When I first turned on Lost Kingdoms II, I was greeted by a welcome screen reminiscent of the later Playstation games. Sure, they were great in their time but now all but a few classics are considered fairly bland and with poor music quality. Trying hard to remain optimistic about the game, I ignored these and moved on to start a new game.
I was pleasantly surprised that the opening CGI scene was well done. The graphics were smooth and the sound was excellent. I basked in these moments of Activision's goodness, only to be rudely awakened by the actual game.
The first thing I noticed was the clunky controls. Controlling the main character was very awkward - it didn't seem natural at all. If anything, I felt like I was pulling her around like a puppet master, more than actually being and guiding her. Things quickly started to look grim for the overall quality of this game.
The poorly conceived battle system was what bothered me the most. Instead of traditional turn-style or live battling found in most RPGs, they did a card system. This might sound cool, fresh, and original at first, but it was very hard to learn.
Within just a minute of starting the game, you are already thrust into several battles that sometimes you just don't want to be in. Now, had they had someone explain to you all the mechanics of the new-fangled system, things might be better. Unfortunately, they didn't. I was forced to try and guess what all the four symbols on my screen meant, what they did, and how I started them.
Starting them was easy enough. Just pushing 'A', 'B', 'X', or 'Y' will activate a certain card. Unfortunately, each card does a different thing. I didn't know what any of them did, so I just started hitting a few buttons to see what happened. I later grew accustomed to it and started to match the cards to what I had seen them do in previous battles, but there was just not enough help from the game in doing that. It would have been much better, as I said earlier, if they had bothered to put a short tutorial in earlier.
All in all, I was glad I had the chance to shut off my Gamecube when I felt I had gone far enough in this game. If I did not love this site so much, I would not have put myself through that torture device for as long as I did. In short - it's not even worth the $10 that game stores are selling it for now. Buy something more worthwhile for your money.