HappyDance: Armoured Princess Arrives

By Alec Meer on November 11th, 2009 at 6:10 pm.

Argh! I’m swamped in Big Important Videogames at the moment, and during that one of the games I’ve most been looking forward to has dropped onto my hard drive. Not, not, not fair. It’s Armoured Princess (or Armored, if you’re from one of those countries that’s afraid of the letter U), the sequel/add-on to last year’s excellent strategy/RPG mad thing King’s Bounty. The Russian version’s been around for a little while, but the English edition is finally here. I am this: pleased. Yes, I am.

I can’t fully turn my attention it until next week, but I just wanted to childishly announce that I’ve got it and we’ll be covering it soon. Impressions from the ten minutes I’ve played are that there are an awful lot of words in it, and that it wastes no time in looking impressive – see the shot above. Oh, and there’s a native 3D mode:

My eyes hurt. More so after looking at it with 3D specs. It’s nicely poppy-out though, I must say, but I couldn’t play it for long

No hints that it’s going to be a significant deviation from KB, but then why would it? I’m just hoping there’ll be a ton of batshit sidequests, as with the first. And plenty of excellent silly boss battles like this:

So, more soon. If you can’t wait, there’s an unfathomable Russian demo here.

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44 Comments »

  1. Zyzzi says:

    It looks fantastic, but I still need to get through the first one. Damn you, Haas Labyrinth!

    • pignoli says:

      I’m in the same boat. I figure I’ll be able to get this on some sort of deal by the time I’ve reduced my pile a bit and gone back to the first one properly. One of those games I always wanted to spend more time with, but kept getting distracted.

  2. Tei says:

    A bit too cute. But cuteness can be a weapon too. I am seeing a great strategic game to gift to sisters/girlfriends?

    • Taillefer says:

      If you need to “buy it for your girlfriend, but then it turns out she didn’t want it or already had it (oh no!), so you thought you may as well keep it. And since it’s there, then you had to play it or it’s just a waste, isn’t it.”. That’s a good as an excuse as any to enjoy an excellent game.

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Not cute enough? I’m sick of fantasy games with artistic styles like this game. It seems almost as generic as all the rest, apart from the human character art, perhaps. I’m not asking for “anime cuteness”, but this washed-out middle-earth fantasy crap is over-done.

    • Psychopomp says:

      IF IT’S NOT GRIMDARK BLOOD GRR IT’S GAME FOR MY GIRLFRIEND

    • Robin says:

      Did you play KB, Casimir? It strayed a looong way from the humdrum D&D/Tolkien fantasy staples much of the time. And you could sic polar bears on wizards.

    • Tei says:

      Bears like honey. I like womens. I hate bears. Womens love dragons. Hence. Womens like games with cuteness in it. Some womens. FACT. My logic has not errors. Also, is on the title, duh. “Armoured Girlfriend”.

  3. Sam says:

    There goes my entire winter break again.

  4. Jeff says:

    I think i’ll skip this one. While I enjoyed the first game, it become much too repetitive after the half-way mark. I found myself silently telling myself “just one more hour until i beat this” over and over and over.

    • Jeremy says:

      I actually sort of felt it had an abrupt ending. Lots of time spent in the first few areas, and then just a sudden drop off in level content, I didn’t even realize things were ending until halfway through the last fight.

    • Spoon says:

      It’s good to see that I was not the only one who kind of… ran out of steam in the first one. It really is an excellent series, but it needs something to break up the constant combats.

  5. Javier-de-Ass says:

    well it’s “armored” obviously yeah, since it’s the title.

  6. Taillefer says:

    Whoooo, words!

    Uhm… I’ll get to the end of Dragon Age soon, right…

  7. Dominic White says:

    I wonder if the increased cuteness of it all (compared to the original King’s Bounty, which admittedly was quite bright and cheery in itself) is a deliberate attempt to reach out to more female gamers. If so, then more power to them. Not all dungeon crawls have to be full of grim warriors and undead hordes.

  8. Sam says:

    At the end of that trailer, is she actually more covered up than in the previous promo art, featured in your “Dissecting an Armored Princess” post?

    I hope they had a turnaround on the hilarious plunging neckline issue (even keeping the molded chest and unprotected legs), but I sadly suspect this has more to do with class/armor choice (which conversely gladdens me for the further options it implies).

    Oh, this game.

  9. kalidanthepalidan says:

    Looks great! Hopefully this one won’t cause my laptop to try and melt itself. :( I really wanted to play the first one but for some reason it caused my laptop to overheat in about five minutes of play. Never could figure out why.

    • chaves says:

      Same problem here. That in fact also happens to my laptop (ASUS M6V) with quite a lot of “full featured” indie games of late. King’s Bounty, Mount & Blade, Hinterland, etc. They probably share something that makes laptop CPUs angry. But I suspect the onboard soundcard is the one to blame, somehow, as sound stuttering is usually the first problem that arises with those games. Hmm.

      There’s a solution, though, which is downclocking. I personally use Notebook Hardware Control (the Personal edition is free, and enough for the job). While playing I just downclock the CPU at 75%-87% or so. That makes the game run a bit slower, but it avoids overheating (or melting level overheating, at least). I also downvolted (? – lowered the voltage usage), which overall helped me to have an average temperature about 5 Celsius degrees cooler than before all this tweaking. Unfortunately, that isn’t enough for all the games, like the ones I listed above.

