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Knights Of Pen And Paper 2

By WskOsc23-04-2015
Knights Of Pen And Paper 2

The Defence

Kyy Games
Paradox Interactive
Adventure, Role Playing, Strategy
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 8600
AMD equivalent
1 GB
300 MB

Knights Of Pen And Paper 2 is equal parts parody and RPG, unashamedly poking fun at the favourite hobby of role-players the world over. Kyy Games takes a stab at everything from player and race clichés to popular culture, no matter how tangentially related. The result is a glorious mash up of sly smirks, pun induced groans and outright belly laughs as you assist Adam and Eve gather apples or stumble into an encounter with a slightly renamed Toxic Avenger all while clicking through hilarious dialogue between the Dungeon Master and player characters. Despite all this Knights Of Pen And Paper 2 never comes across as insulting to the source material or nerd culture, instead it feels more like the kind of loving parody in the vein of Space Balls or Hot Shots.

The game opens with a level 99 Paper Knight, complete with little paper hat facing off against a Tarrasque. Both sides acknowledge the absurdity of the situation in fourth-wall breaking dialogue and the battle commences with you convinced you're about to get utterly destroyed but the Paper Knight soon reveals that they're the only thing more terrifying to an experienced role-player than the Tarrasque – a power gaming know it all who pulls out item after item to counter everything the Tarrasque can throw at him until it gets fed up and decides to take the issue up with its lawyers.

We've all felt that way.

We've all felt that way.

Thus the game begins in earnest; the DM having a fresh group of players ready to be hand picked by you. During character creation you're presented with a straightforward character sheet that's mostly recognisable to fans of the original Knights Of Pen And Paper aside from the addition of three new coloured dice that denote Body, Senses and Mind and affect your character's main attributes such as health and mana but also influence other statistics such as turn order in battle. At the top of this window lies three drop-down menus where you may choose the player, race and class of your character with each of these choices providing different bonuses and skill sets and tallying up your Body, Senses and Mind.

In short order the game introduces you to many of its new features: Field effects fundamentally alter the way a single battle will play out with effects such as darkness or “Clash Of Editions” that may sweep the entire enemy party away from battle in a faithful recreation of a NES style glitched screen. More substantially dungeons are now part of the game as explorable maps where the party can move from room to room and engage in random encounters with monsters, treasure and traps, sometimes all at once. The latter of which require a saving throw against Body, Spirit or Mind to avoid taking damage or incurring a penalty such as paralysis or being stunned.

Combat has seen a significant overhaul in two major areas; firstly there's the introduction of inflicting various effects along with a successful critical hit, weakening or poisoning an opponent are just a couple of the possible debuffs that weapons can apply on a particularly damaging attack. Secondly there's an Etrian Odyssey style rows system in place for enemy combatants where the back row is protected from your melee fighters by the front row which serves to make ranged attacks and magic an invaluable tool. This is all borne out by the ability to stay in the field longer between rests thanks to a number of regenerative skills and items that replace lost mana and health at a fairly decent rate meaning you're never completely caught short by a random encounter.

Yes that is a cheerleader dwarf mage. I call it Bob.

Yes that is a cheerleader dwarf mage. I call it Bob.

Another stand-out difference is the updated graphics. While the first game was a parade of modern pixel art, the sequel has taken a page more from traditional VGA role-playing and adventure games and employs more richly detailed art reminiscent of King Of Dragon Pass or King's Quest. Stepping into a town or dungeon presents you with a tangible atmosphere created by the wonderful area image and upbeat music. Character art meanwhile sits somewhere between the sprite styles of the original game and the Super Nintendo and don't quite fit with the lush backgrounds – but that's kind of the point, the characters aren't actually in the world, it's all imagination.

Knights Of Pen And Paper 2 is more generous than its predecessor too, mainly due to the fact that it appears to have ditched the in-app purchases that thankfully were only present in the mobile versions of the original. Unlocks and upgrades are now handled through several systems; classes and characters can be unlocked via playing through the story but can also be bought with in-game money from a magazine menu that offers up additional and often humorous information (there was more to the magazine menu that sadly wasn't present in the preview build). Additionally the room your characters play in can also be upgraded with new tables, knick-knacks, arcade cabinets and games that provide various permanent buffs such as extra experience or gold.

You'll have plenty of use for all that gold thanks to the overhauled inventory system, gone are the linear upgrade paths of the original, replaced by a proper inventory system with slots for weapons, armour and trinkets. Some characters even get a bonus to their inventories, for example the Jock has the “Big Hands” trait that allows him three weapon slots, opening up new tactics such as wielding a two-handed weapon and shield. You end up feeling more ownership over your characters and the system is robust enough to allow plenty of experimentation to find a balance of items and skills that work with the tactics you want to employ.

Troma x Fallout crossover. Yes please!

Troma x Fallout crossover. Yes please!

Many of these new systems serve to be more generous directly to the player. Dungeons allow you to level up late additions to your party more easily and better item and gold drops allow you to equip your party more readily, or switch out equipment if you feel the need. It all means you get to spend less time feeling like you're grinding and more time actually having fun and adventuring. Knights Of Pen And Paper 2 is far more than a shoddy parody, it's a worthwhile role-playing game in its own right that stands apart from anything else on the market.

Knights Of Pen And Paper 2 comes out on 14 May. Kiss your family and friends goodbye and prepare for a comedic pratfall into the wonderful world of Paperos.

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Posts: 207

The first one was amazing, so I'm sure I'll love this...