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 Cute Knight
I don’t know about you, but when I think of a knight I envision a big, muscular,amazon of a man, I certainly wouldn't expect a knight to be a “cute” cherub faced, pink haired young girl!
The indie game studio HanakoGames known for their anime-style, "girl-friendly" adventures and RPG titles is hoping to change all that with “Cute Knight” which has a very feminine “girlie” feel.
"For too many people, games for girls means nothing but bright pink and dolls and dress-up and shopping. While, those can be fun, but there are plenty of girls whose lives don't begin and end at the mall. We are not just "girls games", although we are definitely girl-friendly.”-Georgina Bensley, Pres. and CEO of Hanako Games. You go girl!

I’ve never been a big fan of role playing games but I decided to put my misgivings aside and give “Cute Knight” a chance. I admired the company’s philosophy and I was curious to see how a story based on a female knight would play out. So I thought to myself maybe just maybe this will be the game that finally makes me a fan of RPG’s,as so many gamers out there are.

You play a young orphan girl who is searching for her destiny. The game takes place on the day she turns 18, she is visited by a fairy godmother-like creature, who tells her that she has until she turns 21 to decide what path her life is going to take. You will get to lead the character through pretty much every aspect of her life. You will shape her personality and determine what kind of adult she turns out to be through the daily moral choices you make.
You have a choice to make her a model citizen and send her to work in the town, send her to school to boost her educational skills or to train to become a heroic fighter solving quests, or marrying a prince and living happily ever after!
Or you can decide to take the young girl bumming around town asking for free room and board from the inn keeper, to hanging out at the village square all day asking strangers for hand outs, and then spending lavishly on all sorts of useless stuff (yuppies simply call this strange behavior shopping)
You are given a wide variety of stats to keep track of. However the most important stat to keep track of is your “Dream Stat”. To keep your Dream Stat high, you will need to keep your main character happy! Virtually everything you do will alter your stats, and if your Dream drops down to 0, then your adventure is over and the game ends. So please keep the dream alive!

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In most cases maintaining these stats can be a little tricky, because the game doesn’t necessarily explain what each stat means or how you raise or lower it. Of course, you can figure this out through trial and error, but that’s a royal pain! There isn’t a whole lot of help or direction within the game. Some gamers may find this refreshing and liberating because it gives you a lot of opportunity to do what you want and freedom to fully create your own character. I found it makes things confusing and frustrating, especially early in the game when you’re not as sure what to do You may have to go through the game a second or third time before you REALLY know what you're doing. In other words it was reminding me why I never liked RPG’s to begin with!
In most traditional RPG’s like “Final Fantasy”, this would be the signal for the tutorial level to end and the "real" meaty quest to begin. However, in Cute Knight, that's all there is. The game truly does only concern itself with the three formative years of the girl's life, ending on the day she turns 21. If “Final Fantasy” is an epic novel, think of Cute Knight as a short story.

You'll travel throughout a small town visiting the library, school, church, store, inn, and dungeon. Sometimes events are going on in the town square giving you a chance to “socialize” with the village people participate in events. As you perform a task, the stats that are affected will be shown, in your “stamina bar” which will slowly rise while doing the task

One of the nice things about Cute Knight is that players can actually role-play. If the girl wants to be a cook, for example, she really can do nothing but take cooking classes and work in the hotel kitchen for three years. Or, if her goal is to become a popular (yet ditzy) socialite, she can spend all her time socializing in the town square, taking dancing lessons at college, and trying to bag a good husband, without being forced to fight endless waves of monsters to gain experience points.
In fact, it's possible to play through Cute Knight without ever picking up a sword and having to fight everything in sight (why can't we all just get along?)
But gamers who enjoy a good girlfight aren't left completely in the dust either. If you’re looking for a good dungeon battle experience you can strap on some armor, become skilled with weapons and magic, and go exploring the dark and dingy dungeon beneath the city slums that's just crawling with monsters.

The real beef I have with the game is that the tasks can get repetitive and lonely. Tasks are entirely menu-based, meaning you never move your character around or interact with people in the traditional sense of the word. Throughout the game, you select each location you wish to go to using a line drawing of the town map on the bottom right corner. You point and click each activity, and interact with a static illustration of someone there. You need something for the young girl to do that week? Well, simply point and click again, sit back and watch her do it as the days tick by. Ho Hum! It would it have been great to have some real action, like minigames where you get to play out each task, for example maybe a Diner Dash-like waitressing game.

Graphically, Cute Knight isn't going to impress anybody. The game's artwork is atrocious. I'll admit, the pink haired girl for the box art is pretty well done, but the game's characters in-game look is horrendous, it's outdated to the point that it looks like an old Super NES game and lacks any real detail.

The game boasts that it offers 50 endings... this might indeed be the case, but so what, the characters are so forgettable, and playing them is so exhaustingly boring it's not worth even seeing 1 of them. I was hoping for a light adventure that would easy to get into.Frankly it gave me a royal headache! So unfortunately Cute Knight didn’t make me a fan of RPG’s after all.

Don't be like me - don't be conned into playing this game by the pink haired girl's cute looks because once you venture in you'll venture immediately back out and then you'll wonder why you ventured into it in the first place.

Get Cute Knight Here

Graphics C-
Sound C
Pickup & Play C-
Overall Fun C-

Posted by oxyjen on Jan 31, 2007


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