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Kingdom Under Fire: Heroes


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Well, it has finally been released. Those looking for more of the same are in for a treat, as Heroes is definately more of an expansion than a true sequel. It seems designed for the advanced player, so I'd definately recommend playing through Crusaders first. Tutorials in Heroes are virtually nonexistent and the overall difficulty is high even in the 'easy' scenarios. Anyways, here's what the game offers:

 

-7 new playable characters, each with their own story campaign. The game takes place 5 years before Crusaders, although there is some speculation that one of the campaigns takes place after Crusaders.

 

-Online play with up to 6 players. Features a ranking system and tracks wins/losses.

 

-New 'Custom Mode' for offline play. Instead of going through the story mode, you can create your army from the ground up and take it through custom missions. If you have a completed save from Crusaders, it's possible to use Gerald, Regnier, Lucretia, and Kendall in addition to the new characters.

 

-Gameplay is basically the same, right down to the equipment and unit trees. There are some new elemental units that are strong against melee but weak against magic. The only major change is that the experience cost to level up a skill is based on a units overall level, rather than the level of the individual skill. This forces you to think a lot harder about where you need to put your points. For example, in Crusaders, you could give your archers some cheap 'melee' points without any repercussions. In Heroes, giving them melee points will also increase the cost of raising the 'ranged' skill.

 

-Graphics are basically the same, possibly with some minor improvements. The troop count has been cranked up in some missions, but there are framerate drops when things get really hairy.

 

-Again, no custom soundtracks. Music is generally either abrasive heavy metal or bizzare wannabe 90's rock, although there are a few decent tunes. The voice acting is about the same as the original qualitywise, although a few actors didn't return. Despite the widespread ridiculing of the original's voice acting, a lot of series fans seem to be dissapointed with the change. The hardest one to swallow is definately "Check out these delts!" Rupert.

 

-It seems a bit less polished than the original. Some of the missions have ambiguous goals, and I actually had to redo one mission because a cutscene didn't trigger when I killed the boss.

 

-Controls are unchanged, which is a good thing. They're pretty complex but they work wonderfully and there was no need to alter them.

 

Overall, it seems like Phantagram just didn't have the funds to develop a true sequel so they made a quasi-expansion instead. It's a great series, but I'd definately caution against getting Heroes if you haven't played through Crusaders. To advance in Crusaders without being frustrated, you definately need prior knowledge of units, strategies, and how to best allocate your money/exp.

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Thanks for the impressions Bling. This one is on the radar as a buy with that new 6 person online mode. Very interested in trying it out. I've not played Crusaders in quite a while so I'll no doubt be rusty, but if I happen to see the game selling cheap in my travels I'll more than likely give it a buy.

 

Oh, and I mourn the loss of Rupert.;)

 

By the way, a recent interview with Phantagram about Ninety Nine Nights yielded some new KUF info:

 

Do Phantagram have any more Xbox 360 games planned?

 

L: We just announced a new Kingdom Under Fire game for Xbox 360 today, with an even more upgraded engine. We are thinking about using the KUF characters and world, but making it an action RPG instead. By now we are pretty much Xbox 360 exclusive.

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I think there's been a miscommunication......Rupert is in Heroes, as a playable character in fact. Only his old voice actor didn't return. The new one is even more absurd though. It sounds like somebody trying to do an impression of old-school Rupert in an English accent.

 

So far I've finished 2 out of the 3 'first tier' campaigns. Counting deaths/retries, Ellen's took 7 hours and Leinhart's took 10. I don't even want to think about how long the 'hell' and 'nightmare' tier campaigns will take. Story and character development are excellent, just as they were in Crusaders.

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Only his old voice actor didn't return.

Yep, I got that. Just saying I'll miss hearing about his delts as they appeared in Crusaders.

 

The new one is even more absurd though. It sounds like somebody trying to do an impression of old-school Rupert in an English accent.

:lmfao Awesome.

 

Good to hear there's alot of gameplay in there too. You must be blasting through this sucker.;)

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