An Underappreciated Action-RPG Gem
King's Field is one of those games that I have found that gamers either absolutely love, or absolutely loathe it (or they've never heard of it, haha). I happen to be of the the opinion that it is fan-freaking-tastic!
For me, this was my introduction to the 3 game series. Apparantly there's a 4th game out there that predates this one, unfortunately it's Japanese only so I've never had the privilege of playing it. Nonetheless, this game sucked me in from the moment I stepped onto the rocky beach or Melmut Island. You play as a warrior who is the only survivor of a shipwrecked expedition from a faraway kingdom. You awake on a rocky beach of a dark and mysterious island and from there you're thrust into a dangerous world, on your own, with little to go on. In fact in the beginning you literally start with nothing and have to find and fight for everything you need until you finally arrive at the first town and are able to purchase equipment.
King's Field is a 3D action-RPG with a twist: the game is played from a first-person perspective that is more at home with early first-person shooters such as Doom and Quake. Instead of using guns and fists; you are using swords, axes, bows, and magic spells to battle enemies. The game also has a very heavy emphasis on exploration. There are many paths to explore in this open-ended game, with no real right or wrong way, as well as many hidden walls and areas through-out. Explore a world full of countless monsters, areas, weapons, items, spells, and other loot.
I highly recommend this to RPG fans looking for an immersive game. However to ignore it's flaws would be just be stubborn of me. There is an issue with the slow speed of the character at first. This is what turns many people away from the game at first. Fortunately, as you level up this becomes less of a problem as running no longer fatigues you. All you need is a little patience, as with any RPG. Many people are also turned off by the fact that the game doesn't give you direction. Personally, I think that's why this game shines. You explore the world and go through it in whatever fashion you feel fits. But to each his own.
IMO, this was one of the best games to ever come from the PS1. I like it so much, I play through it and it's two sequels about once a year every year. If you find it, it's also dirt cheap, so by all means pick it up and try it!