Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Game 6: Dungeon Explorer (TG-16) - Cut and Run

It was bound to happen. I mean I'm basing my evaluation of the games I've never played on various videos and reviews I can find to come up with how close it is to what I consider an ideal CRPG. This one was already a close call, but playing it forced the realization that it lacks one thing I thought put it over the top. It doesn't actually have a leveling system based on repeated or practiced actions. Instead, levels are gained by collecting gems when defeating bosses. The bosses don't re-spawn, so levels are limited. Here's the breakdown:

Dungeon Explorer - Rating(8 RPP)
1) 2 - Character advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 3 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 0 - Items and equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 2 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 1 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 0 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

I considered just playing it to the end to be done with it. It was some fun; but then I thought, "what about all the other games that scored 8 or 9 that I'm passing up?" So--playing longer than I probably should have--I called it quits at a three-headed dragon boss (or maybe it was Cerberus).
Pretty sure that's a dragon
The game started out promising by showing a grand overview of the surrounding kingdom. The first town had a number of NPCs offering advice. All of this was completely unnecessary though. Only one person is necessary to trigger events, the king. After visiting him, the way south is opened up. None of the NPCs offer quests, and the advice they do give is inconsequential to actually completing the tasks. Bosses are the main way to move the story along; beat a few bosses in a row, and then talk to the king again to tell him you haven't found the stone yet.
Duneon Exporer was an alternate title
The main goal is to find something called the ORA Stone. This magical device controls the will of the people, and the king (who hid it in the first place) wants me to retrieve it for him in order to protect it from invading aliens. One catch, he doesn't remember where he hid it. So off I go, with the "help" of the King's adviser Judas to search various dungeons for the stone.

Really though, everything is just an excuse to try to explain why I need to go into these dungeons. I found it easier to ignore most NPCs, kill all the pointless enemies I could find, and destroy all of these alien bosses. I did give it a solid effort, even though I was fairly sure nothing would change after the first 30 minutes. It seems like a short game, and one that's a lot more fun with other players. I think it'd be a bit more interesting if destroying regular enemies had a purpose.

I'm glad I tried it though, it has potential, but lacked at least one other key element to push it over the top. Moving right along, I'm actually going to take a short break until next Tuesday when I'll pick up Faxanadu. Until then, have fun.
Call for a good time: JBBNJ-HDCOG
Session Time: 2h25m (Later played for another 55 minutes for a total time of 3h20m)

P.S. I'm going to finish the game outside the blog for anyone interested. I'll update the comments with how long it took, and anything else of note.


  1. Thanks for the support. I should probably test the games out before I commit to playing them with an introduction write-up and everything.

    In any case, moving on now.

  2. For those interested, There was only about 50 minutes worth of game left (really less if you cut out all the dying I did), and 5 minutes of end game. It was fun, but even with all the "different" characters, I don't see much replay value here. I did unlock the princess, and apparently there's another character to unlock, but the powers don't really add much to the game in a meaningful way.

  3. If I remember right, you can choose what stat gets boosted at level up by waiting for the gems that bosses drop to cycle to the color corresponding to the stat you want a boost in. I haven't actually played this enough to know how much customization that means in practice, though.

    1. It would cycle on its own between the different stats it could increase. Even with that extra point I feel like there really isn't another category to squeeze another point.

    2. Probably not, but it's still interesting.