Dungeons & Dragons Tactics PSP Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.0
Graphics 8.2
Sound 8.2
Value 8.3
Distributor: Atari
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
September 2007
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

8.2


Dungeon & Dragons Tactics

Finally a Dungeons & Dragons game on the PSP which is faithfully to the latest incarnation of the D&D rule-set and boasts powerful new characters such as the Psion and the Psychic Warrior. Like the original pen, paper and die game, Dungeons & Dragons Tactics is a turn based game which will lead the gamer and their party of six on a variety of Dungeon type quests in order to rid the world of malevolent evil and of course, bring home a healthy hoard of gold.

Faithfully utilizing the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rule-set, Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics allows players to take a party of six adventurers into a wide variety of dangerous environments to experience deep and exciting turn-based action. All of the core races and classes are available to the player, including two Psionic classes, the Psion and the Psychic Warrior. Players can customize their characters and store as many as their memory stick can handle. Battle many different types of monsters from the Dungeons and Dragons universe. Play with your friends wirelessly in both cooperative and adversarial game modes. Extend the gameplay experience with downloadable content. [From Atari]

Before engaging in the game, the player has a choice of either selecting a pre-generated character or create their own. As with the original game, the player is awarded a number of points which they must then allocated to their statistics which include Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, Dexterity and Constitution that all allow for different attributes.

For instance, Strength is used to determine how much damage you do against characters with melee weapons, whereas Intelligence is used for the number of spells you can memories and how powerful your spells are.

In essence, D&D Tactics is the original granddaddy of role-playing games which hundreds of games have used as a template. Another interesting aspect of the game is that alignment (good, evil or neutral) does impact on the gameplay and your quests which is great for those people who wish to walk on the dark side.

Features:

  • Deep and exciting turn-based gameplay using the D&D 3.5 rule-set.
  • All core races and classes are available, plus the addition of Psionics.
  • Highly customisable characters can be created and traded between players via wireless.
  • Involving story takes the player to a wide variety of authentic D&D environments.
  • Battle many different types of monsters from the Dungeons and Dragons universe.
  • Play with your friends wirelessly in both cooperative and adversarial game modes.
  • Extend the gameplay experience with downloadable content.
     

Once your characters have been created or chosen, you are ready to venture into the gaming world where you characters can go on a variety of quests and visit strange new places where you can discover strange magical artifacts and weaponry.

The template of each mission is rather similar as the player generally starts near a town where they can stock up on items before entering the unknown. This is done through a main map which will display the places you can go to such as towns, temples and dungeons.

When you select adventure, the gamer is prompted to select their party which may comprise of 2 - 6 characters, depending on the adventure you are about to embark. As a general rule, a fighter, cleric and mage are the best combinations with your other characters powers and abilities used to assist.

It should also be noted that in Dungeons & Dragons Tactics, your characters start at a lowly level one and as you find treasure, defeat enemies and complete missions, you are awarded experience points that will assist you in leveling. When a character level ups, you can select a variety of new attributes to power-up your character. Classic RPG!

Once in adventuring mode, the game is basically a turn based strategy game where you have a variety of options such as move, attack and magic etc. Although these games have generally disappeared from the market and initially I found this method quite frustrating and slow but after awhile, you actually start to enjoy the slow methodical pace of the title which allows for great strategy rather than run and fight. There is also a mode to speed things up which will increase the pace of the title, rather than you waiting around for your characters to maneuver.

They key to the title is the combat which gives your character access to a plethora of ways to dispose your enemies. The basic method is to use swords and arrows, however your mages, clerics and psychic warriors have access to a variety of spells of powers which will devastate your enemies.

Something more akin to the original pen and paper version of D&D is that the game offers wireless play which means you can join other gamers in adventuring cooperatively. There are also adversarial game modes to!

Graphically, D&D Tactics is a rather impressive game on the PSP with realistic animations and detailed gaming environments. The magic effects and lighting is great and match that with some sound effects and a great ambient soundtrack and its easy to spend countless hours playing this title. The storyline of the title is nicely progressed through cutscenes that display your characters profile with a wad of text. It would have been nice to have some voice acting in the title but nevertheless it does not impact on the gameplay.

In conclusion Dungeons & Dragons Tactics pays true homage to Gary Gyax's original D&D game and all lovers of D&D will probably enjoy this title or for those that like that slow paced action of Yi-Gi-Oh and the like. The unfortunate aspect of this title is the slow nature of the game which will turn many gamers away, however if you can get past this aspect, you will discover a very enjoyable game.






 
 



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