Portal Knights Goes BIG So You Can Go Home


…and stay inside playing a lot longer. 505 Games and developer Keen Games have announced a huge new update to their popular family friendly crafting/action/RPG, Portal Knights that includes many requested features such as voice and text chat for online play, remappable controls, and a ton of tweaks and fixes. The new larger islands make the overall game world even more fun to run around in, and my logging in to check out the changes also revealed the game’s visuals have gotten nicely upgraded as well. 

Check out the new trailer and screenshot slideshow below.




PC Review: Portal Knights

Portal_Knights_LogoHDPlatform: PC

PK_cropDeveloper: Keen Games
Publisher: 505 Games
# of Players: 1 – ?
MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Official Site
Score: A- 90%

Even though it’s still in Early Access on Steam, Portal Knights has become something of a phenomenon among its growing user base. According to 505 Games, to date players have:

– Looted more than 232 million items

– Mined more than 103 million blocks

– Killed more than 23 million enemies

– Crafted more than 19 million items

and yes indeed, I’m one of those players having a blast with the title. While it does start out a wee bit slowly, some literal digging around in that first (and later, every) area will have you soon seeing that there’s a great deal under the pretty surface that really goes a long way in making things even more entertaining. While geared towards younger players (note that E10+ rating above), the RPG elements, often challenging combat, crafting and exploration elements have a very wide appeal for novices as well as hardcore gamers looking for the next big deal.


Things kick of simply enough with a character creation screen where you choose your gender and select one of three classes (Warrior, Archer, Mage) before warping into the first randomly generated world. There’s a set of basic tutorial pop-ups that cover a few things and Minecraft fans will probably get wise to what to do a wee bit faster than anyone who’s not played that game. That said, there are enough differences from that game (and the side-scrolling Terraria) that set it apart. For one thing, other than the simplistic character faces and baggy starter outfits, the visuals (which run at a zippy 60fps) are much more appealing and lively here. Rich colors and nifty visual effects abound in each area, making exploration always fun when you make it to new worlds. Monster types are nicely varied as well, changing at night to deadlier varieties once you unlock your first portal. Continue reading

Portal Knights Early Access: Fun As Heck (But Fixable)


While I’ve only sunk about an hour in so far to the Early Access Steam build, Portal Knights is so far, pretty darn good. It’s not quite the Minecraft-like game some think (which is a good thing), but a pretty new action/RPG with (so far) smallish worlds and a light crafting element that doesn’t get in the way of players who just want to whack as wee beasties and level their avatar up. Again, I haven’t played enough to write up a decent review or even and solid impressions other than most everything works quite well. My archer seems to have an issue dodging when I hit the correct keys, but she hasn’t died a horrible death by slime or other low-level monster just yet. The game looks and sounds great so far, but it would have been nice to have a few more character customization options out of the gate.

Still, it’s early and bugs will be squashed, feedback will be listened to and when it’s really ready to shine, I’m predicting Portal Knights will be the go-to game for players looking to try something new and hopefully get few friends to give it a go as well. Okay, stopping here for now. I think I hear a level up calling me.

Portal Knights: Mine and Craft Your Way Through This Keen-Looking ARPG



PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_35_Knight505 Games and veteran developer Keen Games have something cool cooking up that’s going to probably be pretty hot soon. Portal Knights is headed to PC via Steam Early Access on February 25 and based on the trailer and screens, should make fans of games like Minecraft and Fight the Dragon quite giddy.

Confession time: other than watching a few friends play and taking over for one when he had to take a phone call (I got to beat up on some Creepers and do a bit of building for maybe half an hour), I haven’t really played enough of Minecraft to have a decent impression of what it’s all about (whaaaaat?!). But I’ve sunk too many hours into many of  Fight the Dragon’s short user-created maps and appreciate much of what that game has brought to the table in terms of customization and how easy it is to get into while being incredibly challenging and rewarding.

PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_15_Portal PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_17_Multiplayer PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_14_Portal PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_13_Enemy PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_12_Enemy PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_10_Boss PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_07_Boss PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_04_Environments PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_03_Environments

Portal Knights looks like a ton of fun based on the trailer alone that shows it’s got a bit of backstory to it. The art style is slicker and more appealing than the two aforementioned games, but as usual, graphics are subjective and gameplay is absolute. So it’s in the “What happens when I pick up a controller or mouse and keyboard” stuff where my main interest lies. An adjustable camera view is hopefully in the options mix, as the trailer’s combat sequences are a tad too close in for my tastes. Okay, I hate getting jumped by off screen enemies or not knowing how much room I have to run away screaming when trouble gets too close. Your mileage may vary, as usual.

PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_33_Knight PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_32_Knight PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_30_Mage PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_29_Building PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_27_Building PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_23_Crafting PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_22_Crafting PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_21_Crafting PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_24_Combat

Mining and crafting aside, if the fantasy elements of the game can grab players from the outset and keep them hooked in for the long haul while getting regular content updates and fixes, Portal Knights could be a contender to the throne. We’ll see soon enough, though.

WHAT Summer Drought? This Week’s LOADED With RPG Madness!


Yikes. Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed is out (PS3 and PS Vita! BUY IT!), as is Disgaea 4: A Promised Revisited (PS Vita, BUY IT). Next week (all arriving on the 19th!), it’s Tales of Xillia 2 (PS3, BUY IT!), Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment (PS Vita, BUY IT!) and the summer/fall/winter/forever eating madness that is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3/PS4, Xbox 360/Xbox One, BUY IT!).


Finally, the close of the month (well, August 26) brings in DLC for Dark Souls II in the form of the Crown of the Old Iron King content (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, BUY IT!) and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PS Vita – the jury is out, but it does look cute!). If you like your RPGs a bit more (well, a LOT more) European, Risen 3: Titan Lords (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) and Sacred 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360) are out NOW, and while the reviews aren’t “stellar” for either game, I’m gathering both will find their niche among more open-minded RPG fans.


Well, now that your wallet is gasping for air and you’re curled up in a fetal position wishing you had more time to PLAY all those games, I’ll consider my work here done as I bid you adieu (for now)…

Sacred 3 Launch Trailer: Faster, Hackier and Slashier It Is. But Is That A Good Thing?

I really liked the first two Sacred games for their massive open worlds, lengthy main quests and plenty of side quests, so this more action-heavy and multiplayer focus Sacred 3 has is a bit jarring. Granted, developer keen games has made a nice-looking game here and it will be played for sure. I’m just hoping the game can be enjoyed as a decent RPG experience and isn’t just a kill/loot/rinse & repeat thing that some will despise and doom to the bargain bin before the year is out. That and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is on the way and will probably consign this game to a “play it later” fate for some DIII fans who only have time for ONE deep dungeon crawling experience. Anyway, this is out now in Europe and a few other spots – the North American version should hit retail and download channels on August 5th. I’ll give it a fair shake just to see how it stacks up to previous entries while also gauging it on its own merits. The game certainly looks as if it’ll be fun at the end of the day…

Sacred 3 Coming To PC & Consoles August 5 (Or: There Goes My Late Summer)

As a fan of the Sacred series for about nine or so years since that Sacred Gold box fell on my foot at a GameStop, I turned it over, saw it was an action/RPG and bought it on the spot, I’m completely psyched for Sacred 3. Coming to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (yet again, the newest consoles are shut out thanks to the game being developed for what was available at the time), I’m expecting more open world fantasy madness, plenty of quests and side quests, intentionally campy voice acting, LOADS of hidden goodies, and of course, excellent replay value. Screenshots don’t quite do these games justice thanks to the isometric view (although zooming in will likely be in the game, it makes the game much harder), but here you go just for fun:

ss06_large ss07_large ss08_large

Personally, I’m a gameplay video guy myself, so I like this better as an example of what’s to come:

I’m trying to figure this one into my schedule so I at least have one or two characters completing their story arcs just in time for that Diablo III expansion to hit the PS3 and I segue from one high quality dungeon crawler to another. Well, in THEORY, that’s what’s supposed to happen. We’ll see soon enough, though. Ancaria

The Prequel To Sacred 3 Is A Downloadable Side-Scrolling Brawler. This Could Go Two Ways…

Well, I didn’t see this coming at all, but here you go: SACRED Citadel in all its work in progress glory (complete with corny captions trying too hard for that “hip” angle).  Let the scalp scratching commence.  Naturally, haters (and people who can’t read the description of the game on the official site) are gonna hate. That said, once I got over the shock and took another look, the game does look nice enough and could be quite fun for what it is. As a longtime fan of the Sacred series and old-school side scrolling games from the 80’s until today, I give my official DAF stamp of approval. Of course, If you know me, you also know I’ll wait until the game is actually out and playable before forming a more reliable opinion. That said, I hope to hell that this shows up as part of Sacred 3’s retail edition (as in on the game disc, grrrrrr!) so those who hate digital media can actually play it. That seems to be the big mistake developers and publisher keep making with some of these cool projects, but that’s a complaint for another post. Anyway, 2013 is looking more interesting by the minute…