    • Vinraith says:

      Interesting. I never had an overheat problem, but the performance on my laptop (which is pretty much built for gaming and math, and can comfortably run more demanding games than KB:L) was oddly terrible. Much worse, in fact, than my comparatively humble desktop at the time. I never could figure out why.

    • Tei says:

      The logic dictate that your laptops graphic driver is doing something in software that is normally handled in hardware in the desktop. Probably disabling the exact shader or thingie that make the game CPU intensive… Anyway, I am bad at logic, It could be wrong.

  10. Cutman says:

    Oh how I’ve waited for this day!

  11. Wibbs says:

    Well that sorts out my wifes Christmas present. She’s sunk hours and hours into the first game, and it looks like she’ll love this one too :o)

  12. Vinraith says:

    I’m still working my way through the first one, but I preordered it anyway. I really can’t support this kind of insane RPG/strategy hybrid thing enough.

  13. Al3xand3r says:

    I loved this game a year ago, I can’t wait to dive in again. I hope it’s as varied and fun and funny as the first, but I’m confident they’ll manage to perhaps outdo it as their creativity didn’t run out throughout the first game which threw crazy new situations at you even after you thought you’ve seen it all. I’d praise it all over again here but this is a sum of my feelings:
    http://www.gamecyte.com/?p=8150
    Only with less giggling and squeeeeeee

  14. rei says:

    I’m among the apparently large number of people who loved the game but never quite finished it. My stamina ran out somewhere in the elven lands. The combat just got to be a bit too much of a chore, and I also got tired of running back and forth to replenism my troops with the optimal varieties (despite the reserve slots). I really should reinstall and finish the game, but I probably won’t, what with so many other things/games demanding attention.

  15. Myrth says:

    Wait, you actually have the game already? Where did you get it? The website said it wouldn’t be available until the 20th.

    • Vinraith says:

      It does come out on the 20th, Alec just has special games journalist powers that let him get these things early. Fear him.

  16. Hmm says:

    King’s Bounty was my GOTY of 2008. No other game made me think “damn, people who made this game put their hearts and souls into it and were passionate about it.
    Armoured Princess – day one purchase for me. GIMME!

  17. Diomedes says:

    Bloody Hell 20th Nov is insane this year Wii Mario, L4D2, Ass Creed 2 and now Armoured Princess. My naughty shelf is full of games still to complete and/or play. Why do they do this year after year

  18. subedii says:

    The thing about King’s Bounty is that you shouldn’t play it continuously, you’ll just burn yourself out on it.

    One thing I really liked about the game is that I was quite happy leaving it for months at a time, and then going back and picking it up again without any issue. Most other RPG’s I tend to find myself wanting to start over because I’ve lost the plot (er, the plot of the game ) and forgotten everything. Here I just start up again, and onto the next battle we go. The fact that each battle only takes about 10 minutes (usually a lot less) also makes it an ideal game when you haven’t got much time.

    However, this approach also means that I only just finished the game a few days ago, and I don’t think I’m up for going through even more of the same just yet.

    As an aside, one thing I want to insist on praising the developers on (and something EVERY dev should do) is that they put an option in the menu to skip ALL intro videos. No delay, just double-click the icon > menu screen. I an truly thankful for this minor concession, and tacit acknowledgement that the last thing we want to see when starting up the game for the 10th time is your nicely rendered intro logo. EA could certainly stand to learn from that one.

  19. goodgimp says:

    After Torchlight I’m really craving some multiplayer action, but sadly this title lacks it as well, is that right?

  20. The Unbelievable Guy says:

    I am having trouble thinking of anything quite as adorable as that trailer’s enormous castle-goblin-thing. It’s just heart-melting. More power to the Kings Bounty guys.

  21. Dominic White says:

    In a tangential ‘Russian games’ note, the english version of Allods Online, the MMO spinoff of the Rage of Mages series (by the guys who made Heroes of Might & Magic 5) just went into closed beta.

    Word is that it’s really shockingly good. Like a hybrid of WoW and Warhammer Online but with a bunch of unique ideas, some really well-written fluff, great production values, and it’s *free to play* as well. I’m kinda bummed out that I didn’t get a beta key while they were available.

  22. Morph says:

    That vid sure makes it look kind of cute. But the original was quite tough.

    Well this is on my ‘to get round to someday’ list for sure.

  23. solarchakra says:

    is this HEROES series all together ? IMHO it looks like HOMM 3 til 5

    • Vinraith says:

      The original Kings Bounty, on which the predecessor to this game is based, predates Heroes of Might and Magic. In some sense it was HoMM 0, only with a real time overworld instead of a turn based one.

  24. Carra says:

    Think of all the trees we could save if we all used “armored”!

    Kings Bounty is one of those games I’d like to have a go at… if I find the time.

  25. Fillem says:

    I never did manage to figure out all those numbers/stats in combat with the original.
    This does look quite lovely though.

  26. Andresito says:

    I can’t wait goddamit.

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