Review

Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom

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Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom is an action adventure game featuring characters and plot details from the Invizimals augmented reality series created by Spanish studio Novarama for Sony’s handheld systems. It is also the companion game to Invizimals: The Alliance which was released for PS Vita a few weeks ago.

What You Need to Know

The game lets you play as a young explorer called Hiro who discovers a magic portal that whisks him away to a distant, mysterious land that’s being terrorised by a rampaging robot army. On the trail of these robots and their unknown master, Hiro will encounter sixteen Invizimals with different abilities that he can switch between at any time. The game plays out like a typical action adventure, serving up a mixture of platforming and combat elements as you move between new areas and enlist the help of some of the most popular Invizimals in the franchise’s history.

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What’s New?

The Invizimals trilogy on the PSP was all about tracking down and capturing these creatures using the system’s augmented reality capabilities. Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom feels like a spin-off game with its focus on exploring a bright and colourful world, and utilising different Invizimals’ unique abilities to overcome the platforming challenges that lie around ever corner.

For example, Ocelotl’s forte is climbing and swinging over gaps whereas Minotaur is able to charge through barriers and get you from point A to point B faster than the rest. All of the enemies and locations in the game are brand new since other entries in the series had Invizimals battling each other in players’ homes, gardens and wherever else they took their PSPs.

What’s the Same?

Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom is essentially two games in one because, apart from the main quest, it features a Battle Mode which mirrors that found in its companion game on PS Vita, Invizimals: The Lost Alliance. This mode allows up to four players to battle it out in a variety of arenas using Invizimals obtained or purchased in either game. You can level up your Invizimals and earn in-game currency called Sparks by playing against an AI opponent or by going head-to-head with friends or strangers in local or online multiplayer matches.

Cross-Play and Cross-Save between PlayStation 3 and PS Vita is supported, and you can even trade items with a friend over PlayStation Network. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this mode is the option to bet on multiplayer matches. If you win the match then you can either destroy, obtain or ‘forgive’ your opponent’s Invizimal, but if you lose then you may end up forfeiting your prize Invizimal which you’ve spent hours levelling up!

You’ll Enjoy Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom If You Liked…

… The Skylanders series. If you enjoy the varied gameplay afforded by using different character’s abilities to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies then Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom should keep you entertained and amused throughout its main campaign.

… Previous Invizimals games. Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom’s Battle Mode should feel instantly familiar to veterans of this series and the franchise has certainly never looked as good as it does running on PS3.

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What I Liked

5.) The game does a great job of explaining everything you need to know about its platforming and combat mechanics as these elements crop up in a very natural manner during the campaign.

4.) I enjoyed the way that enemies’ projectiles damaged their allies, making for some exciting gameplay as I strategically positioned myself behind my opponents.

3.) Online play in Battle Mode is impressively smooth and if you can’t find someone to play against you can always battle the CPU to obtain Sparks and level up your Invizimals.

2.) The game’s level design is well thought out in the sense that there are always a few paths taking you off the beaten track which lead to some in-game currency or health orbs.

1.) I wasn’t expecting much from the game’s visuals since it was developed by a studio I had never heard of. The game runs fairly smoothly and certain textures have a pleasant sheen to them, while the Invizimals’ animations are all very well done.

Favourite Moment

I enjoyed the moments in the game when you stumble upon a new Invizimal and can challenge them to a fight which involves pressing a sequence of buttons at the correct time. These scuffles were really enjoyable to watch and were completely different depending on the duo of Invizimals involved in the face off.

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What I Didn’t Like

4.) Many of the gameplay elements in Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom have been seen in other titles. For example, there are multiple sections almost identical to Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune where the player has to tilt the DualShock 3 so Hiro can maintain his balance on a log while crossing a gap.

3.) There are no subtitles in this game which is a large oversight for deaf gamers. There’s not that much dialogue in the game but you need to be exposed to it in some shape or form to understand Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom’s plot and enjoy each Invizimal’s introduction.

2.) When you first boot up the game you’ll be prompted to download a massive 2.7GB patch. This is not only a time-consuming process but the update will also take up valuable space on your PS3′s hard drive.

1.) There’s not a lot of enemy variety and you can’t perform special aerial attacks or utilise objects in your environment to your advantage, making for stale combat.

Least Favourite Moment

During the second half of the game compulsory battles boxed in by lasers become more and more commonplace. These wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that health orbs are few and far between and if you die you’ll need to repeat a fairly large slice of the level before you get back to the battle arena.



What’s Extra?

Each environment has optional paths to tread down and you’ll probably need to explore every nook and cranny of the game’s world to earn its full complement of Trophies. There are additional stages, Invizimals and Vectors (basically offensive and defensive battle items) to unlock in the game’s Battle Mode, and if you’re determined to fill up every slot in your Invizimals catalogue then playing Invizimals: The Alliance on PS Vita when you’re away from your PS3 will help you reach that goal much faster.

The Bottom Line

Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom is an often formulaic entry in a series that caters primarily to younger gamers who have a passion for exploring mysterious worlds filled with fantastical creatures.


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