Back from the Dead: King Cashing 2
King Cashing 2 is a very simple game to play that offers a lot of depth for those who go looking for it. It kicks off with a cut-scene explaining the game’s set-up. King Cashing, long dead, has risen from the grave after a mysterious man in black activates a magical device. The King steals the device and uses it to raise an army of undead. After leaving the tomb, he’s shocked to see the strange world around him. It’s the modern age, and things are stranger than ever before. One thing hasn’t changed, however. King Cashing wants gold, treasure, and money, and he’ll do anything to get it.
A tutorial teaches the player the basic ropes of battle. Spin the slots to attack the enemy. Your fighters will appear in the first reel, weapons will appear in the second, and the enemy in the third. Bonus items can appear in any of the reels. If your spin lines up a fighter, a weapon, or both with the enemy, you’ll deal damage to them. Certain fighters favor particular weapons, and if they happen to match up with them they’ll deal a critical attack of some kind. If you don’t line up with an enemy on any of the three lines, it’s a miss. Each spin costs three cherries, and your cherry supply is limited.
Once you’re in a battle, there really isn’t much strategy involved. If your timing is good you might be able to stop the slots in favorable positions, but otherwise you’ll simply have to rely on luck. Outside of battle, however, King Cashing 2 offers a lot of options. You can equip up to three fighters, three weapons, and three bonus items. You’ll earn more fighters as you gain levels and progress through the story, eventually ending up with several different ones to choose from. Weapons can be bought from a shop or won from battle. They come in different categories, each matching up with one of the fighters. Bonus items include things like extra cherries, experience points, and gold. They also include modifiers that increase the odds of particular loot dropping, make fighters appear more often, and so on.
All of this adds a great deal of strategy to the gameplay. If you’re grinding experience (and you will sometimes need to), you may want to equip bonus items that grant extra experience or weapons that give an experience bonus. If you’re trying to beat a boss, you may want to fill all of your bonus slots with extra cherry chances. Some enemies have resistances to certain weapons or special stipulations like blocking extra cherry chances. In cases like that, you’ll want to swap out fighters, weapons, and bonus items to stack the odds in your favor.
The weapon selection in particular is vast and offers a lot of options based on your playstyle. Some weapons hit harder but have a lower chance of coming up on the reel. Others have a high chance of appearing, but deal less damage when they do. Some weapons have special effects, as well. You also need to consider how to match them up with your fighters. You can equip one matching weapon for each of them so that any fighter has a chance of dealing a critical strike, or stack three weapons that match one fighter to increase the odds of that particular fighter getting a critical. There are a lot of interesting choices to make here, and you can’t possibly cover every advantage.
You also have to think about what you’d like to improve with each level up. When you gain a level, you are given one point to increase a parameter. You can increase the amount of cherries you start each battle with, level up one of your minions, or increase your luck so that you have a higher chance of getting better loot. Here again we have interesting choices to make. More cherries gives you more spins per battle. Stronger minions mean more damage when they hit. But you won’t level up often enough to power up all of your minions, so do you focus on one or two, spread the wealth around, or focus on cherries? You shouldn’t ignore luck either, particularly if you want to get your hands on some of the rarer loot.
In the early stages of the game, you won’t have to worry too much about any of this. But as you get into the later chapters, battles are going to get very tough if you aren’t paying attention to your set-up. They’ll get pretty tough even if you are paying attention to your set-up. You don’t lose a lot by failing a battle, but challenging an enemy will cost you some of your gold. The only exception to this rule is the very first fight in the game, which is presumably where you would need to go if you blew through all of your money.
There is a way to save money on rematches, however. Every fight in the game gives a medal based on how many spins it takes you to win. The best is the gold medal, and if you’re able to achieve that you can then rematch the opponent without spending any money. Getting medals is also the key to unlocking the game’s secret fights. These are always tough battles with tricky stipulations, but if you beat them you’ll usually get some really great treasure. Unless you’re enormously lucky, you probably won’t be able to beat these battles when you first open them up.
The game includes five chapters that tell the tale of King Cashing and his conquest of the modern world. The story is told through comic panels, which also serve as the map from which battles, shops, and NPC discussions are accessed. More chapters were planned but never came about, leaving the whole thing somewhat open-ended. Still, the story is amusing while it lasts. The game keeps its tongue planted firmly in its cheek the entire time, and it’s packed with pop culture references for canny players to spot. The game has a fun time skewering modern culture, but it’s never too mean-spirited about it.
Playing King Cashing 2 is as easy as pulling on a one-armed bandit. Playing it well, on the other hand, requires some very intense planning and consideration. It’s the contrast between those two extremes that gives the game its unique appeal and flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned RPG veteran or someone who is new to the genre, there’s something here for you. Hail to the King, indeed.