What do you get when you take a flash game, and port it to a Sony handheld? Answer: A PSP Mini. One in particular, Knight Fortix 2, appears to be a pretty polished game. Seemingly inspired by games such as Qilox, KF2 offers some new twists to keep it interesting. It was developed by Nemesys for PC, iOS (currently being prototyped), and PSP. It was an extremely anticipated title for them, considering the Fortix series is legitimately the only thing this company has going for it, other than a single other racing title for PS3.
Starting up the game, the first thing you notice is the fairly cheesy, cardboard-cutout-ish art style. This is contrary to the actual game, mind you, as the levels feature a well drawn, with simple designs of a small variety of landscapes. However, there are only really 4 or so different environments, so it was slightly repetitious. The music is kind of “meh”, and generic, but most people wouldn’t mind. The story is extremely basic, as a Knight named Fortix is on his 2nd adventure (if you can see what Nemesys did there), where the land of Artalom is being cursed by an evil wizard named Xitrof. Now, with these “creative” names, you might be wondering, “How is this like Qilox at all?”
The object is to capture percentages of the rectangle (or battle field), until you capture or destroy all methods of Xitrof’s defense. They are mainly composed of shields, the harmless central bases, and cannons, which get upgraded as the game goes along. The optional captures include monsters such as ogres and bats, dragons of several different types, and cannons of your own, which will then take out the nearest enemy cannon automatically. To progress through the level, you move Fortix in to the enemy area, create a shape of the amount of area you would like to capture, and simply return to your base line. A new base line is created around the area you conquered. There are also keys to progress through certain gates. You earn points, determined by the size of the capture, and combo-ing, by capturing multiple items in either a single capture or quick succession. There are also powerups, which from my experience, don’t effectively help the game in the slightest. When you conquer every defense Xitrof has for the stage, a scoreboard is displayed that gives the full score, factored in with a time bonus.
Referring to the PSP’s controls, you control Fortix on a rectangular field using the D-Pad, and are confined to the outer edges of the field. The X button allows you to speed up along the outer path. The L and R buttons zooms the camera out and in, respectively. I will explain how ridiculously valuable this is further in the review.
When you first start the game, knowing the gameplay style, you would try to make the biggest rectangle you could to get the most capture points. However, you would soon find that even on the easiest difficulty, on the easiest level, it is legitimately IMPOSSIBLE. It is very easy to die in this game. The projectiles are fairly slow, but Fortix is even slower especially with environment hazards. Also, anything evil only needs to hit your path, so long paths are a suicide mission. And with only five lives in easy mode, decreasing per difficulty, it can be pretty stressed.
I used a strategy where I made a snake of small squares of territory where the last square could capture up to half of the territory. There an achievement system which does a very good job testing the skills of the player, by changing up the strategies that a normal player like me would take. Good luck with half of them, because it’s gonna be hard.
Control is EXTREMELY precise, in the sense that, you don’t want to mess up or you die from the closest missile. This is why the zoom in function, which I didn’t remember the entire game (I know, stupid), is fairly vital to survival. Especially if you are making a close call. To expand on the ridiculously high death rate in Knight Fortix 2, in later levels, becomes more like a bullet-hell. There could be eight or so cannons, that just happen to shoot all at once, so it screws up your timing. And, in typical video game logic, Xitrof loves to keep his most advanced weaponry closest to his main base (I mean, why not have a strong border too, right?), so you’re going to run into several upgrades to the cannons, such as homing missles, faster projectiles, and the like. Same logic goes for the species of dragons too. They evolve from crap-AI little green things to either Black Dragons, which shoot an extra three projectiles periodically, Skull Dragons, which home in on you when you try to capture things, and finally Red Dragons, which are basically bigger, faster Skull Dragons with a bigger hitbox. For the final level, you are bombarded with even more of all the advanced defenses, and to top it all off, Xitrof, and two clones of him. They each shoot about eight magic missiles. All three Xitrof’s shoot them. ALL. AT. ONCE. So basically there could be about 15 bullets on screen at any given time, late in game. They should rename this game Bullet-Hell Qilox.
These screw ups are not game-ruiners, but more significant annoyances. Knight Fortix 2 is actually a lot of time-wasting distraction I like to call fun. With four difficulties, a lot of skill-breaking achievements, and lack of a coherent and/or convoluted story adds to the replay value somewhat. Not to mention its addictiveness, and the satisfaction of trapping a stupid no-AI dragon into your capture zone, that’s a definite perk. However, its overall generic design brings it down.
For more information on Knight Fortix 2, visit their official website. The PSP Minis version can be downloaded at the PlayStation Store for $4.99. In addition, the game can be downloaded for PC/Mac via Steam, Desura, and Gamers Gate for $9.99.[review pros="Addictive, simple gameplay, fair replay value" cons="bullet-hell qualities, unskippable tutorials, generic overall" score=79/100]