Review: King’s Quest Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb (PS4).
If you’ve read my review of the second episode King’s Quest (PS4), you know it turned out to be a huge disappointment. It was ugly, boring, and very short and not funny. How is it this time? Let’s see if The Odd Gentlemen team has drawn conclusions.
We are jumping a few years ahead of the first episodes. King Graham is no longer the same emaciated, gaggy and a bit lost boy. The protagonist grew tighter, grew a little stubble and packed solidly, following the advice given by his friends in previous episodes (“don’t skip leg day”). However, one thing has not changed in his life – he is still very lonely. The throne intended for the queen is empty, and the large table, set with tons of food, is filled with drawings of imaginary guests. Even a royal service through an absurd bureaucracy cannot accompany his ruler. Graham decides to change his life and find a wife!
The magic mirror directs him to the highest chamber of the highest tower, where … two spoiled princesses are waiting to be saved. Vee and Neesa (a variation on the name of Graham’s wife from the old scenes – Valanice) are not too interested in nonsense about knights in shining armor and love at first sight. In addition, the princesses are tied to the rescue of Hagatha, whose times of splendor, beauty and allureness passed several dozen, if not several hundred years ago. He takes Hagatha, a handsome young man and a self-proclaimed lover, for … another princess and also places him in his tower to lure his dream “prince from a fairy tale”.
A large part of the events take place in the tower, but we managed to fix the bug from the second episode, where there was practically only one and, although extensive, very grim location. Using magic, Graham and his companions of misery move for a time to different places, where he meets new people and meets familiar faces. The locations are very colorful and varied, and the way to the tower itself is a visit to several beautiful places emphasizing that the creators have not forgotten how to impress the player. It’s even better next!
The implemented decision system concerns Graham’s interaction with the princesses. We choose which of the girls to talk to first, or listen to their advice, and maybe do something our own. The choices don’t matter much, but the girls’ reactions are often very funny and so unexpected that I would love to play again to see the aftermath of other choices.
Compared to the first and second episodes, we have a slightly different approach to the puzzles. After moving to a new location, do not leave it until the puzzle there is solved. It can be a matching items or a simple puzzle game. It makes the game much easier. At least half the time it took to complete the previous episodes was wandering around and looking for anchor points in several locations to move the events forward. This time it’s much more accessible and the story feels more coherent.
In the second episode, the humor that I praised in the premiere episode was completely mocked. “Once Upon a Climb” is a return to the high form and level we expect from this series. The princesses with their behavior resemble the hilarious Rapunzel from the movie Tangled, which in itself is a big plus. The girls criticize and joke about the desperate Graham and his clumsy pickup attempts. We also have quite a few subtle and more direct references to fairy tales, and the hilarious narcissistic knight Whisper returns for dessert. Front fun!
Managed to! The third episode of King’s Quest (PS4) entitled “Once Upon a Climb” puts the series back on track. The three-hour episode is filled with humor and a very nice story about loneliness, dedication and determination. I look forward to the next chapter again. And that’s probably what the creators wanted.