King's Bounty: Armored Princess Impressions, Part Two

Rock, Paper, Shotgun continues to bring us some firsthand impressions of Katauri's King's Bounty: Armored Princess expansion pack. During part two, we learn about our new pet dragon and the changes it brings in comparison to the Chest of Rage we accessed during King's Bounty: The Legend:
These are, essentially, a collection of uber-spells, only they're not linked to how much mana you've got left, which spells you've learned or have one-shot scrolls for, whether you've found enough runes to level up your Order, Chaos or Distortion magic. You get the picture. Magic is a pretty complicated business from afar, though I promise it all makes perfect sense a few hours in. The Chest of Rage only made things more complicated splitting these uber-powers into four separate skill trees, each of which levels up individually depending on how much you used them. All a bit much, really though the effects of the four godlike creatures performing these acts of destruction for you were mightily impressive. In AP, you just get a cute dragon all the Rage (a recharging resource used solely for these special attacks) mechanics distilled into one set of abilities, as carried out by said dragon. It's a lot more straightforward, but it doesn't decrease the depth of the combat in any way it just takes out some of unnecessary between-fights fuss by consolidating the Rage resource/abilities into one place.

Maybe it's a bit too cute, too. It's a baby dragon, all giant feet and eyes, it falls asleep after its cast one of its powers, it picks apples from a nearby tree that seems to travel everywhere with it while it watches you fight, and it keeps cuddling up to a mysterious snail. I would love it if said snail turned out to be the game's ultimate big bad. It's up to something, I'm sure of it. Its inital powers involve a bicycle kick to the face of an unsuspecting enemy and digging up treasure chests like a puppydog retrieving an old bone. It's cute. Cute-cutey-wutey-cute. I've called it Lord Ragington IV in the hope of making it seem a bit less cute, but somehow that's only made things worse. Well, not worse. Just. cute.