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Dungeon Hunter – My Impressions |

I’m a huge fan of the top-down fantasy RPG genre made popular on the PS2 by the Baldur’s Gate and Champions of Norrath games. There were two in each series, and I’ve played the all. I’ve actually played through Champions of Norrath several times, and I still hold that game as the pinnacle of the genre (on consoles at least – Diablo is on the PC).

The current generation hasn’t brought us many of these games,. The two I know are Untold Legends and Sacred 2. Untold Legends came out pretty early in the PS3’s life cycle, and I bought and played the whole thing co-op with a friend. It was alright, but not really anything special. Champions of Norrath was much better. Sacred 2 was much larger in scope, and held lots of promise. But it was very buggy, and these bugs prevented me from doing several things in game that I think are crucial to the experience, like swapping items with friends. It claimed that I was cheating, when I wasn’t. I tried wiping all my data and doing it again, but got the same result. This was really quite frustrating, and I eventually gave up on the game.

Now Gameloft has ported Dungeon Hunter to the PS3, and I’ve been playing it online with some friends. How is it? Well, if I wasn’t such a big fan of the genre, aching to play a game like this, I’d probably give it a fail and move on. But because I really like games like this, I’m enjoying it in spite of its failings. What can I say? I love slaying orcs and wizards and big fat beasts with knives for hands.

What has this game done right? Well, it has a lot of content for only $13. You get three character classes, inventory management, and skill trees. You level up and buy and sell things at shops. Standard stuff, and enough to make the game enjoyable to someone like me. Torchlight on the 360 did all these things better (much better), but did not have co-op. So I get to play Dungeon Hunter with two friends, which is great.

What has the game done wrong? Lots of stuff. First of all, you’ll notice that the load times are terribly long. Like really long. Long long long. For a game stored on the hard drive, that’s deplorable.

The game is buggy. It has hung or crashed several times. Last night my friend had to reboot his PS3. I had to quit the game and re-enter it. This has happened three or four times now in our fifteen hours of play so far. As well, as you play through the game, fairies join your quest and you can use their powers. Well, unless you’re Steve, in which case you can only see the default fairy and not the others. Then there’s the monster-off-the-map problem. One of the bosses was sitting out on the black nether region of the map, and we killed him from the sidelines. Lastly, there was also a problem with one person seeing quest completion while the rest of us didn’t. We had to kill the same boss twice!

The game tries to make distribution of treasure fair by colour-coding the treasure drops. Only the character of the appropriate colour can pick up a treasure. All fine and good, except that my two friends and I are playing the three classes available, so we’re constantly swapping loot. It would be nice if they colour-coded the treasure according to which character can use it most.

Another big problem is the level design, which is uninspired. Boring even. I just saw some video of the Crimson Alliance game that was recently released on the 360, and I felt shame for the Dungeon Hunter creators. The Crimson Alliance levels are so much nicer, it’s hard to make a comparison. When my friends and I are done Dungeon Hunter, we’ll turn to Crimson Alliance.

There are lots of little annoyances in the game, many of which I haven’t mentioned, but the worst are the loading times and bugs. My friends and I are plugging our way through the game, and having some fun. But I think we’ll have more fun once we turn our attention to Crimson Alliance.

  • Eddie

    Also coming to the Vita.

  • Nice comments, shame it’s got so many cons.

    At least Diablo III might come out soon (but that’s not PS3).

  • do admit the game does have its short comings but even i still enjoy. Fun just running around with some mates

  • Torchlight is pretty perfect in most ways — the demo I played of dungeon Hunter just couldn’t hold a candle. I pray that Torchlight 2 comes to the ps3. But didn’t Oly or someone post an article many months ago stating that the devs decided against bringing T2 to the ps3?

  • Nevermind: Luke wrote the article that I vaguely remembered, and the subject was Torchlight, not Torchlight 2: . So there’s still hope, perhaps? Anyway, for anyone interested in the genre, I recommend that you pick up Torchlight for the PC. It’s cheap (maybe $15?), and it has a modest modding community that has made cool stuff: new classes, new spells, new dungeons and quests, etc.

  • That’s sad, because it looks like a pretty cool game, but graphics aren’t everything if it’s unplayable otherwise…

  • jwhyrock

    it is what it is. Uninspired and mediocre. Bad graphics, no story and gameplay isn’t perfect. You get to play with friends, level up, acquire loot. Rinse repeat + trophies. Well worth the price of admission. For as bad as it sucks it does the right things well enough to be fun and that’s what gaming is about.

  • That was a surprise. I expected this to be very good. This sounds like a pass to me, I do like the style, but I hate glitchy games.

    Even Fallour New Vegas (which I love, possibly one of the coolest games I’ve played on the PS3) had to sit on my shelve for 6 months collecting dust before they fixed all the bugs.

  • Dude that’s awesome. I can’t wait for it 😀

  • jwhyrock

    by the way my comment above is from personal experience. I own the game and have played it extensively with friends, both couch co-op and online (as well as both couch and online). I didn’t have too many issues with playing online myself, but the rest of his review is dead on. It’s funny for as crappy as the game is, the fun factor is there.

  • finished the game on ios, doesnt feel like but it again on PS3