Quantcast
Review: Dungeon Hunter: Alliance - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Dungeon Hunter: Alliance  



Review: Dungeon Hunter: Alliance


2:00 PM on 02.22.2012
Review: Dungeon Hunter: Alliance photo



Dungeon Hunter: Alliance originally came to the PlayStation Network in April 2011, where it is still available for $12.99. A few months later, the game was ported to Mac, where it has recently been on sale for $0.99. 

Gameloft hasn't stopped there, however, teaming up with regular co-conspirator Ubisoft to release another port for the PlayStation Vita. It is more or less the same game, with one major difference -- it's being sold in stores for $39.99. 

There are some schools of thought that say price shouldn't be a factor in a review, but ... come on. This is being released at the same price point -- and thus believes itself to be in the same league -- as games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Lumines. So, we're going to judge it on that exact same level. 

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance (PlayStation Vita)
Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Released: February 14, 2012
MSRP: $39.99

Dungeon Hunter: Alliance is a typical hack n' slash roleplaying game, in the same vein as Diablo or Torchlight. As with all Gameloft games, it completely borrows its gameplay from other titles, creating an experience that walks a wafer-thin line between homage and plagiarism. Usually, Gameloft can get away with these sorts of games by keeping them on iOS and Android, where it can provide cheap emulations of bigger console games on a platform that tends to lack better alternatives. Lately, however, its decision to encroach into dedicated gaming territory has only exposed how weak some of the software is. 

Alliance is no exception. As a negligibly priced iPhone app, the original Dungeon Hunter was a solid piece of disposable RPG fluff that could keep one entertained for a few minutes at a time. As a retail-priced PS Vita game, Alliance's mindless action, boring character progression and complete lack of narrative structure makes for game that only succeeds in making the player look for something better to do. 

There are three archetypal character classes to choose from -- Warrior, Rogue and Mage -- each with their obvious specialties (melee combat, one-on-one quick attacks and magic, respectively) and upgradable abilities to choose from. An ability can be mapped to the square, triangle and circle buttons while X is used to perform normal attacks. In other words, if you've played almost any Western action RPG in the past fifteen years, you know exactly what to expect. 

The world revolves around a hub town surrounded by various dungeons and spooky forests. Typical progression sees players grabbing a main quest, taking on the one or two available sidequests, then wandering into a freshly unlocked dungeon to kill things. There will be a boss at the end, who usually has some poorly written dialog (without any voice acting, naturally) and needs to be defeated to unlock the exit. The cycle then begins anew, until you decide you've had enough and throw the game cart into a lake.

Combat is exactly what you'd expect from a hack n' slash RPG that hasn't evolved from its iOS prequel. A brainless, tactless, button smashing affair, the objective is to just keep hitting stuff until everything is dead, regularly chugging down health potions to counteract the masses of enemies that inevitably swarm one's chosen hero. Players can poke the touchscreen every sixty seconds to unleash a magical attack via their fairy (controlled with the right stick or touchpad), but otherwise, combat remains the same throughout, and it gets tiring very quickly. Stab, kill, pick up loot. Stab, kill, pick up loot. 

With its stiff animations, low-res graphics and skeletal plot, Dungeon Hunter: Alliance provides no real reason for players to care about what's happening onscreen. Combat is about as thrilling as an egg, with characters apathetically flailing at each other. Sidequests aren't very interesting and cannot be adequately traced on the map, so they're usually stumbled upon by accident. Not that you'd know, since everything looks so generic and indistinct that you can barely tell what's significant and what isn't. 

To its credit, Alliance sports online multiplayer that works surprisingly well. You can choose to join a random game or host one in your own world, and character progress is universal so you can take your solo hero online while preserving quest status, experience, and equipment. I've only managed to get three of four available players in a game at any given time, but I noticed no lag with any of my sessions, and have little reason to believe an extra player would make a difference. The only major issue with the online feature is that sometimes the game will randomly decide to keep disconnecting you from the PlayStation Network, and you won't be able to sign in without totally shutting down it down and restarting from the Vita home screen. 

Still, it doesn't matter how good the online features are when the game itself isn't worth playing, and that's the rub with this piece of software. It's just not worth your time, let alone the ludicrous amount of money being demanded. It feels dated even by the standards of games from previous generations, and while it is currently the only Western RPG available for the Vita, there are bound to be far superior roleplaying options coming soon. This game exists simply to capitalize on the system's launch and leech some cash from early adopters who don't know any better. 

Compared to some of the games that it has decided to price itself against, Dungeon Hunter: Alliance looks absolutely pitiful. Sitting this next to Uncharted, Army Corps of Hell or even Ubisoft's own Lumines, exposes Alliance for the cheap, nasty, outdated and outclassed little con job that it is. Expensive at a quarter of the price, this embarrassing waste of space has no business pretending to be a full retail game, and doesn't deserve to be on the PlayStation Vita.



THE VERDICT - Dungeon Hunter: Alliance

Reviewed by Jim Sterling

2 /10
Bad A disaster. Any good qualities it might have had are quickly swallowed up by glitches, poor design choices or a plethora of other issues. The desperate or the gullible may find a glimmer of fun hidden somewhere in the pit. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance



9:20 AM on 02.17.2012
Ubisoft's PS Vita bullsh*t is truly incredible

The PlayStation Vita isn't even officially on widespread sale yet, but Ubisoft has wasted zero time in exploiting it for an easy buck. The publisher has never been afraid to fill a system with ports and retreads, but its beha...more




Role-Playing Games

4:30 PM on 04.18.2014
Review in Progress: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

Last year close to its launch, we reviewed Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn -- so what's with the retread, you ask? Well, that was before we implemented our Reviews in Progress program, which was designed to cover games...more



4:00 PM on 04.18.2014
The Darkest Dungeon gods were kind to me

Hot off its huge Kickstarter success, Darkest Dungeon is already in a playable-enough state to have a demo at PAX East 2014. Although the demo was only a short snippet of what's to come, it was easy to get a sense of the them...more



2:30 PM on 04.18.2014
Fairy Fencer F and Disgaea 4 Vita dated for the west

Earlier today, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair got a release date for North American Vitas: September 2. I still need to play the first. Anyway, more Japanese games have western release dates. Compile Heart's RPG Fairy Fencer ...more



View all Role-Playing Games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more