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Game Info:

Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
Developed By: Cyberlore Studios
Published By: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: January 11th, 2011
ESRB Rating: Teen for blood and alcohol references
Multiplayer Support: 4 players using GameSpy
Retail Price: $14.95

System requirements
• Majesty 2 (required for the expansion)
• Windows 2000/XP/Vista
• 2GHz dual core processor
• 1 GB RAM
• Videocard: 512 MB with PS 2.0, better than GeForce 6800 GTX
• 4 GB free hard disc space

 

Thank you Gamers Gate for giving us this game to review!

Monster Kingdom is the third expansion pack available for Majesty 2. It offers ten new single-player campaigns, with half of them being on advanced difficulty and the remainder are expert. What makes Monster Kingdom stand out is that you have to learn a new battle system since you\'ll be training monsters to fight for you. That\'s right: all of the monsters you have been battling against are your only hope at regaining your kingdom back after being wrongfully expelled from it.

Just like Majesty 2, you do not have absolute control over your units; they have a mind of their own. Some units prefer to fight, while others prefer to explore or protect things. To direct your units, you\'ll have to place flags over objectives and enemies. Some units may do the requested action free of charge, while others will require a monetary incentive.

When you start a mission, you have some money, your castle, a guard, as well as a tax collector and some peasants who are still human. The peasants will pay taxes and build the buildings for you. You can build guard towers that will come with a guard to help defend against nearby monsters, skeletons, and big sewer rats. Most of your defenses however, will be from guilds.

Highlights:

 

Strong Points: Fun and unique game play

Weak Points: The last mission is incredibly buggy; no active servers to join

Moral Warnings: Violence, swearing, multiple deities, magic use

 

The guilds include rat men, spear men, archers, liches, minotaurs, and werewolves. Each guild has to be upgraded a couple of times to offer better attacks and spells. With each guild, you can research a power to aid your heroes.  For example, the liche\'s guild offers a few spells that you can use to zap single or multiple enemies (for a price, of course!). Something I miss from the previous game is the dwarven ability to reinforce structures to speed up the building or repairing process.

To earn income, you can get a kickback on constructing a market, blacksmith, an inn, or a magic emporium. Before the blacksmith or market can sell anything, you have to research the items first. The inns allow your heroes to rest and you can form battle parties there. The guilds pay taxes, too, and they each house three heroes. You can build more guilds, but each successive building will cost more money and each building has a separate research tree.

After your castle has been upgraded a couple of times, you can construct various temples in designated areas called \'holy ground\'. The temples to the goblin god “Grum God” enable powerful abilities such as resurrection or the ability to send a plague. If you don\'t have the ability to resurrect, the first time a hero dies, a cemetery will be constructed through which they can be resurrected. A fee is charged, though, which increases depending on the hero\'s level.

Unlike the previous expansions, there is no in-game store to buy extra items and abilities. If you like modding, there\'s a map editor available. The single player missions are all the same and mostly consist of defending the castle for a given amount of time. There\'s also a challenging mission that pokes fun at Robin Hood.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Game Play: 16/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 8:10
Interface: 4/5
Stability: 2/5

Morality Score - 79%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 7.5/10

 

Most of the missions have optional quests that can be completed and they usually reward you with extra gold. With all the bribing, gold is what\'s needed the most to succeed. The multiplayer interface is powered by GameSpy. You can have up to four players or two teams in a battle for domination. Unfortunately I did not see any servers to join.

Graphically, Monster Kingdom is very appealing. The maps are very detailed and the 3D characters and buildings look great. Visually, there are no unique features to a unit; however, heroes vary with their levels and upgrades they purchase.  The spells look pretty neat and the physics are spot on. Monsters look quite scary and their animations are fitting.

I was very impressed with the background music in this game; it\'s very pretty and reminded me of Lord Of The Rings. The voice acting is decent, and the adviser still sounds like Sean Connery. The campaign missions were nicely narrated, but the single player intros are text only. I\'m not sure why they didn\'t narrate those as well, and it seems strange.

I felt some corners were cut in this expansion.  It\'s not as nicely polished as the previous offerings. I noticed the text was different than what was being narrated by the voice actor.  Even worse, there were a few typos and grammatical errors that tell me English is not the developer\'s primary language. I was able to play most of the game without any problems.  Occasionally a secondary quest would not trigger properly but I was able to progress in the game.  I had the most difficulty on the final level; the game must have crashed to desktop at least thirty times on me.  I learned to save early and often. Later, I learned to have multiple saves as I lost my save twice since the game crashed saving my game!

Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom has fantasy violence, but it\'s not really bloody or gory. You will be battling with demons, as well as eliminating portals to hell, so there are some dark themes. I was glad to see no real occult symbols used. Magic is used and cannot be avoided. There is mention of alcohol and some pub buildings. I also heard "d––n" once in a mission briefing. Lastly, minotaurs and werewolves hate each other so there\'s mild fantasy racism.

Monster Kingdom is a nice expansion, and at $15, it\'s reasonably priced. I would just hold off on buying it until they patch it. I enjoyed the concept and the new learning curve. It\'s a shame that there is no one to play against online. As an aside, I never had enough gold, so I wound up using Cheat Engine to modify the memory addresses that contained my gold values (in single-player only).

 

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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