Posted: December 29, 2013
I sometimes feel like the King's Bounty games were made with me in mind. I will be the first to admit that I am NOT "the brightest bulb on the tree." But even I can easily win these games (on easy.) And what fun is it to play a game that you can't win? (Okay. Some people, like "my brother the genius" play on impossible just to see what it is like. And seem to enjoy it. But for the rest of us...?)
I have read some reviews of WOTN that complain about the reuse of certain maps from TL. (King's Bounty - The Legend. Two games back.) That seems spurious to me. It takes place in the same world, just a few years later in time. And the very few maps that are the same have all been altered by time and the ravages of war.
The only complaints I have are: 1- Many of the troops look the same and have the same names that they did in previous games but their powers and abilities are changed. And 2- there are a LOT of side and main-line quests that require sailing or running back and forth between world-map areas. (Most with very minor rewards for completion.)
Still, it is an enjoyable game and one that I will replay at least a few times so it is well worth the price - now that most of the glitches have been ironed out. (When buying a game from 1C it is a good idea to wait a year after the initial release.)
Update: (Jan 24, 2014) During my second play-through, about 2/3 of the way through the game and one of the manditory fights keeps crashing on me. This MAY get fixed when the new expansion comes out... BUT... I now say -- Only purchase this if you feel lucky. 1c's support isn't especially good either.
Fire and Ice Expansion: F&I adds some new areas and some new enemies, but it is basically more of the same... except more frustrating.
The frustration comes in three forms. First, it crashes without warning more often. So..., it's a pain, but it's also a good idea to save after (or before) each battle. Or at least every other one so you don't have so many re-do fights.
The second source of frustration is that now you don't get your flying horse until much later in the game. Why is that frustrating? Not because you can't avoid unwanted battles, they are mostly all winable anyway. It is because of ALL those "traveling quests." The ones where you have to go back and forth from one side of an island to the other several times for very little reward. (A few bucks and even fewer experience points.) Before you could fly up and go straight... now you either have to wind back and forth through the maze of trails, OR as i did, put them off until after you get the horse. (You pretty much have to revisit most of the islands several times anyway.)
The third is the difficulity in finding enough of any one (well 5 actually) troop. This is even worse in F&I than WOTN, because they have added a leveling up system for troops which gives a BIG incentive to keeping the same ones throughout. But is a half full troop at it's maximum level better than a full compliment at lower?
Bottom line: F&I adds a few more hours of play time, and if you liked the game before you will probably like the expansion. (But I have become bored with all the meaningless back and forth between Islands quests. It feels like most were added just to make the game longer, not better.)
So... while I DO like and recommend this game F&I is my least favorite of the King's Bounty games.
If you care, they run from favorite to least favorite: 1- Armoured Princess 2- The Legend 3- Crossworlds (the expansion of AP suffers from the same problems as F&I) 4 - WOTN and 5- F&I