Apr 27 //
Dungeons And Dragons: Daggerdale (XBLA [Reviewed], PSN)Developer: Bedlam GamesPublisher: AtariReleased: May 24, 2011MSRP: $15.00
This is a game that is afraid to let you act out a story. Instead of weaving its tale through your actions, most of the major plot points are revealed via abrupt and flat cut-scenes adorned with pieces of concept art. Worse, the moment-to-moment story is told via dry bits and pieces of text delivered by cheesy characters who always need you to do something trivial like, say, light torches, escort someone, or kill a mob.
During the horrendous climax of the game, there are a few spots where you’re an active participant. But it’s hard to give Bedlam props because these are easily the most underwhelming and underdeveloped spots in the game.
The task at hand is a big deal, though the setup isn't a surprising one. A bad guy named Rezlus is erecting an evil dark spire and gathering an army of goblins, sellswords, and other nasty dudes to his side. You, as one of the four pre-set heroes, are tasked with stopping him from accomplishing his goal of taking over the Dalelands.
The classes are familiar archetypes: there’s the fighter, the cleric, the wizard, and the rogue. Each has several special attacks that separate them from the other, but your fighter or whatever will always be the same as your buddies’ -- these are pre-rolled pugilists; customization outside of equipment has been thrown out the window, and as a result, so has a lot of D&D flair.
Each attack (including the standard ranged and melee options) are mapped to buttons in good, natural ways. And while the combat has no fluidity or nuance to speak of, the action does click with me... but only because the loot and grind aspects are good drivers.
Daggerdale counters all good feelings with its assortment of odd design decisions, ranging from the lack of original foes, to the meeting of random and wildly overpowered regular enemies and bosses, to increasingly poor pacing and distribution of garbage loot towards the last three-to-four hours of the six-to-seven hour game.
The bugs are the worst. Textures load in constantly as you play, drawing your eyes annoyingly when your glossy balls should be staring down foes instead. Screen tearing is a threat, too. And as if that wasn't enough, there's also disappearing enemies, invincible enemies, enemies that fall through floors, spells that randomly go missing, quest objectives that refuse to appear to disappear, some teleportation oddities, movement issues, and sometimes enemies just... freeze -- it’s weird.
Another couple of stumbling blocks are married to the game’s economy and loot systems, the former of which feels busted. You make money by killing dudes, selling things and breaking barrels, but what you get compared to what stuff costs doesn't line up. Items are mad expensive.
Wholesale health potions reliance is also an issue, mainly because merchants carry limited quantities. If you don’t have the concoctions, you simply can’t progress in the later game. It would have been nice, as a fighter, to have something else to lean that wasn't so hard to find for my healing needs.
This stuff should be expected from a hack-and-slash, right? The genre is all about, after all, the user having to suckle from the red teat and pick up dropped loot. As a whole though, there’s too much of this brand of archaic design in Daggerdale. The class archetypes are just as dull as the fantasy-ass fantasy story, the fantasy-ass characters, the fantasy-ass levels, the fantasy-ass monsters, and the slow fantasy-ass dice-based gameplay.
In some ways I like how Daggerdale embraces convention. I like old-school RPGs, too. The problem is that this design mentality breeds frustration in the form of overwhelming inventory management, slow combat, and a lot of been-there-seen-that stuff. Daggerdale is a game that needs to offer something, anything, other than loot and grind and it just... doesn’t.
I’d love to note that the co-op element, which allows you to roll with up to three other people in these missions, is some sort of magical savior, but it’s not really. It’s riddled with its own specific bugs and problems, which are the makings of an even worse experience. The balance, which is already kind of broken in single player, is totally defective in co-op as well.
That's not wholly surprising. Daggerdale is a game that takes all its cues from the past, and while that sounds like an okay idea, it isn’t. From UI, to writing, to systems, this feels like an ancient game that was also, tragically, not given enough time in the oven. The loot and action components might click with you at times, but there are just too many technical issues and other problems in the way of this basic, visceral kind of experience.
Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale is an action-RPG developed by Bedlam Games, the new dudes behind the troubled Scratch: The Ultimate DJ project. This isn’t the kind of pedigree you want from a studio handling a new Dung...
Nick R P Green Here it is as promised, my valentine's day gift to you all. My 2015 Reflection Series comes to a close with my Top 3 Movies of 2015 (I know, it's not games, I decided to try something different). As always, I'll have a blog version uploaded later!Fuzunga The Sonic Twitter's done it again.SeymourDuncan17 I CHALLENGE YOU, HUMAN, TO... A DUEL! NYEH HEH HEH!ChrisHannard In honour of Valentine's Day, let's share our names/synopsis for porn versions of popular video games. I'll start us off with Firecrotch, the tale of a red-headed firefighter struggling to save a nudist colony from a forest fire. Mike Martin Leave it to Cracked...Luckrequired Clicked on Google's Valentine's Day animation and this pops up. Good show, fellas.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35570606absolutfreak Maybe this has been addressed, but what the hell is going on with Disqus here?
KnickKnackMyWack Also, I think my Wii U gamepad is on its last legs... the NFC reader is still kaput, the screen is rather smudgy and the L button is started to stick like a motherfucker. Sooner or later it's just going to stop working altogether methinks. :'(KnickKnackMyWack Younger me would be so disappointed in the gamer I am today. When did I stop finishing games? Seriously!SayWord Hosting a Murder Mystery dinner tonight. What are the chances that I actually get to play myself? =PRadicalYoseph We were discussing Ben Carson, pyramids, corpses, SoFlo, and Nekro's fetishes in the Discord chat if anyone wants to know what it's like down there.lewness Nintendo just sent me an email to say "Congrats on your new Wii U!". It wasn't new it got fucking FRIED and now all my stuff's gone after repairs - I was in Chapter 9! Chapter 9! 70+ hours on XCX! And that's just one game! I was- *walks off ranting*JPF720 Bravo Undertale, bravo.SpielerDad The most depressing Valentine's Day song ever, courtesy of Ole Blue Eyes.PappaBear I love my Elgato HD60PappaBear I'm doing a Jackbox Party games stream this afternoon/evening at 6PM EST.
Would love to have the DToid community come join in!
https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=axZGgeTepzsTheKodu It's Alcohol day. I've had Alcohol. Here have a page to hire Anita Sarkeesian for public appearances or speeches only $10K a time http://speakerpedia.com/speakers/anita-sarkeesian?from=speakear-sidebarEdgyDude Irony: over 9000!. The same UN with staff distributing child porn, Saudi Arabia heading its Human Rights Council and troops accused of rape wants to school Japan on their treatment of women in videogames. You can't can't make up this stuff.Solar Pony Django So I got my game recorder. That's good! But I ordered the wrong one. That's bad. So just gotta send back to Amazon and order it. Could've sworn on the website it said the HD60 Elgato let you record old games too.Gamemaniac3434 It just occured to me that given the 99% probablility of there being an update pack to XCOM 2-ala Enemy Within-waiting for a while may be a better option, so that when I do get the game I get it in its optimal form-and on sale, to bring it below 90 total