunately only available in Japanese, so is not easy to play for English-speaking gamers. No one has yet translated the game into English even though fans have been crossing their fingers since the game was first released way back in 1997 (24 years ago).
This modern take on a retro classic sees you take control of a “brave young paddle” on a quest to unlock the mystery of “The Spooky Door”.
Pong Quest is of course a re-imagining of the classic Atari arcade game, Pong, with cute, colourful graphics, a large variety of different Pong balls, and single and multiplayer play modes.