Review: Knight Fortix 2
The XMB splash screen description bills Knight Fortix 2 as an “action based capture-em-up.” That’s not too far from the truth, but I wouldn’t give it that spiffy of a title myself. Fortix takes the classic Qix and tosses it into a medieval blender. In the first game, the Island of Fortania was under attack by the evil Xitrof. After being vanquished and imprisoned by the knight Fortix, Xitrof escapes and starts bringing dark times to the nearby island of Artalom. You’ve caught wind of his evil deeds, and it’s now time to Qix some ass again.
The first noticeable difference between Fortix and Knight Fortix 2 is in the different titles of the games. This is the first evidence of the fact that Nemesys put more time behind making the plot and characters of the game three dimensional. I played through the first game without thinking twice about my character’s motivation or why I was even in a medival setting. This time around, I read the introductory story and know that I am Knight Fortix, harbinger of healing squares, purifier of putrid soil, opposite of Xitrof (literally, spell it backwards). It sounds funny that they’re pushing plot in such a seemingly simple game, but they actually do a decent job with it. Little things like having an image of the knight after every level and having an old man with a knot in his beard show you the ropes breathe some life into the game. They could’ve slapped some text into a dialogue box, but the extra effort pays off in my opinion.
Knight Fortix 2’s gameplay is anything but complex. The entire point of the game is to square off sections of the playing field until you’ve captured almost all of it. You start on the outer edge of the map and work your way inward. Something neat about the game is the palimpsest effect. Squaring off areas of the map unveils a land free of Xitrof’s reign. Essentially, there’s a picture within a picture, and you have to extract the good from its evil cover. When you’re not walking out into the playing field, you’re invincible. You can sprint by holding down the X button and zoom in and out using R1/L1. This time around there are a ton of environmental and other distractions to sully your quest. The host of enemies includes green/black/bone dragons, ogres, bloodbats, turrets, ballistas, and even bat caves (not that kind of bat cave). Each enemy has its own attack pattern. Green dragons fly semi-aimlessly, black dragons seek you out more vehemently, and bats travel on your line – the line on which you’re usually invulnerable. If you capture a bat cave, bloodbats continuously spawn from them and come after you. Walls and gates block your path, but keys are scattered around the playfield. Stars appear on the screen at random and offer powerups if captured. Different powerups include Fly (walk over walls/gates), Speed, Stop Time, and one that kills off enemies. There is an overworld map from which you choose what area to play. It looks something like PixelJunk Monsters’s map, and if you beat a level (or series of levels) without dying, you’ll unlock a halo over it (like PJ:M’s rainbows). There are 17 areas that span across green fields, icy tundra, and fiery volcanic pits. Since some areas contain multiple levels, there are a total of 30 levels. Later on there are some surprisingly cleverly designed levels that force you to do interesting things to clear them. I was impressed with how abstract the game could get.
Knight Fortix 2 is a fun, medieval version of Qix. The music, visuals, and even the credits (people are credited as “wizards of the code,” “music of the spheres,” etc.) do a bang-up job selling the game’s theme. Even for a minis game, Knight Fortix 2 totes some subpar graphics. After seeing games like Pix ‘N Love Rush and Hungry Giraffe shine on the minis platform, I’ve come to expect a bit more of these games. The bulk of the game is spent on the playfield, which looks decent, but the overworld map and some of the menus could really use some tightening of level 3. To be fair, I played on my PS3, so the game may look better on the PSP’s screen. The fact that there are achievements to unlock and stat tracking gives the game a bit of an addicting edge. There are local leaderboards, but since this is a minis title, you won’t be score-chasing anyone you can’t pass your PSP to. There are four difficulties to play through the game on, which gives the title some replay value. Even though it had its problems, I enjoyed the first Fortix game. Knight Fortix 2 fixes of all of the previous game’s problems and builds on a formula that’s fit for pickup-and-play fun. Pick it up if you’re itchin’ for some Qixing.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- Interesting level design
- Simple, fun
What I Dislike:
- Minis limitations