Review: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Review: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King (Switch)

by Danny Bivens

Let’s go back to our Zelda roots.

The Legend of Zelda series is loved by millions of gamers all over the world. The fantastic game world, characters and gameplay have captivated players and even led others to try their best to imitate the same formula in games of their own. Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is one of the most recent attempts at emulating the Zelda blueprint. Thankfully for gamers, developer Castle Pixel’s attempt is something to take note of.

The world of Blossom Tales is set up as a a bed time story that a grandfather is telling to his grandchildren. The story centers around Lily, a newly anointed Knight of the Rose in the Kingdom of Blossom, as she begins her journey to take down an evil tyrant who has put the king into a deep slumber. Almost identical to 2D Zelda titles (complete with the over head isometric view), players take Lily on an adventure across the entirety of the kingdom and through four dungeons with tons of monsters, interesting locales, items and weapons along the way.

Players that are familiar with The Legend of Zelda will feel right at home with Blossom Tales. Lily swings her sword with the press of the A button (as opposed to the B button in Zelda games) and also has access to other weapons and items with A and X. It’s a pretty familiar setup, but I was a little disappointed that more items couldn’t be mapped to other buttons on the Switch. This makes it necessary to switch out weapons on a regular basis which was a little disappointing.

The visuals in Blossom Tales are somewhat of a mix between the original Legend of Zelda and A Link to the Past. Sprites are chunky and similar in size to characters that you would see in the Super Nintendo classic. However they have a bit less detail. Not that this is a bad thing - it’s really endearing. From Lily, to other NPCs to bosses, everything looks fantastic. The bosses were wonderfully designed and feature some top notch animation. Other visual elements, such as real time lighting effects, really make this game stand out. Effects like this simply were not possible with the older NES and SNES games that developer Castle Pixel lovingly imitates.

The narration elements of the game provide a unique take. There are times when the children listening to the story argue about some of the finer points of how the things should be told. For example, at one point in the story, the kids are arguing whether or not Lily should be fighting a ninja or a pirate. Players are are then promoted to make the choice for themselves which they will battle. As far as I know, it doesn’t have any bearing on the overarching story, but it’s a cute inclusion. The narrative also provides a more practical aspect as well. When you start up your save file, the grandfather reiterates what was going on in the story and where Lily should go next. These comments are helpful and don’t get in the way like some reminders or tutorials in other games.

Blossom Tales is a fantastic experience. Although cycling through weapons and items can be a little tedious, the gameplay is solid, the visuals are great and the whole “bed time story” aspect is charming. For those looking for something akin to a traditional Zelda title, you can’t go wrong here. Feel free to check out our video review for the game below!

Final Score: 8.5


(Review code provided by the publisher)

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