|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Kids of Karendow
Chapter 1: Dawn of a Revolution
"Sick and disgusting entertainment at its absolute
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Music and Best Story
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Gaming Babe: Showl
Deep in the basement of Padenka Prison, the
kids of Karendow are being imprisoned for their mindless antics and poo-inspired
shenanigans. As prisoners these kids are forced into slavery and sick pleasure
by Padenka's robot guards. After days of such grueling torture, the Kids
of Karendow try to escape!
Your mission is to get out of Padenka Prison
so you can form a resistance against Karendow. Then, send your army of
young miscreants on a rampage in the land of Karendow before the King can
catch you. Walk any which way you can... this is the largest QBRPG ever
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|This game gives
a strange first impression. There are some initial things you can't get
away from-- the people are the color of vomit, this game has a little animated
blood in it, and the first thing you see moving when you start this game
is a pile of feces.
But once you get
used to extreme style art that makes up Kids of Karendow, you notice some
of the other stuff with which time and effort was clearly spent. The animation
for this game is good, and if you've played this game before you'll notice
the addition of rain and snow effects. The worlds have pretty good detail,
and a lot of the worlds really do look different from each other. There
are also graphic demos within the game that have some nice special effects.
As an extra polish, the enemy backgrounds have been re-done again and they
look spectacular. Still, the graphics score didn't climb since the last
time we reviewed this game. Most of the game looks great, but sometimes
some of the tiles used were questionable and a little too choppy. The garbage
dump is an example of what I'm talking about.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|If the graphics
won't shock you, the choice of music for Kids of Karendow probably will.
Instead of the standard woodwind instruments and harps that have been the
cornerstone of traditional RPGs, this game uses an original heavy metal-type
soundtrack to back up the game. A very nice decision! The hard guitar,
powered by BWSB, really gives Kids of Karendow the attitude that I think
it was shooting for. A Great job by Groovin G! His BWSB percussion in Kids
of Karendow is absolutely awesome.
In addition to the
music, the latest version of Kids of Karendow finally comes with some sound
effects. Some sounds are used during battle and really give the crash of
Elmo's sword some extra kick. But better yet are the atmospheric sounds;
for example, you can hear the water crash around while walking in the fields.
It's these subtle additions that make the Sound/Music score excellent.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|If only PHAT Kids
could walk up to the man in charge of Squaresoft right now and give him
a lesson or two about how to make gameplay! Battles are set in a similar
"real-time" fashion, as each character in your party has a meter that gradually
fills up. When it fills up, you get to fight the enemy. In addition, a
second bar fills up indicating your character's adrenaline level. If it
fills up, your next spell or attack wil be devastating. A second unique
option during battle here is the ability to know the condition of the creature.
Whether the condition of the creature is excellent or poor usually depends
on the enemy's HP.
What throws off Kids
of Karendow from its Square counterpart are the strange choices for spells
you have to cast. Unlike FF, you have to decode what the spells you learn
do. For example, what does the spell "Kir-flam" do? Well, only one way
to find out... zap! So that's what it does.
While the gameplay
lends a lot to character development (the game has a whopping ten characters
in total, and each "kid" has a different strategy), the meat of the gameplay
belongs to the newly installed mini-games. In between the game's RPG elements,
there are parts in the story that involve your participation in a mini-game,
a la Super Mario RPG. It was especially awesome playing "Hero Man" (you
should listen to see what Hero Man says when he gets hit; it's really cute)...
This really adds a whole other dimension to KOK and gives it perfect gameplay.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|There are tons of
adult language, gay jokes, and piles of piles of feces intended to make
this game humorous for the sophmoric. There are even some concepts in the
game that don't feel too original... But beneath all the guffah is a pretty
sad story that needs some laughter so that it wouldn't be so tragic. Characterization
is also well-done. Demos and cutscenes surprisingly breathe life and drama
into the story while adding a chuckle to other parts of the tale. Best
of all, you really get the impression after a while that Elmo (the main
character in Kids of Karendow) is a true hero. PHAT Kids do a pretty good
job of building him up.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|Excellent. The high
replay value of this game stems mainly from Kids of Karendow's deep battle
system. There's a lot more to think about than just which enemies to fight.
You have to keep track of your yellow bar to see who in your party can
deliver devastating attacks, while watching which enemies are causing the
most trouble. Besides fighting, there are also tons of spells to choose
from, many combat items to test, and you even have the ability to customize
battle formations for offensive and defensive effect.
