Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King Review(Switch)
Updated: Feb 21, 2018
A great homage or an uninspired clone?
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is an action adventure rpg game developed by Castle Pixel and published by FDG Entertainment. There's an old saying that goes ''Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery'' and this goes heavily noticed in this game. If you've had fond memories of sitting on your couch,bed or chair and have spent hours upon hours with games such as A Link To The Past,then with this game, you're going to feel at home almost immediately.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King stars a young girl named Lily, a newly recruited arm of the Knights Of Rose. Lily is starving for adventure but her being a new recruit,she gets no respect from her fellow peers or knights right away. But on the day of her becoming a full fledged knight, the evil wizard Crocus attacks the kingdom,leaving the king in an everlasting sleep,never to wake up. Only with three mysterious items scattered through out the world will they be able to wake the king from his slumber and stop the evil wizard Crocus from taking over the land. Lily decides now is the time to prove herself and to set off on her own to fight the forces of darkness and evil and bring peace to the land once more.
In this game you'll play in a top down style,much like The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past. The goal of this game is to traverse through a pretty decently sized overworld map to find secret locations,do side quests and collect coins by chopping up grass,breaking pots and other variety of mini games(racing). You must find the three major ingredients to save the king as your main objective.
Lily must make her way through five overall dungeons in the game and each one of them is harder and longer than the previous dungeon you encountered. Each dungeon,much like Zelda, has its own theme/environment, such as ice dungeon or a fire dungeon. That in itself would be rather lackluster to me but what really makes these dungeons special is the puzzle solving elements. For example some dungeons you'll walk into a room and see a bunch of face plates on the ground with slabs of concrete scattered around and it is up to you to push them around via trial and error to find out how exactly they fit in their respective areas.
Other puzzles for these dungeons require you to flip switch blocks that are connected to an electric source. By hitting each block it spins them in another direction which will require you to flip every single one of them in the proper direction to change the current of the electricity and reroute it to its proper destination. It can be super frustrating with constant failure but once you do it and the little ''completion'' jingle plays,it feels so satisfying.
Much like you'd expect in a Zelda homage/clone, your weapons here are a choice between a sword,arrows,bombs,boomerang and other magical medallions you can use to gain other powers that will allow you to wield fire,electricity or other special skills. Each dungeon you beat you will find a new weapon or item to use on your journey that will help you beat puzzles you might not have been able to access before or even secrets such as cracked walls that hide secret rooms with lots of treasure waiting(via bomb to wall).
It's mandatory to constantly switch out weapons and gear as you play this game. Some enemies might be long distance enemies and making the decision to get up close and personal just makes for a bad time. This is where the bow's distance and accuracy will come into play,stay far back and aim and kill enemies from a distance to avoid taking any damage. Other sections will utilize the boomerang that you will need to toss between pillars to hit a far away block switch that you have no other way of accessing without the use of the boomerang.
One of the weapons that you wont have to utilize though at least not till near the end of the game will be the shield. The majority of the game you can do without the shield and just leave it unequipped. But it will be greatly needed in the later dungeons as you will use it to deflect enemy projectiles in order to advance through the dungeon. The later areas in the game are unbeatable with out it.
One of my favorite parts of the game that affected the game play was during its narration dialogue that took place via the grandfather that's doing the story telling. He tells the story of young Lily and her adventure to his two grandchildren,one who'm is named Lily, that the story is actually named after. Throughout the game the little grandchildren will cheer for Lily,cry for Lily,be worried for Lily and even offer playful banter that actually directly effects enemies in the game(whether you fight golems or archers or ninjas). Its not a huge part of the game play but it really makes it feel like you yourself are part of the adventure too. It is a really nice touch.
The inventory for this game is very basic and really easy to understand. Each weapon is equipped via a click of a button. Press X or B while highlighting a specific weapon or spell or even item and it will designate that item or weapon to that specific slot for quick use. Also included in your inventory is your standard map that highlights key sections on your map that you need to go to in case you get lost. Believe me, if you don't pay attention to it, you WILL get lost!
For items in this game you will get potions to refill your heart meter or your stamina meter. You can find these in hidden caves,hidden sections of dungeons or buy them from stores with the gold coins you pass. These are also able to be equipped just like weapons for easy access to heart regain during tough quick thinking battles. I suggest you cut down lots of grass and find as much coins as possible because later dungeons you might be taking some good damage.
I'm going to keep it short. Its going to seem really lazy, but just give me this soundtrack. I'm dead serious. The music is tremendous and every track fits their respective environment or scenario. Music sounds sad when it needs to be,tense when you're in a tight spot or just makes you break out into head bobbing during the beats because the songs are just so damn catchy.
After you beat the 10-15hr main storyline,you're still not done. There is still so much to do in this game and so many secrets to find. My total play time for my first run of the game total'ed to just over 13hrs of gameplay. Upon completing the game and reloading the end game save, you're able to freely roam around the world as much as you please with no main scenario blocking or barring you from doing what you want to do.
This offers you the ability to revisit each dungeon to find any hidden secrets you may have missed or find secret dungeons and secret caverns underneath peoples homes or inside rock mountain walls. You will find out you missed a lot of these your second go around.
Other stuff to do after the main game ends is little side quests. In each village or town you encounter,certain villagers will require you to do specific tasks for them,such as collecting ''x'' amount of items from various enemies in that corresponding area. Once you complete that task you can return to the village and collect your prize. The prizes range from potions,resurrection medallions or even coin rewards.
There are also races you can participate in,but it will cost you gold. Once you pay the entry fee,it will be your goal to run through the obstacle course to get to the end of the route and grab the treasure before time runs out. But it wont be easy every time,because every new race you do,more environment hazards come and stand in your way.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is homage and love letter to fans of the Zelda series and one might even say a complete clone of A Link To The Past with just minor differences added. I say however that the homage the developers at Castle Pixel pulled off with this game is absolutely superb. With smooth game play,easy to navigate menu,lovable charm of the characters(grandfather/grandchildren),amazing music,great puzzles and variety. This game is a MUST have for anyone on Nintendo Switch and I have to say without a doubt, this game is an indie ''masterpiece''.
Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King is now out on Nintendo Switch.
*Review code for the game provided by FDG Entertainment