Review by poolmav2007

"Pain at the Throne"

Story: “Dungeon Siege” was about something that happened at some time to some people. Honestly, the story gets a bit confusing unless the gamer is totally engage with the game. The journey begins with a choice of three different protagonists. Each has their own story with beginning and ending cut scenes. The scenes are nothing to marvel at. They are basically still frames with some movement.

All three stories start off great with each protagonist having their own set of motivations for their quest. The game starts out great but about halfway through bogs down with the same story line for each character with slight variables. The biggest problem with “Dungeon Siege” is that it is bogged down by long wordy explanations. This would be fine in a console game, but needs to be summed up quicker on a handheld game. Of course, it helps if the story was interesting. Most of the story, especially halfway through, centers on the boring past of the land. It's a history lesson that has very little to do with the main protagonist's original quest or story.

Gameplay: Despite the lackluster story, the game is a fun standard dungeon crawler. The fun doesn't last too long. The game takes a nose dive about 5-10 hours in with a lack strategy needed for the newer threats. Go up to enemy and proceed to melee until dead. There is very little else to the game. The game is easy especially after leveling up to around 25 when it seems the game has given the gamer the advantage for every enemy.

Character progression is not deep, but at least you'll be able to select which skills to build and stats to increase. The other problem with the game is a lack of good AI partners. They basically stand around while the enemies pummel the protagonist; occasionally getting in their licks. The partners that utilize stat increases as their main function preform their job much better than the AI partners use for offense.

Graphics: The graphics are good. The environments shine with detail trees and rocks. The only exception is the world map which looks very dated. This is, of course, when the game is visible.

Warning: Do not play this game even with the slightest light in the room. The game is very dark and makes it very hard at times to actually see what is on the screen.

Despite the lack of a brightness option, the character designs are very good when visible. Outfits change when you switch armor which is very much welcome to a handheld game.

Music/Sound: The sound effects are some of the worst I've ever heard. A sword hitting a stone golem or a fleshy animal sound same too. So it is the same crappy sound effect over and over and over. There is a different sound clip for arrows hitting objects but not much else.

The music on the other hand is epic. I don't use that word often, but it definitely appeals to the music of “Dungeon Siege.” It is one of the best musical scores done for a handheld. I felt as if I listening to scores from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Turn up the volume, plug in some ear phones and sit there listening to the scores. They are quite grand when the horrible sound effects are not going off every two seconds during battle. And there is a wide variety of music. It never gets boring.

Extra Considerations: The game freezes up a lot. At least once out of every 10 times the game will freeze trying to load a dungeon, town or the world map. I learned to save often or at least before entering or exiting an area.

The game starts off slow but quickly raps up. At one point I was thinking the game was going to last 100 hours but Act 2 and 3 are very brief. Searching for rare drops can take up some time as well as a few side quests. But I'm betting when you come across such things you'll just be trying to get to the end of the game.

Final Word: If you can get into this one, there is a descent dungeon crawler. But most won't be able to get past the freeze issues and other frequent bugs. Turn up the volume for the great scores, but mute it for the sound effects. Most gamers won't be able to look past the slow story and glitches. Besides the good graphics and epic music is a standard dungeon crawler which most can live without playing.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 06/22/12

Game Release: Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony (US, 10/30/06)

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