But a managerie of
options won't matter if you don't need to use them, and in Kids of Karendow
you have to use every option you have. In some cases, you have to use all
members of your party in an offensive position to completely slaughter
a boss. In other cases, you have to take a more defensive position, concentrate
all your power on one of your party members, and enhance your party with
spells and items. There's a vast mix of things to do in battle, and since
the enemies have various weaknesses you really do have to use some pretty
deep strategy in every fight. Throw in some music, some new sound effects,
menu options, and three times the size of the original Kids of Karendow,
and you find an RPG that truly brings itself ahead of the pack in terms
of solid Replay Value.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|Kids of Karendow
starts at a moderate level of difficulty and has sudden jolts of increased
difficulty as the game goes on. The first few parts of the game are used
to teach you about the game's interface, mainly in stores and in fighting.
Note that you will have to think when it comes to battle. The key is usually
to knock out the most damaging enemies first, like those who cast spells
that hurt your entire party. I also noticed that it is extremely difficult
to make it into the game without going to the store and constantly updating
As you get even further
into the game, the challenge propels even more, to the point where Kids
of Karendow is a completely-involved RPG. You better pay attention to what
the villagers have to say, because their clues will be critical in getting
past the game's many caves, forests, and towers. The mazes also get progressively
larger as the game goes on. Sometimes the key-and-door puzzles in the mazes
were so difficult that we had to contact the PHAT Kids for a clue or two.
It's that tough.
If there is one fault
in challenge, it's that Kids of Karendow lacks back-tracking. In Final
Fantasy games, you can usually go back to an earlier part of the game if
your party's characters are too weak. Kids of Karendow does not offer this
luxury, often forcing you to stay in sections of the game universe. If
you rush the game too much, you may end up missing an important weapons
store. Also, you never really know what items will come in handy or which
character is best to beat a boss until it's too late. My best advice to
you is to overstock on items. You never know when life is going to throw
you a curve, and if you don't stock up you may even have to start over
a quest. That's especially frustrating if you've invested more than fifteen
hours into the game and you're closing in on the game's end.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|V Planet reviewed
an earlier version of Kids of Karendow and gave the game a 28 point verdict,
citing that the game needed slight improvements in the graphics, sound,
and challenge departments. It's obvious after playing this finished copy
that the PHAT Kids heeded our call-- dramatic improvements have been made
in these three departments. The graphics now come with various weather
effects, sound effects have been added, and the challenge level of the
latter half of the game is immense.
However, as improved
as Kids of Karendow became, some of the Fun Factor tapered off in the process.
I think the reason for this falling out of Fun Factor points is the sheer
size of the dungeons later on in the game. A prime example of this is the
terror known as Parnol Tower. Between looking for keys and climbing the
tower, it took me a good four or five hours to finaly reach the top of
the tower, only to discover that I had "forgotten" to do something first.
I earned so many experience points during that time that I overwhelmed
my foes during the rest of the game, ruining the great balance in battle
that the PHAT Kids protected.
To make matters worse,
the game lacks a critical element that makes dungeons so huge a pain; the
use of an "Exit" spell. At one point I wanted to warp back to town so I
could spend some money on new weapons and armor, but there is no such warp.
Instead, I had to walk for about forty minutes down a winding tower. This
hiking process (when done many times over so that you're far stronger than
your enemies) can get very boring.
Still, you have to
give the PHAT Kids a lot of credit. With up to thirty hours of gameplay,
Kids of Karendow is easily the largest QBRPG ever made. And considering
that, the majority of the gametime is spent having absolute fun. The mini-games
always seem to come at the right time between gathering new characters
and discovering new parts to the story. The FF-style battle system is easy
to use, familiar to most folks, and modified a little to get you best into
the game. The PHAT Kids have truly done a remarkable job in turning one
of the most under-dogged games to one of the best and largest QBRPGs...
if you're looking for the big burger of QBRPGs, this is the one to download,
and if you have an older version of this game you're certainly missing
out on a whole lot.
Kids of Karendow,
Chapter One Reviewed by Vance Velez and QBShire
||To solve: 20-30 hours Final Rating:
download Kids of Karendow Chapter 1: Dawn of a Revolution (5.91MB), click
you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
sure you run SETUP.EXE to change sound card settings first.
play Kids of Karendow, run "KARENDOW.EXE".
Back to RPG Page
out of 35 points
Highs: One of the most recommended RPGs
from gamers and from V Planet. If you're going to download only one RPG,
this is the one to download.
Lows: At a hefty 5.91MB, Kids of Karendow
can be a lengthy download for slower connection speeds.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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