Conquer 3 Kingdoms Review

Conquer 3 Kingdoms: Another classic 2D side scrolling beat ‘em up with authentic dodgy translations.

Following on from their success with King Fighter 2, LeTang have reskinned their game with a famous Chinese history theme.  A rather large Android specific game review site has given this title 5 stars… but exactly how much were the reviewers paid to give a favourable star rating??  See if we agree with the 5 star rating below…

Gameplay:  This is a side scrolling beat ‘em up like Streets of Rage or Golden Axe, but the crude graphics are more akin to Double Dragon.  You control a legendary Chinese fighter with an onscreen d-pad and a single attack button.  The aim is simple: go through the levels and slash the hell out of everything you see!  Every stage has a simple, common and hard difficulty mode and after completing the stage you’re ranked out of 5 stars based on your performance.

Although the game description says this is an Adventure RPG, its not entirely clear where the “adventure” part comes in.  But there are some RPG elements with character levels, inventory and skill points.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to confirm if the other characters were any good because we didn’t have enough diamonds in this free game.

On this note, we should make it really clear that to play this game you need to get the diamonds from downloading the other games on their advert list.  So it is “free” to an extent, but we’d classify it more as a short demo rather than a playable free game.  Once you have the diamonds you can buy stages, characters and upgrades… buying stages one by one is a new feeling and makes me wonder why I’ve never experienced it before… probably because it really stinks.

To add to the special game feel there’s poor text translation meaning that humorous spelling and grammar mistakes are littered throughout.  You have to forgive the developers since English clearly isn’t their first language.

Music and Sound Effects:  There are two versions of Conquer 3 Kingdoms out there.  Only the one labelled “deluxe” has any sound for us (maybe you need to buy for the sound in the other one??).  When you’re able to get the full experience then you’re greeted with pretty good majestic war music.  It’s very upbeat and gets your blood pumping ready for the hack and slash mood.

Graphics: The theming and stylisation is probably what most people nowadays would recognise as Dynasty Warriors (though there are thousands of three Kingdom type games out in China).  The pixelated sprites are somewhere between Double Dragon and Streets of Rage so it’s quite nostalgic for our review team.  Overall the special moves are very snazzy looking and you do feel like destroying everyone and everything.

Controls:  You’ve got a D-pad and an attack button.  There are only 4 directions on the D-pad, so you can’t move diagonally!  This is where Bomberman vs Zombie’s relative D-pad would be awesome, or at least if there were 8 directions available then you could move more fluidly.  Just in case the limited movement wasn’t enough to annoy you, the buttons for the D-pad are only sensitive on the tips of the arrows.  This means that sometimes you can’t always slide your thumb to move the character without him stopping briefly.

AI Opponents: I grew up with these kinds of beat ‘em up games because they used to be very common and fun to play.  Some of my favourites include: Final Fight, Captain Commando, X-Men, Captain America and The Avengers, The Simpsons, TMNT… I could go on all day (and yes I did spend far too much time in the Arcades!).  I’ve never really associated any computer intelligence or complexity with the AI in these games, but actually it’s crucially important.  In Conquer 3 Kingdoms, the enemies are numbskulls and generally stand around waiting for their turn to be slashed.  What happened to the AI patterns and methods which appeared years ago in games like Final Fight?

Freemium Games: LeTang have a bizarre Freemium setup whereby you need to buy pretty much everything.  Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that people need to make money for a living, but there are tasteful ways of doing things.  If players spend time with your game then surely they should be rewarded with diamonds for free in order to keep them playing.  They at least left that avenue open with their Raiden game.  Unfortunately, it seems that the only way of getting diamonds here is by downloading other games.

Rating: 2.5/5 All the elements of a great game are here, but the game is let down by the unpolished control interface.  The graphics are perfect for those who enjoy a bit of classic gaming.  The whole Freemium diamond setup is a bit of a farce, but if you just download some games then you’ll be able to enjoy some of the other stages they have locked away.


Conquer 3 Kingdoms Tips from Android Games Review:

  • Stay in the mid ground and avoid the bottom left and bottom right where dead zones are effectively present under your thumbs.
  • Since movement is slightly restricted then consider buying the eagle which will automatically pick up items for you.  (Thus reducing the need for you to run into any danger.)

How to get diamonds: Press the “FREE” diamonds button and download games from the list.  Be careful though, if you’ve downloaded the game already then this might not work.  I’ve always found this process to be really flaky, so go for the easy downloads and try not to signup with anything as there’s no guarantee you’re be rewarded with diamonds.

How to beat the enemy easily:  The trick is to understand that although hitting the enemy with the combo slashes looks cool, usually it’ll move you out of position and also leave you exposed briefly after you’ve completed your attack.  So instead of doing combo slashes all the time, pause briefly after tapping the attack button.  This intermittent controlled attack doesn’t put you in a vulnerable position, and the enemy can be drained down to zero faster without waiting for them to get up from the floor.

Developers: LeTang Inc

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