Little Master 2: Knight of Lightning (リトルマスター2 雷光の騎士)
Release Date: 3/27/1992
System: Game Boy
Developer: Zener Works
- Turn type: Player turn/enemy turn.
- Maps: Small. Terrain gives bonuses. Gimmicks on each stage.
- Character customization: None.
- Character development: Standard XP level system. Max level is 16, but monsters can be combined at temples to change to better monsters.
- Party size: 7 is the most you can send out on a map; I’m not sure what the maximum size of your party is. You can get additional monsters from buildings on certain maps.
- Equipment: The game has no items or equipment.
- Game flow: Only a few of the stages can be repeated. No exploration. No alternate paths or secret maps.
- Saving: Any time.
- Death: When a unit reaches 0 HP it is removed from the map and loses all XP (but retains level).
After playing Little Master 1, I noted that it had some nice concepts but was just too limited to be much fun. Little Master 2 has 34 maps compared to 15 maps of the original and doubles the level limit. Unfortunately this just increases the length of the game without addressing any of the gameplay limits.
The biggest problem with the game is that the battle system is just too simplistic to make for a fun strategic play. With the exception of one healer, every unit has exactly one option — attack. Some units have range 1-2 while others have just 1, but the game gets pretty boring when every stage is pretty much the same because you never get any new powers. The strategic choices you’re making on the final stage are similar to stage 1.
The storyline is slightly better than LM1 but still nothing special.
So this, like LM1, has not really aged well and isn’t worth playing in 2018. There is one more Little Master game, this one for Super Famicom. It came out just over 3 years after LM2. I hope they used this time to improve the gameplay rather than just porting the same system over to the Super Famicom. In 1995 when it came out it had to compete with SRPGs like Der Langrisser, Front Mission, and Super Robot Taisen 4. We’ll see in a while whether it managed to put up any kind of a fight.
Next up will be Shining Force Gaiden. I’ll play the CD remake but I will do a bit of the original game to get some comparison screenshots. I’ve been having issues with audio balance when streaming; I may try to just make a plain video for the next game and then see if I can get the streaming working later.