Review by nabuch
"Backtracking, is that all there is? Pretty much."
This game is one incredible disappointment. I have loved all things "Baldur's Gate", and "Champions of Norrath", until now. I only bought the PSP for this game, a major mistake. This game proves that good graphics and sound in an extremely long game do not mean it is going to be a good game.
GRAPHICS: 8/10 The graphics are one of the few good things you can say about this game, but even so it isn't as good as in "Champion's, but then this is just the beginning for the PSP. Varied locales, some actually unbelievably good looking, and 110 different enemies, all of which are wonderfully animated, makes this game a treat for the eyes.
MUSIC/SOUND: 6/10 The sound effects are sensational, though you will need a good set of headphones, or have it playing through your home stereo to appreciate it. Reverberations, echos, etc., are all very deep and sound wonderful. The bad news is the music. It seems there is just one song over and over and it only plays through the center speaker, so not only is it bad, it isn't even presented very well. There isn't any voice acting, but you will hear your character grunting quite a bit, and the dieing enemies do the same , and that all sounds great.
CAMERA/CONTROL: 4/10 The controls, for the most part are responsive and work fine; however, moving the camera is such a chore I try not to do it. The ideal would have been to move it with the shoulder buttons, but, alas, they are used in other ways, needlessly.
GAME PLAY: 1/10 Where do I begin. The entire game consists mostly of backtracking. Other than that you just kill. There are no puzzles, no strategy, nothing at all to break up the monotony. As you go along you will come to dungeons that you soon learn should not be entered until you have a quest requiring it, or you will just have to go there again. Finding anything, in itself is a chore, because of the horrible map, but then there is required backtracking that is wholly unnecessary. If you enlarge the map, you still will not be able to see the entire area and won't know which way to go. You just wander around hoping to get lucky and find the way out. Then you will be asked to go to a dungeon you already passed, and will have to find your way back to it. Then there are the ridiculous quests that require you to repeat the same route over and over. One such quest involves finding a dragon, but once you find him he sends you on another mission, and when that is done you have to go back to this same dragon. Your very next quest asks you to return to this dragon,again. I keep hoping that I will get some kind of reward that lets me go to any area on the world map, instantly, but I know that is never going to happen. Even the world map is more harm than good, because it may look like you need to go one way to get to your next destination, when in fact it is the complete opposite way. Another thing about the game play is that it is so very easy. The bosses are laughably easy, the only hard thing in the game is finding them.
VALUE: 4/10 to 10/10 If you have as many problems with this game as I do, you will stop playing it very quickly, on the other hand, if you only play about 30 minutes at a time it is far less irritating, and a very long game. There are over 100 dungeons, and 40 quests( about half of which are optional but garner the best rewards).
FINAL COMMENTS: While I totally wasted my money buying the PSP for this game, I at least have high hopes for the future. I would advise anyone who likes any of the other games out now, to buy it, just don't buy it for this game. Also, if you ignore me and get it anyway, you will need a good sound system or headphones, because that is the one area this game shines in.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 04/08/05
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