The Tower of Druaga The Sword of Aruk DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.5
Video 7.4
Audio 7.2
Special Features 7.9
Total 7.5
Distributor: Siren
Classification: M15+
Running Time: 360 minutes
Reviewer: Ho Wong

7.5


The Tower of Druaga
The Sword of Aruk

The Tower of Druaga has had many forms.  It first started life as an 1984 arcade game by Namco where you play Gilgamesh as you try to defeat the beast Druaga to rescue the priestess Ki.  From here spawned two anime seasons. The Tower of Druaga - The Sword of Aruk is the second season but both follow similar storylines in a that a party of adventurers must climb the Tower of Druaga and battle the monsters within.  Ki, the original priestess has taken the form of a small girl and has revealed to Jin that unless he climbs the tower, a friend will die.  Ki is being chased by the now King Gilgamesh’s Golden Knights. Old friends join Jin to stop the horrible future events taking place.  During this journey, they encounter a lot of familiar faces and constant references to the first season make Sword of Aruk difficult as a standalone jaunt for new people to the franchise.

The Druaga has a decidely “game-based” feel to it, with the adventurers each having strengths and weaknesses and classes resembling a medieval MMORPG. Tanks tank, ranged characters shoot, magic users cast spells.  The action sequences are rather tepid and don’t seem to evoke much excitement, for me anyway.  This may be due to the general technical production.  The animation seems rather tired and dated, with washed out, earthy colours and with a strangely western look to it.  The characters and the environments are without a lot of detail and texture.  The voice acting, on at least the 5.1 English soundtrack sounds amateurish to me, even though a lot of the voice actors came back to reprise their roles.  The lines seem to be delivered separately, with no feeling or context to the previous line. (Even if they do the voice acting separately, I don’t want the delivery to be constantly reminding me of this fact).  Maybe it’s just me.

The story, itself, is actually quite interesting with a lot of twists on the way and scatterings of humour.  As I said before, as this is the second season, the viewer get placed right into the midst of things, with minimal recap of the events that have occurred before or a general introduction to the characters.  This can be expected, as the intended audience are people who have seen the first season.

There are loads of extras here that should appeal to Druaga fans, including how the game evolved into the anime.  Although I am not a fan of this particular DVD, I can recommend it to fans of the first season who would like to tie up loose ends. Otherwise, there are many other game-based animes out there that may be a better way to spend your time.






 
 



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