Konami, not typically known as a bastion for RPGs, had two titles for us to try out during this year's E3. New Little King's Story is the sequel to the previous Little King's Story game for the Wii. Due out on the Vita in Fall 2012, there's plenty of time to bone up on the LKS mechanics between now and launch — and you're going to need it.
Players once again don the royal mantle of King Corobo, who has lost his kingdom to the Devil King, and from all appearances the story picks up more or less where the first LKS left off. The game's main questline will take players on a winding epic to restore Corobo to his rightful place on the throne. Before that, however, players will need to use a mix of button presses and touch controls to work their way through the game's various puzzles and RPG mechanics. Most of the controls are pretty intuitive; for example, movement is controlled via analog stick while the D-Pad buttons are used to issue commands to troops.
Thankfully, the game begins with a tutorial, courtesy of the "Minister of Whatever." These tutorials can be revisited at any time via the menu, a nice touch for a pick-up-put-down title. Units include royal knights, archers, farmers, and carpenters, all of whom will need to be called up from the civilian population and trained to perform a variety of duties, from out-and-out combat to more mundane tasks such as building and digging.
Within the first five minutes of the game I was also able to influence the story. My ministers briefed me on the situation and presented me with two options for regaining some of my lost territory: reclaim my main castle keep, or rescue the princesses who had been visiting my kingdom and were now being held captive in various towers (as princesses are required to be held). My decision to rescue the damsels in distress was met with mixed reviews, but the ladies were my guests and I let them be captured! What a terrible host I would be were I not to return them to their kingdoms.
My sole concern with the title is, despite the tutorial, the game feels like there's an expectation that the player has beaten, or at least thoroughly played, the first Little King's Story. With a huge system jump from Wii to Vita, that won't always be the case. It remains to be seen whether the localization addresses this issue before the game is released later this year.